Hoggle ran haphazardly to the mirror portal and threw himself at it. Coming out on the other side in Sarah's bedroom only to find her not there was not what he expected. Forget Sarah needing him. He needed Sarah!
The dwarf with the rather unfortunately large nose looked wildly around Sarah's bedroom, as if half expecting her to be hiding in her closet or under her bed. He did check to be sure. Maybe she was avoiding him.
However, Hoggle's fears of a Sarahless evening went out the door when she came strolling through hers. That she was startled on seeing him there didn't matter. She looked like she had just bit back a scream, but played it off by blowing a long and calming breath noisily through her mouth.
"Hoggle! What are you doing here?" Sarah asked, even as she threw her book bag on her bed.
He didn't have time for this! She had to help him. This was awful. It was horrible. It was terrible. It was worse than worse. His friend, the Champion of the Labyrinth, could set things right.
"Yeh gotta help me, Sarah! It's the rat!" Hoggle spat in his distress.
Immediately, Sarah's face took on a scowl, as if contemplating all of the horrible things the Goblin King could possibly do to make his subjects' lives miserable. It was the right look, as far as Hoggle was concerned. It was Sarah's justice shall be done look.
"Oh, no! What's wrong? What has he done this time?" she asked worriedly.
"He's passing out treacle toffee to the goblins is what's wrong!" Hoggle wailed in frustration.
In fact, so intent was Hoggle on his wail of frustration, that he completely missed Sarah's look of confusion.
"Okaaay. So, he's passing out treacle toffee."
Hoggle looked up. Her right look was gone now. He sighed. Sarah sighed too.
"I suppose I need to ask the right question then. So, why is the Goblin King passing out treacle toffee, Hoggle?" she asked with the patience of a saint.
Sarah really was a saint, as far as Hoggle was concerned, because she had to help him. She would. That's what friends did.
"Because of that runner from Bristol," Hoggle muttered bitterly. "The rat let him go and gave his brother back in exchange for his mum's treacle toffee recipe. Yeh've gotta stop him, Sarah!"
Hoggle was extremely pleased to see Sarah's look of righteous indignation.
"Wait! Are you telling me that the Goblin King let both a runner and a wished away child go for a recipe?" Sarah asked shrilly.
Unfortunately, Sarah was missing the point here.
"That ain't the point, Missy! He's got it in his mind that the Underground needs a new holiday," Hoggle scoffed.
"New holiday. So? He let them go for a measly recipe! I had to run his labyrinth!" Sarah exclaimed in a tone of righteous indignation to match the look she was sporting. "It's not fair!"
"Well- they ain't making little straw Sarahs and setting off fireworks and kicking the little straw Sarah into the Bog now are they?" Hoggle groused.
Sarah stopped and looked at Hoggle in confusion.
"Now you've lost me. Maybe you should start at the beginning, Hoggle."
"I've been trying to tell yeh- but yeh ain't been listening. Somehow, when the runner from Bristol—"
"England?" Sarah interrupted.
"Summat like that. I ain't good with Aboveground geography, Sarah. Anyway- the runner lets slip 'bout this holiday they have- and the next thing I know- Jareth is modifyin' the holiday to torment me!"
"Well- I haven't heard of a holiday like this before. What's it called, Hoggle?"
"Bonfire Night?" Hoggle shrugged.
"I'm not really sure! The point is, the rat is doing it all to 'commemorate an event of treason'," Hoggle mocked.
"I still can't believe he let them go for a treacle toffee recipe!" Sarah muttered bitterly.
"Yeh still harping on that? How'd yeh feel if yeh had to see an effigy of yerself paraded to the Bog and kicked in!" Hoggle yelled indignantly.
"Better than actually being kicked in!" Sarah muttered. "That had better be the best treacle toffee recipe in the world is all I can say."
Hoggle stopped speaking. Sarah really wasn't getting it, was she? He shook his head in disgust and folded his arms.
"I thought yeh was my friend, Sarah!"
Sarah looked distracted and angry. She was pacing around the room.
"Of course I'm your friend, Hoggle. What makes you think I'm not? No- he's doing this to annoy me, isn't he?"
"That's it! I knew it- he's trying to make me angry. The Goblin King will wish he never crossed Sarah Williams if I ever see him again!" Sarah vowed.
Oh no! She'd gone and done it. Hoggle looked worriedly to the window only to see a sudden storm.
"Aw- now look what yeh've gone and done!" Hoggle wailed.
Yep. There was the owl. There was the dramatic entrance through the window. There was Jareth looking as rat like as ever.
Poor Sarah had stopped her movements and turned to look at Jareth. Jareth was smirking at her, looking her up and down in an intimidating way. Sarah was so angry that she had to swallow her anger and had gone red in the face in her self-restraint. Sarah looked Jareth up and down too- and had gone even redder in the face because she was apparently just that angry. Not that Hoggle blamed her.
"I'd wish to what, Precious?"
Sarah recovered herself.
"You heard me, Goblin King!"
Green eyes met mismatched eyes. Dark hair met light hair. Good met evil. Jareth smirked like the villain he was. Sarah smiled sweetly like a good heroine should.
"And to answer your quip- it was a fantastic recipe- Precious Thing. The batch yielded better results than I had anticipated."
"But I could have given you a recipe!" Sarah pouted.
"Trying to sell me on your domestic charms?" Jareth asked slyly and took a step closer to Sarah.
"Because I have to say- you had me at I wish- precious Sarah," Jareth purred.
Sarah was red in the face again. Jareth was infuriating, Hoggle had to admit.
"Well, I can't be expected to believe that this treacle toffee is any good. I've never even heard of treacle toffee before today, so it can't be all that. You should really be more careful before accepting recipes from strange runners. He could have poisoned you or something. You should have made him run the labyrinth like you did me," Sarah said petulantly.
"I seem to recall events differently. I recall that you had all sorts of choices. And, let's not forget, you said the right words," Jareth said smugly.
"Well, this other runner apparently said the right words too," Sarah huffed.
"Yes- but the right words from the wrong person was a disappointing experience. Yet- I must confess- when the right words come from the right person- I can't bear the thought of that person not being around."
Hoggle had never seen the look on Sarah's face that he saw now. She was giving Jareth a flirtatious smile. Sarah! His Sarah! Giving the rat a flirtatious smile. Jareth obviously had done something to her.
"Forget treacle toffee! You could have just asked me for my peach cobbler recipe," Sarah responded in a naughty tone.
Sarah was twisting her hair around her fingers and looking up at Jareth through her lowered lids now. Hoggle thought he was going to be sick.
"Are you offering to give me a basis for comparison- so to speak?"
"More like a taste of your own medicine."
Jareth gave Sarah what Hoggle assumed Jareth thought was a sexy smirk. It just made his stomach queasy.
"I was feeling rather unwell before you called. Perhaps you'd be willing to come and help restore me to my former magnificence? Did Hedgewart tell you? You can help us celebrate our new holiday."
"Offering to take me home for the holidays, Jareth? That's pretty serious."
"It's a serious offer, Love. It always was."
Now they were looking at each other all intently. There was nothing more nauseating than seeing Jareth and Sarah with lovelorn expressions.
"Now that you mention it- I seem to remember something important about a king falling in love with a girl."
"Indeed- and perhaps you'd be willing to help me recall if there was something about a girl falling in love with a king?" Jareth asked hopefully.
Hoggle cleared his throat.
"I could be spraying fairies now."
They ignored him.
"Will I get to try the treacle toffee?" Sarah asked shyly.
"Of course. All you could want. I'd fill my kingdom with treacle toffee if you'd stay."
"Well, I suppose—" Sarah trailed off. "If it really is that good—"
"There'll be fireworks. Did I mention the fireworks?"
Hoggle groaned and threw his hands up in the air. He couldn't take this dancing around each other and flirting stuff anymore.
"Oh! Just go ahead and kiss her already!"
He didn't like the identical gleams in their eyes as they actually took his advice and moved closer to one another. Hoggle stormed off through the mirror just as he heard the smooching sounds. Blech!
"Damn Jareth, and damn that runner from Bristol, and damn treacle toffee too!"
Next time Jareth tried something, Hoggle was going to Sir Didymus.
Guy Fawkes Day (Bonfire Night)- Remembering someone who was in a plot to blow up parliament every fifth of November is just kind of interesting, I think. Anyway, enjoy. Please review!