A/N: It's been a while, I know. I wanted to know that everything was taken care of elsewhere before it was taken away from meh! Anyway, I hope you enjoy this chapter. It may be a bit short, but I want something out to you – yes you, loyal reader. After all the kind words I have gotten, all the follows on my blog, I want to say thank you and I truly adore each and every one of you!
2: I wrote that author's note a while ago. A lot has gone on in my RL that has really kept me from writing. I know this chapter isn't going to be the longest thing in the world, but I've kept you all waiting for entirely too long. Do forgive me.
[E]very time a child says, "I don't believe in fairies," there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead.
~James Matthew Barrie, Peter Pan
Chapter 23: Death And All Her Horsemen
Sarah was still entirely too aware of exactly what happened between the time she entered what Jareth called the Further and returning home. The most striking, the most devastating was that Elizar was gone. Someone has to tell Alister. "Jareth…" Sarah whimpered.
The room had been cleared and cleaned away with magic while Jareth bathed Sarah and tried to help her relax. Now, carrying her back into the bedroom where nightmares became reality she tensed. "Precious?"
"What happens now? Who tells Alister? What happens with Elizar? What am I going to tell Toby?" Jareth sighed as he laid her down in the warm bed and kissed her forehead.
"Don't worry your head, love. All will be set to rights shortly, if they haven't been already. We will explain things to Toby in the morning."
Sarah laid there, looking away from Jareth not wanting to upset him, but she didn't feel he was doing things right. She had to remind herself she was no longer Above and that things worked differently Underground. Elizar taught her nearly everything she knew since she returned and he was like a grandfather to her. She had grown to love the old man, especially when he would treat her like a fragile, naïve little girl. He had her best interests in mind. It was hard to be understanding though, and she didn't know what was happening with these mood swings she felt inside, like her brain and heart were riding a rollercoaster of doom and she had absolutely no control over what she felt or said. She assumed it was the ordeal she'd been through, but she hoped it would stop soon.
"Talk to me, pet." Jareth begged as he crawled into bed with her. "I don't like seeing you so conflicted."
"Will there be a funeral?"
"We will have a gathering to celebrate his life, but we must… There will not be a funeral like you have Aboveground, Precious, he is going to be – or has already been – put to pyre."
"You're burning him?" Sarah shrieked, sitting up straight in bed. "How could you? !"
"It is the way it has to be."
"Stop with your cryptic bullshit!"
"Sarah!" Jareth hissed. "That shall stop now!"
"No! You're just going to put him in a pile of sticks and set him on fire? Who does that?"
"Many cultures Above, as a matter of fact! He'd want it, anyway. You don't know of what you're yelling about. You may want to remember that before you continue your childish little rant." Jareth snapped. He hated yelling at his new wife, his queen, but there were rules even he couldn't break for the good of the kingdom. Elizar knew what would happen before he sacrificed himself. Jareth would be damned if his young wife would curse at him and defy his rule no matter how much pain she may be in, in that moment.
What he wasn't expecting was for her to look at him as though he had slapped her across the face and begin to sob uncontrollably. "I hate you! You're no different than you were before. This was all a lie wasn't it? All the kindness, all the 'love', all the romance and fairytale? I guess you got what you wanted, you got a queen, well that's fine, but don't you ever tell me you love me or care about me again if this is how you expect to show it." She yelled as she climbed awkwardly out of bed and ran to her joining rooms, locking the door behind her.
Jareth could quite easily just appear inside of her room but he just sat there, staring at the place she had just been completely taken aback. He wanted to go to her, to string her up and punish her for her words, then show her just how much he truly did love her but there was something else wrong with his Sarah and pushing her would make her even more upset. The last thing Jareth wanted to do was have more things said that couldn't be forgiven.
What a wedding night, he sighed, slumping against the headboard of the bed. Staring off into space he thought of what she said to her. She was so fragile still, so unsure even now of his love for her. It broke his heart to know this, but he would just have to find a way to prove to her she was wrong.
Producing a crystal he saw her curled up on her old bed rocking with sobs and his heart broke for her. He was grateful to the Fates above that she didn't truly hate him, because if this were true his heart would have already begun to die away and his time as king would come to an end entirely too quickly for his taste. What has gotten into you, Precious? What is plaguing that sweet head of yours, he wondered as he continued to observe her. Suddenly she sat up in bed, her eyes wide and her hand over her mouth. Looking around she ran as fast as she could to the adjoined bath and vomited. Jareth cringed and hated his choice even more to leave her alone tonight, but he was too worried about their relationship than her stomach bug. He promised his frayed nerves that he would simply watch her from afar, just to make sure everything was alright.
Sarah, on the other hand, was simply out of her mind with confusion. First she was desperately depressed, then she was insanely angry, and now she was throwing up everything she had eaten in the last several days. At least, that's how it felt. "God, is this a side effect of the Further?" Standing on shaky legs, she stumbled to the sink where she splashed her face with cold water. Ugh, I feel so disgusting…and crappy….what in the world was I doing yelling at Jareth – my HUSBAND – like that?
Shaking her head she could feel new tears prickling her eyes. What is wrong with me? "I'll just have to go to him and apologize. That will set things right! I over reacted – and even though he's going to revel in that admission, it's true so I should just suck. It. Up!" As she went to march back to her husband and apologize profusely – with the utmost pride she could muster – her eyes grew wide and she made another B-line for the toilet. Right after I puke last week's food up, too…
A coolness touched her forehead and it seemed to seep down her body – calming her stomach and easing her mind. "Precious, what has you so sick?"
"I have no idea! But, I'm sorry… I have to say that first. I'm so sorry." Sarah sniffled.
"My Queen, let us get you better before you start apologizing. Perhaps there is a simple explanation for all of this nonsense and an apology won't be necessary. I'll call on my grandmother again. She will set this to rights." Scooping his new bride up in his arms, he walked her back to their chambers and set her down, gently, on their bed.
"This isn't how I planned spending out first night as husband and wife together." Sarah said meekly.
"Me either, love, but we're together – one way or another – and that is all that matters." With the flick of his wrist his grandmother appeared – frazzled – in the center of their bed chamber.
"To what do I owe this rude awakening? After all, I have spent the better part of the evening and now early morning hours tending to sickness and death… Might I get my sleep, Grandson of mine?" Carina harrumphed.
"Something is terribly wrong with Sarah. She's been three different people since she's arrived home, and she's now vomiting violently. Could she be possessed?" Jareth asked. Sarah paled and leaned over the side of the bed – miraculously Jareth was fast enough to ensure she was sick in a tin bucket and not on his clean floor. Pointing dramatically at the scene before them, he emphasized his point.
"There is nothing wrong with her – per say – boy. She's been through a very traumatic adventure tonight and she's recovering as best as she knows how. Also, she is with child." Carina tried to hide her joy and pride behind her tired and rough expression.
"I realize she's been through…"
Jareth stared off into space, his hands raised mid-rant as the last part seemed to sink into his thick skull. He blinked once, then twice, then his lip seemed to twitch uncontrollably.
"Can Goblin Kings go into shock?" Sarah asked meekly from her bed, her face pale and covered in a sheen of sweat.
"I do believe…as of now…they can." Carina's beautifully aged face burst into happiness as she waved her hand before her grandson's frozen stare.
"Jareth, love? My king? My husband? Are you alright?" Sarah asked, pushing herself up to what looked more and more like an actual sitting position on the bed. Her left hand immediately falling over her flat stomach as if instinctually she knew the product of their love grew just there. "This baby needs it's father."
"His father, Precious. His." Jareth squeaked.
"And how in all of the Underground do you know it's a boy?" Carina asked, placing her hands on her hips.
Jareth turned to her with his signature crooked grin and chuckled low. "Because I am the Goblin King, and babies are my specialty."
A/N: OK, I hope you enjoyed this mini rollercoaster of a chapter. It was therapeutic to write and I will be writing more very soon. I promise. After all – you've been so good to me – I don't want to disappoint. Much love - Joie