Sarah was frustrated…beyond frustrated, in fact. Seven years! She was 22 years old and, yes, she still believed in the world of Fantasy, despite Karen's protests. Of course, the woman had worried she'd follow in her mother's footsteps, but her decision to pursue Mythology and English had soothed the irrational fear that she'd leave her father and half-brother without so much as a "by your leave". She still called on her friends at random, if the ignorance of Reality began to weigh on her soul and creativity, but it bothered her that they never spoke of their King. Even Didymus, who was loyal to a fault, spoke little of the Goblin Patriarch. The thing that bothered her most, though, was the lack of closure.
She had been exhausted, and hungry, and pissed beyond belief (not to mention worried out of her head for Toby) at her last meeting with Jareth, but once she'd thought back on his words later that night, she began to wonder. What had he really been offering her? He knew who she was, so why would he demand that she do as he say? And why had he been so generous? She had an inkling, of course. The book had said the Goblin King had fallen in love with the girl, but she had great reason to doubt the validity of the book. After all, in the book, the Goblin King hadn't had a name, and had been an actual villain…he'd wanted the heroine as a play thing. The book's King was simply a child in an adult body, falling in and out of love easily with new toys. But Jareth had sounded sincere, and her research into the mythology of Fae had acknowledged that the wishing away of children had a long history. Parents who doubted their ability to care for their children due to poor means would wish the child away to the Fae, who would take the child and alter memories, giving the small thing to parents who could provide but could not bear their own. If a child was wished away in anger, the wisher was given the opportunity to prove the sincerity of their regret, as Sarah had. Many were found wanting, but a few felt as strongly as she did. Nothing in her research, though, had uncovered how exactly they won. It was skimmed over as them reaching the castle and presenting themselves to the Fae Royalty they'd wished to. It was vague, but Sarah had a feeling that her encounter with Jareth at the end had been…different. He'd seemed almost…
"Damn it!" Sarah exclaimed in her dorm room, drawing herself from her circling thoughts. "For a guy who works with crystals, he sure as hell knows nothing about clarity!" She announced in the empty room, throwing herself from her bed to pace her room. She was tired of constantly wondering, constantly asking questions no one but him could answer. Finally, she stomped her foot in decision. "Jareth, if you're listening, I wish you'd get your ass in here right the hell now!" She cried vehemently. She stood fuming for all of thirty seconds when a voice came from behind her.
"Was the shouting really necessary, love?"
She turned, still angry, to see the Goblin King leaning against her closet door, rubbing at his ear as though in pain. "Yes, it was, oh great royal pain in my ass!" She said in a lower tone. "I have a question, and I want a straight 'yes' or 'no' answer, got it? None of your stupid riddles."
Jareth looked at her, crossing his arms over his chest. "As you wish, Sarah-mine," He conceded in a droll tone.
Sarah took a deep breath, figuring how to word her question. "Did you love me when you requested that I love you? And, if so, do you still?"
"That's two questions," He pointed out, snapping his mouth shut when he was leveled with her fiery green eyes. He shrugged. "Yes, of course, dearest. I do not offer myself, body and soul, to every girl who wishes away her baby brother. I repeat: Fear me, love me, do as I say, and I will be your slave."
Sarah sighed, relaxing her shoulders. "Great! Now…recant it." She demanded.
He looked affronted. "I will do no such thing, you petulant girl! I have made my offer, if you do not like, then ignore it as you did 7 years ago."
Sarah turned thoughtful as she began to pace her room slowly. "Ah, yes, I suppose I never did respond to your offer the first time, did I? I just assumed my saying what I did negated the offer, because I can't very well do as you say if you have no power over me, now can I? Of course, that point is also moot, as I will concede to you having power over me…to an extent, of course."
"Of course," Jareth agreed absent-mindedly before uncrossing his legs and standing up straight in realization. "Did you just admit to my having power over you?"
Sarah looked him over and smirked. "To an extent, yes," She admitted.
"Sarah…" He growled warningly.
Sarah chuckled. "Look, you spent 10 hours playing with me, I'm allowed to tease a bit. The fact is, Jareth, I can concede on all points to an extent. I fear you as much as any girl would fear the man who's taken her heart: the fear that he will break it. I am willing to do as you say, but I reserve the right to say no. And I'm telling you now that I will, often. I do love you, but only so much as I know about you. You know plenty about me, but I only know what I found out 7 years ago and in my research since, so I can't very well offer my mind, body, and soul to someone I don't really know, can I? Your views are, understandably, primeval. I am not a prize, I am a woman, and an independent one at that. If you're going to love me, if you want to build a life with me, you must understand that I will not bow to your every whim. That isn't love, it's enslavement, and I won't do it. Which brings me to the last bit of your offer: What need have I for a slave, Jareth?" She asked seriously. He opened his mouth and she realized she'd given him the opportunity to list the many things she could do with him as a slave. "I don't want a slave, Jareth." His face fell into an adorable pout and she relented, walking closer and tugging lightly on a strand of his wild blond hair. "I want a King, you imbecile. And I'm willing to bet that if you took the time to think about it, you'd much rather have a feisty Queen than some play thing at your beck and call. Where's the challenge?"
He lifted an eyebrow and grinned, flashing his fangs at her. "I suppose I should get used to you proving me wrong, my dove," He said softly.
She tilted her head with a grin of her own. "Obviously," She said. "I am, after all, the one true love of the petulant Goblin King. I have to be able to put you in your place."
"And where is my place, Sarah?" He growled, putting his hands on her hips.
She threaded her fingers through his hair, her other hand gripping his bicep. "With me, of course. Not above me, nor below me, but side-by-side." She kissed him passionately, standing on the tips of her toes to do so, then pulled away just as it grew heated. She moved out of his reach and began to walk towards her bed. "I am woman, hear me roar," She whispered. It was a challenge, and the growl from her companion signified it's acceptance as strong arms wrapped around her middle.
"I intend to, Sarah," He murmured into her ear, sending shivers up her spine. "For many millennia to come."
She turned in his arms. "It's only forever, not long at all." She whispered sadly.
Jareth frowned and kissed the frown away. "Perhaps that is why you mortals created the saying 'forever and a day'. We will live that long. Even after your world comes to an end, we will live on. I will be with you-"
"As the world falls down, I know," Sarah finished happily, drawing him into a kiss that was…magic.