This is the last chapter and unless a plot bunny attacks me and demands a continuation I probably won't be writing any more. Too much to do. But thank you soooo much to everyone who has read, favourited or watched this fanfic and especially those of you who have taken the time to review.
I have enjoyed writing it and I really hope you have enjoyed reading it and aren't too disappointed with the ending. xx
Jareth paced up and down the minor hall with the gait of a caged tiger, the eyes of his assembled advisor's following him like they were watching a particularly slow tennis match. The Wise One was the exception, since he was asleep, but the bird head growing out of his hat was alert and attentive. Gretta was smiling faintly and hadn't been much help during the discussion, given how happy and distracted she was at the minute. Jareth sighed heavily. Maybe he should have revoked Hogget's banishment after his little dilemma had been smoothed out.
His newest advisor, who hadn't stopped giving his opinion loudly all afternoon, was once again standing and waving his sword for the attention of the others. Jareth came to a halt directly above the little fox, deliberately looming.
'Did you want to say something Sir Didymus?' he asked.
'Yes.' He replied, raising his bushy eyebrows and swishing his tail. 'I do believe talk is cheap, Your Majesty! Why don't you stop procrastinating and get on with it!'
Jareth took in a deep breath, preparing a sharp retort, but deflated after a moment's thought.
'I'm going to be busy for a few hours.' He told the puzzled group of creatures vaguely, and disappeared.
'Bout time,' said Gretta cheerfully.
'It's a delicate matter,' said the Wise One, yawning and surprising everyone including his hat who squeaked in alarm. 'He's worried how the young woman will react.'
'Aye, she is unpredictable.' Gretta agreed. 'But she loves him.'
'Is that enough?' asked Sir Didymus quietly.
'It's all there is,' she replied.
Sarah sighed heavily and looked down at her fluffy white ball gown with a mixture of amusement and incredulousness. She should have known better than to take a nap on Jareths throne, wrapped in a cloak so thick with his scent that spice and magic filled her with every sleepy breath.
The crowd surrounding her seemed less intimidating than when she was fifteen. Their laughter wasn't personal anymore, but sensual and joyous. The eyes glinting behind a myriad of goblin masks were not threatening but curious. She felt at ease.
But where was Jareth?
Snagging a flute of what she hoped was champagne from a passing woman bearing a tray, she padded through the crystal ballroom. She could see no trace of the Kings blonde locks through the swirling dancers but every so often, she caught his scent. He was playing with her.
'Where are you, you big drama queen.' She muttered softly.
A moment later she was swept into his arms, and the smirk playing over his cruel lips told her how much he enjoyed tormenting her.
'Why Sarah,' he chuckled. 'Did you miss me?'
'I wouldn't exactly say that,' she denied, smirking back at him as they twirled. 'I just wanted to cut to the chase.' She used the natural rhythm of the dance to kiss him lightly and draw away, nonchalantly taking a sip of her miraculously un-spilled drink.
His eyes were dark and focused on her lips when he responded. Firstly plucking her glass from her fingertips and tossing it carelessly over his shoulder. 'Sarah,' he rumbled, taking her into his arms and kissing her as though he was trying to pour his soul into her through her parted lips. 'Don't defy me.' His tone was serious but his grin betrayed him.
Sarah struggled through the euphoria to give him a mock scowl and turn away. She expected him to follow, but when she glanced over her shoulder he was gone. No, not gone, she realised. He was dancing with a red-head in a gorgeous pink dress and delicate red goblin mask. He was smiling at Sarah as they span, watching her from over the woman's head.
Well, she fumed. Two can play at that game.
'Excuse me sir,' she said silkily to a nearby man, smiling warmly. 'May I have this dance?'
She half expected the gentleman to refuse, but he bowed and smiled before accepting and she slipped her hand into his. He was slightly taller than Jareth, she noticed. And he had long dark brown hair reaching past his shoulders and braided with feathers. This was all she had time to notice before he was flung unceremoniously aside by a ruffled and angry looking Goblin King.
'Oh hello Your Majesty,' Sarah said innocently. 'Can I help you with something?'
Jareth growled and practically tackled her as he once again claimed her in a swirling dance.
'I don't like this game,' he purred into her neck. 'It wasn't what I intended this night to be.'
'Well, what did you intend?' Sarah asked quietly.
'I wanted to recreate a moment.'
'What moment?' she asked.
'The moment you looked at me, softly.' He said, drawing back to look into her eyes. His were hard and arrogant as he spoke but she could feel a faint tremor she could have sworn was coming from him.
'The moment that I fell in love with you.' Sarah finished for him. She brought up a hand to touch his face.
'Yes,' he confirmed.
Sarah sighed gently and lay her head on his chest.
'Well, I think you chose the wrong moment,' she murmured gently. 'I think this was the moment I saw you as a man, not just as the Goblin King. I was being seduced.' She met his gaze again. 'But it was when the world was upside down that I wanted to give you everything…' she was distracted by a falling sensation as the everything around her melted away.
Sarah's feet met stone in a disorientating whirl of feathers. She was suddenly alone on a platform floating in nothingness and surrounded by ruined chunks of the castle suspended in empty air. Eerie and familiar music filled the air and a thirteen hour clock hung seconds from striking 13.
Her green dress was simple and fluttered in a slow-motion breeze which also carried feathers and the scent of magic.
'I couldn't bring myself to dress you in jeans,' Jareth declared, stepping from the shadow of an arch to stalk towards her. In his feathered cloak he put her in mind of a cross between a white lion and the owl he was capable of becoming.
'That's okay,' Sarah said, swallowing nervously. Of all the moments in her journey through the Labyrinth, this was the one she had re-lived most often. And the one that was the most bittersweet.
Jareth flourished his hand, and in it appeared a crystal ball.
'Look at what I'm offering you,' he said softly. 'Your dreams.'
'My dreams?' Sarah repeated dreamily.
'Just fear me, love me, do as I say, and I will be your slave.'
'What are you asking?'
Jareth looked frustrated for a moment before surging forward to stand close to her, the crystal between them. With a tortured grimace he fell to his knees and Sarah gasped as for a moment she expected him to collapse completely.
'Jareth what is it?' she asked in alarm. 'Are you alright?'
'Dammit Sarah, I'm asking you to marry me!' he said harshly, grasping her hands and pressing the crystal into them.
Sarah was stunned. She looked down into the wounded and cruel face of the only man she would ever love and said the words she suddenly knew she was always destined to say.
'Of course.' She reached out tentatively to touch his hair and make sure he was real. 'Of course I will.'
As Jareth rested his face against her chest the scene once again dissolved in a whirl of owl feathers and glitter.
The semi-darkness forced her eyes to adjust, so that it was several moments before she registered that she was back where she had started, curled up on Jareths throne. She was still surrounded by a cloud of his scent but this time her back was to his warm chest and his cloak was wrapped around them both.
'This is where you belong.' Jareth murmured.
Sarah leant back against him and sighed contentedly. Between her clasped hands, the crystal had become a white rose. 'Don't I get a ring?' she asked him playfully, glancing back at him to catch him wincing slightly.
'The pendant I gave you for your birthday is considered sufficient to indicate our betrothal.' He said.
'So by wearing this,' she said, fingering her pendant for a moment. 'I've effectively been engaged to you this entire time?'
'In a manner of speaking.' He held up his hand to halt her protest. 'But I meant it as a talisman to protect you from danger. A token of any arrangement means little if no arrangement has actually been made.'
Sarah bit down her childish need to bait him further and instead kissed him gently.
'So,' she began, changing the subject entirely. 'Hoggle tells me there are other Kingdoms.' Jareth sighed and smirked. 'When do I get to see them?'
'I don't suppose there would be any point in telling you that these other lands are not nearly as interesting as my Labyrinth?' Jareth asked.
'Well, then I'll see what I can do my Queen.'
Soooo, that's it lovely readers. Thank you all again for reading. Please review this one last time and let me know what you think! Xxxx