Disclaimer: I do not own the Labyrinth or David Bowie (dammit!). No copyright harm was intended in the spinning of this warped little tale.
Rating: PG-13 (for impolite words, crude language and sensuality)
Summary: Sarah parties in Sin City and discovers that what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there.
Prompt: "At Sarah's real life Aboveground wedding to a suitably handsome man, the priest calls for anyone to 'speak now or forever let them hold their peace'. Jareth does just that." (One of three prompts I received for the 2011 LiveJournal Fic Exchange from moon_lover68.)
A/N: How does one tackle a cliché? With another cliché, of course!
I promise I'm not on a "Drunk Sarah" kick. I actually wrote this story months ago for the LJ Fic Exchange (along with "Forever is Far Too Long" and the upcoming, "The Contest"), which only recently ended (thus allowing me to finally post it here). "Drunk Dial" just sorta...happened...recently. LOL
Special thanks to my beta, cu-kid. If you haven't read her stuff, you should. She's brilliant!
Okay, so drinking an entire bottle of champagne was never a good idea. It was probably an even worse idea to drink said bottle of champagne after club hopping for seven hours. If Sarah had a full contingent of brain cells working at this point, she might have realized she had consumed more alcohol tonight than she had at every frat party she had ever attended—combined. Fortunately, she was blissfully unable to make such calculations in her severely inebriated state, and so she continued to revel in her Las Vegas celebration weekend, free of all party-pooping practicality.
She only got to graduate from graduate school once, right? Sarah snickered. Graduate from graduate school. That phrase was silly.
Tyler helped her out of the limo they had rented, and she stumbled into his arms when the ground seemed to lurch under her feet. "Whoa. Earthquake?" she asked.
Tyler shrugged. "Probably." He didn't seem concerned, so she wasn't going to worry about Vegas shaking about.
They burst through the double-doors and Sarah blinked at the bright white lights. "What kind of club is this?"
Tyler laughed. "It's not a club, goofhead. It's a wedding chapel."
"Oh yeah." Sarah frowned. "Why are we here again?"
"Because we're getting married, baby." Tyler pulled her closer, and gave her a quick kiss. "Don't you remember?"
She tried, though it was difficult. She remembered him saying something like "Let's get hitched, baby!" in that club with the bubbles floating everywhere. Or was it the place with the black light tables? No wait, it was the club with the girls dancing in cages.
"If you don't want to do it," he said, "it's fine."
Sarah sized him up. They'd been dating for three months—been friends longer. He was handsome, blond with blue eyes, and a bit on the skinny side. And he had just completed med school. These were all the markers for good husband material, weren't they? Did she want to marry him, though? It was hard to think with all the lights and the wedding march playing in the background. And the alcohol didn't help either.
"Oh, why not?" Sarah grabbed Tyler's arm. "You'll do." Getting married would probably shut Karen up about Sarah settling down. Tyler wasn't a bad guy to be stuck with for the rest of her life—better than any of the other men she'd dated in the past, though not as good as… No, don't think about him. Sarah stifled the image of a wild-haired Goblin King. Had he even been real?
"Give me all the bells and whistles!" Tyler shouted as they staggered toward the reception desk. "I want the best Vegas wedding that money can buy!"
The girl behind the desk had a fake tan several shades too dark, over-bleached hair and a Hello Kitty nametag labeled "Jessica." She glanced up, her expression bored as she smacked a piece of gum. "We have a premium package where you can choose which celebrity you want to marry you." She held out a glossy brochure.
Sarah snatched it before Tyler could, and flipped through the pages. "Celine Dion? Would she sing too?"
Jessica shrugged. "That's extra."
Sarah's eyes widened when she found a two-page spread of her favorite celebrity. "Him." She handed the brochure to Tyler. "I want him."
He rolled his eyes. "David Bowie? Really? What is it about him, anyway?"
"He reminds me of someone." The words were out of Sarah's mouth before she could think better of them. Damn alcohol had taken away her conversation filters!
"Who?" Tyler narrowed his eyes. He tended to get jealous over past boyfriends.
Thank goodness not all of Sarah's brain cells were dead. "Look in the mirror, dummy." For a full two seconds, she considered how much Tyler resembled Jareth. There was something important about that, wasn't there—some psychological something or other? The harder she concentrated, the more her head spun, though.
"So, which era?" Jessica asked.
Sarah blinked—which made the ground heave again. She steadied herself against the desk. "What?"
The receptionist made an exasperated face. "Which era do you want? Ziggy Stardust, Thin White Duke or something else? Which one?"
"Something between 'Tonight' and 'Never Let Me Down'—only he's got to be blond. Not as blond as 'Let's Dance' but close," Sarah answered in a rush of slurred words.
Tyler and Jessica gaped at her.
Sarah blushed. "Geez! He's a musical genius." And he's sexy as hell.
"Sexy as hell?" Tyler scoffed.
Sarah winced. "I said that last part out loud, didn't I?"
"Uh-huh." He crossed his arms.
Oh brother. "Don't get your panties in a twist. It's not like I have a chance with him." Sarah waved her arms. "He's almost fifty or something." But still freaking hot!
Tyler pursed his lips. "You did it again."
"Whatever." Sarah was getting annoyed. This was supposed to be fun or happy or...something. "Are we getting married or not?"
"Of course we are." Tyler grabbed her by the hips and yanked her to him. "But Bowie is not allowed on your list."
"You know, baby." He grinned. "The list of people we're allowed to have a one-night stand with. Sandra Bullock is totally on my list."
Sarah snorted. "If you get Sandra Bullock, then I get David Bowie."
"Fine." Tyler scowled. "But impersonators don't count." He turned to the receptionist. "Give my baby whatever she wants."
Jessica popped the bubble she'd been blowing. "Which David Bowie again?"
"Just give me an 80's Bowie with blond hair."
Jessica picked up the phone. "Johnny Blaylock, you're up." She hung up, smiling at Sarah. "He's our China Girl Bowie."
Sarah clapped her hands in excitement. "Oh! Will he sing that song?"
"Like I said before, it's extra." Jessica held out a couple of clipboards. "You need to fill out these forms, and sign the waver that says you're not entering into this union under duress and won't sue us in the morning." She smacked her gum. "We take cash, money orders or credit cards. No personal checks."
Twenty minutes later, Sarah stumbled down the aisle to the Bowie impersonator crooning "Modern Love." She opted to wear a tiara instead of a veil, and held a bouquet of pink roses—they were out of red. Tyler stood at the altar, bouncing on the balls of his feet with a huge grin plastered to his face. Sarah returned his smile. Yeah, he wasn't half-bad.
"Well," China Girl Bowie said when she wobbled to a halt next to Tyler, "aren't you a pretty thing?"
The hair on Sarah's arms rose. This guy was good—really good. He sounded just like David Bowie. And just like a certain Goblin King who she was absolutely not thinking about.
"Hm. Yes," China Girl Bowie continued, "quite breathtaking, actually. Why the devil are you marrying this ape?"
"Hey!" Tyler threw his arm around Sarah's shoulders. "I'm paying you to marry us, not to break us up."
China Girl Bowie chuckled. "You're not worried, are you? Surely your relationship is solid as a rock." He leaned forward. "I don't sing that song, by the way—'Solid as a Rock.' But we've got Ashford and Simpson in the backroom, if you'd like."
Tyler glared at him.
"It's a no, is it? Never hurts to ask." China Girl Bowie clapped his hands and straightened. "Shall we get on with it, then? Unless, of course, you want to back out of this mess." He turned his gaze to Sarah. "It isn't too late."
Sarah felt a little unnerved by his blue, mismatched eyes. Were those contacts? Damn, he was probably the best Bowie impersonator she'd ever seen. Of course, he was the only Bowie impersonator she'd ever seen—but the eyes, the voice, the accent... "No," she said, rubbing at the goosebumps prickling her arms. "Let's do this."
Tyler gave her a squeeze. "That's my baby!"
"Pity." China Girl Bowie sighed. "Well, if we must. If there is anyone here who objects to the joining of these two in drunken matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace." He looked around the small chapel. "Anyone? If you have even the slightest complaint, speak up. Surely someone has an objection to Mr. Hayworth's choice of wardrobe."
Tyler turned several shades of red. "Are you always this rude to the people you marry?"
"Only those who won't remember in the morning," China Girl Bowie answered in a disinterested voice.
Tyler vaulted over the altar, grabbed the impersonator by the lapels and shook him. "I swear to God if you don't stop insulting us, I will beat the crap out of you!"
Bowie smiled. "This isn't helping your case with that striking young woman, you know." Tyler shook him again. "All right. Let go of me."
As Sarah watched Tyler clamber back to her side, she decided this wasn't turning out to be fun at all. And she didn't think the chapel was supposed to spin like that.
China Girl Bowie took a few minutes to adjust his shirt before he spoke again. "Last call for objections."
Sarah opened her mouth to call off the whole stupid thing, but was interrupted by a familiar voice that sent a chill down her back.
"I certainly object to this ridiculous sham."
She closed her eyes as she turned around—partly because any movement seemed to make her stomach roil, partly because she was frightened to discover the voice wasn't her boozed-up imagination. Don't look, don't look! Her heart pounded against her ribcage.
"Dude," Tyler said next to her, "the weirdo geek convention is somewhere else. This isn't any of your business, you elf lord wannabe."
Sarah opened her eyes, and her breath caught. Jareth leaned against one of the pews, garbed in his Goblin King finery. He was painfully beautiful—more so than she remembered from her youth. Just looking at him made her knees wobble—or that could have been the alcohol.
"Really, Sarah," Jareth said, ignoring Tyler, "must they all be no more intelligent than one of my goblins? I think this one is even worse than the others."
Sarah worked her jaw; only a squeak came out.
"You know this guy?" Tyler reached for her, but she batted his hand away.
Jareth smirked. "Oh, she does." He stepped forward. "We have quite a history, don't we, little Sarah?" He glanced at Tyler. "I was the villain she defeated in her youth. Though in her dreams, lately, she's been interested in knowing me in an entirely different way."
Sarah flushed with both embarrassment and anger. "Not true!"
"Very true. I've seen your dreams." Jareth's smirk turned into a full-blown leer. "I've participated in them."
"Oh, God." Sarah backed into the altar. "Oh, my God! How—?"
Jareth closed the distance between them, his eyes traveling the length of her body in a way that made her stomach flutter. "How? Why, you summoned me, precious." He leaned in, lowering his voice. "Each time you murmur my name in your sleep, I am drawn into your nighttime fantasies." He laughed at the blush that rose to her face. "You call at the most inopportune times, but I daresay you make up for the inconvenience with such imaginative encounters."
"Who are you?" Tyler asked as he tried to shoulder between Sarah and the Goblin King.
Jareth leveled his gaze on him, measuring him with piercing eyes. "I'm the man who is about to steal Sarah from you." He snorted. "Not that you ever had her in the first place."
Steal? Did he just say steal? Sarah pushed Tyler out of the way, and poked Jareth in the chest. "Now you listen to me, Mr. Tight-Pants. You can't run off with me like I'm some wished-away kid."
"Yeah!" Tyler yelled, jabbing a finger toward the magical king. "Back off, buddy!"
"So what if I've had hot, smutty dreams about you?" Sarah's voice rose as she continued, "And maybe I do think about you all the time, but that doesn't mean you can just take me!"
"Yeah—!" Tyler broke off, turning toward her, confused. "Wait, what? You think about him all the time?"
"Look at him, for crying out loud!" Sarah gestured toward the Goblin King. "Do you even need to ask?" She rounded on Jareth. "And you! Don't think that means anything!"
Jareth bore his pointed teeth in a triumphant grin, snaking his arm around Sarah's waist, drawing her to him. The fingers of his other hand slid up the nape of her neck, knotting in her hair.
"Hey!" Tyler hollered. "That's my fiancé! Let go of her!"
Jareth leaned down, his eyes intent on hers as if no one existed but the two of them. Her stomach started doing acrobatics as she held her breath in anticipation. It seemed like forever before he finally pressed his lips against hers, and when he did, her world exploded—stars, fireworks, concourses of angels singing "Hallelujah," leprechauns dancing around rainbows—all of it. Sarah moaned against his mouth, melting into him as she wrapped her arms around his neck.
"Stop that! Stop making out with her, right now!" Tyler shrieked. "Get away—" He cut off with a thunk.
Jareth pulled back, and they both turned in time to see Tyler crumpled to the ground in a heap. China Girl Bowie stood over him, a thick book in his hands.
"He was rather annoying," he explained, tossing the volume aside.
Jareth raised a brow. "Yes, quite." He turned back to Sarah, a smirk playing on his lips. "Now, what was it you were saying?"
Sarah opened her mouth, and threw up all over his boots.
"How delightful," Jareth muttered.
That was the last thing she remembered.
Sarah cringed at the sunlight when she opened her eyes. She pulled her pillow over her head, groaning. Why did she have to drink so much? She wasn't some naïve college freshman at her first frat party—she knew better. Everything ached—even her fingernails—pulsing in time with the jackhammer pounding in her head. Her stomach churned with queasy flip-flops. She wanted to find a hole where she could curl up and die—right after vomiting everything she'd ever eaten in her entire life.
Just when the combination of nausea and pain became too much to bear, a tingling sensation washed over her, settling her stomach and muting the jackhammer in her head, leaving only exhaustion in its wake. Sarah succumbed to sleep again before she could question the source of her miraculous hang-over-from-hell cure.
Sometime later, she woke again, this time without the leftovers from her wild night. She thought about the strange dreams she'd had as she stretched. There had been one where David Bowie married her and Tyler. Jareth had showed up to kiss her socks off. He always seemed to show up in her dreams. And the next dream had been another of the X-rated kind with the Goblin King—the most vivid one yet.
She rubbed her eyes, pushing away the filmy images from her sleep. Her subconscious was nuts, that's all there was to it—and getting nuttier all the time. Her brow furrowed as she took in her surroundings. She lay in a gigantic canopied four-poster bed, the thick, brocaded drapes tied back against the posts with tassels. Sarah sat up, surveying the room. It must be a master suite—and definitely not the one at the Venetian where they had been staying. The Camelot? With that archaic furniture, and the tapestries hanging from stone walls, it had to be. How had Tyler afforded this?
And speaking of Tyler… She reached toward the other side of the bed, finding it empty. Her eyes were drawn to the ring on her left hand. She'd married him after all. Dammit. Sarah pulled a blanket around her bare shoulders as she climbed out of bed, intent on finding her new husband to tell him it was a drunken mistake. If she was lucky, he'd laugh with her about becoming a Vegas cliché, and they could get an annulment. Sarah was not ready to settle down yet.
She searched the huge suite and found no sign of Tyler. Was he already at the casino? How late was it? There wasn't a clock anywhere. She went to the nearest window and pulled back the curtain. As her eyes adjusted to the sudden light, she saw not the skyline of casinos that she expected, but the twisting stone walls of a vast, familiar labyrinth.
"No!" She backed away from the window, nearly dropping her blanket.
"Ah, my queen is awake. I thought you were going to sleep all day—and considering last night, I wouldn't be surprised if you had."
Sarah whirled to face Jareth, her cheeks reddening when she saw he was clad only in a towel, his skin glistening as though he'd just stepped out of the bath. She shook her head, willing herself to wake up from this dream. This couldn't be happening.
Jareth grinned and, as if reading her mind, said, "You're thinking this is another one of your tawdry nighttime fancies." He stalked toward her in slow, measured steps, rooting her to the spot with his mismatched eyes. "I can assure you it's all quite real."
Sarah's first instinct was to run, and she went with it. As she darted away from him, clutching the blanket closed as it billowed behind her, Jareth laughed. He appeared at the door before she could reach it, leaning against the frame, winking at her. She let out a frustrated scream, dashing in the other direction, only to stop when he materialized before her again.
"You wish to play cat and mouse?" His grin turned feral as he advanced on her. "I do so love games."
Sarah scrambled over the divan he'd backed her into. "You took advantage of me!" she yelled. "I was drunk!"
Jareth laughed again. "I find it endearing you still believe I would ever be inclined to play fair." He moved to the left, and Sarah moved opposite, trying to keep the couch between them.
"You have no power over me!"
Jareth paused, tapping a long, slender finger against his chin. "Hm. Those aren't quite the words you used last night. I believe it went something like this…" He closed his eyes and moaned as if he were in the throes of passion. "'Mm, yes. Yes! You have all power, baby! Yes! Yes! YES!'" His eyes fluttered open, wicked pleasure dancing in them.
Sarah's body flushed as the memory of Jareth trailing kisses down her abdomen flashed in her mind. "I was drunk."
Jareth snorted. "You keep saying that, as if it matters."
"It does! I wasn't in my right mind!" She moved to the side again when Jareth tried to step around the divan.
"Oh, you weren't?" He raised a brow. "You're saying that, without the benefit of your inhibitions, you wouldn't act on your deepest desires?"
"My deepest desire to be your queen?" Sarah forced a laugh, ignoring the part of her that said he was hitting a little close to home. "In your dreams, Goblin King."
"No, those are your dreams, precious." Jareth stepped forward, walking through the couch as if it were nothing but an illusion.
"That's not fair!" Sarah clamped her hand over her mouth as soon as the words left her, cursing him for bringing out the latent, whiny teenager in her.
"Of course it isn't." He continued toward her, forcing her to back away. "Fairness is so dreadfully dull."
Sarah's heart raced when her back touched the cold stone of the wall. Jareth's hands were planted on either side of her before she could escape. He gazed down at her, conquest glinting in his eyes. Goosebumps swept over her as another unbidden memory played in her mind. Her back had been against this same wall, her legs wrapped around his waist as he…
"I want an annulment," she choked out in a hoarse whisper.
Jareth smirked. "It's a little late for that."
Sarah's cheeks reddened as she tried to ignore the rush of images from the night before that rose with his comment. "Annulment, divorce, whatever. Just send me back."
His eyes narrowed and, for a moment, she thought she'd made him angry. "I'll strike a bargain with you, Sarah," he said. "For the next thirteen months, you will act as my queen consort—in every sense." He gave her a predatory grin. "If at the end, you are not enamored with me, I'll send you back to your drab mortal life."
"And my other options?" She pressed farther into the wall in an unconscious attempt to put some distance between them. It was difficult to think straight when he was so close, looking at her as if she was a delectable meal he was about to devour. It shouldn't be possible for anyone to be that sexy.
Jareth shrugged. "The only alternative is that you simply admit your love for me and together we rule the Underground forever." He caressed her cheek, sending a wave of heat through her. "Choose the latter, Sarah."
Every part of her screamed for her to cave, to drown in those unusual, mesmerizing eyes, and embrace the cracked fairytale ending he was offering her, but she couldn't go down without a fight—it wasn't in her nature. "Thirteen months," she said, her voice unsteady. "I'll take the thirteen months."
"Must you always defy me?" Jareth sighed, though his expression was far from exasperated. "The game it is, then." He grasped the blanket she clutched around her, pulling her into him. "Though, I believe I've already won."
As he captured her lips with his otherworldly kiss, Sarah had the sinking feeling she would never want to leave his side. But she would have fun trying.
A/N: Okay, I think I have the drunken fics out of my system (for the time being—you never know with my muse). This one is a little more...dysfunctional...than "Drunk Dial," but I hope it was still an enjoyable read. I'd love to know what you think! All reviews are accepted, even anonymous!
(Bowie acolytes, did you catch the more subtle reference? Huh? Huh?)