Disclaimer: I don't own Labyrinth or any of its characters. That honor goes to the late Jim Henson. Mith, Bin, and Lucy, however, are my brain spawn.
Sarah went down the steep, narrow stairs slowly, rubbing her tired eyes. She made coffee and brushed her hair, yanking and pulling on the thick snarls. What day is it? She thought, blearily sipping her coffee. Newspaper. The newspaper will tell me the date. Good old paper, never fails…She tied her bathrobe a bit tighter and stepped outside to get it. The bright sunshine hurt her eyes, and she realized she had a hangover. Sarah reached down for the newspaper. She slammed the door behind her and sat down on her overstuffed red couch to read the paper.
The date read Tuesday, February 14. Valentine's day. Some part of her not drowned in hangover reminded her of this. What the hell happened last night? I can't remember a thing. She looked around her living room. It was still as immaculate as it had always been. Karen had instructed her thoroughly on how to keep a house clean. Well, whatever happened, it wasn't here. She shrugged to herself and slurped the rest of her coffee. I should call in sick to work. There's no way I can make it in today. She dialed the number on her cell phone, wincing at the noise as it rang.
"Hello, Dust Magazine," a woman with a high, sweet sounding voice answered.
"Hello, Lucy, this is Sarah," Sarah said. "I can't come in to work today." Sarah was part of a team of editors for the magazine. She liked to think of herself as a grammar sniper.
Lucy made a sympathetic noise. "Is it because of what happened last night?" she asked.
"Um, I'm going to guess so. I don't remember what happened," Sarah replied, trying to sound cheery.
"Oh, poor thing, you sound awful!" Lucy exclaimed, her voice getting somehow higher and sugarier. "Go get some rest, Sarah." She hung up. Sarah put the phone down. I really should go get some more sleep. I wonder if I could wish away my hangover? Sarah hadn't wished for anything in 5 years, not since she ran the labyrinth when she was 15. She attempted to amuse herself with the thought of making a wish but failed.
Screw this. I'm going to bed. Sarah clunked her way up the stairs. She went to her room, not bothering to turn on the light, and collapsed on her bed. She was out 2 seconds later.
"Should we wake her up?" a voice from behind the closet door whispered in a guttural accent.
"Naw, let 'er sleep'un. We've got a few hours before we have to be back," another, slightly lower voice whispered in reply.
Sarah woke up with a start. What was that? She cleared her throat slightly.
"Who's there?" she asked, trying and failing to sound bold and not hung-over. The voices giggled dryly. Sarah sat up.
"Who," she asked, in her best impression of the Goblin King, "Dares awaken me?" The voices gasped and she heard what sounded like someone backing into another person. Ah, the Goblin King impression. It never fails, does it? I remember I used it on that boy, Frankie a few years back. He got so scared and ran away. I wonder what it must like to actually be the Goblin King?
"Um," the higher voice said timidly. "Can we come out? It's awful cramped in here." Sarah kept doing her Goblin King impression.
"I suppose," she said, sneering. The sneer was too much. They can't see me. Why am I thinking of those things as they? Why are they in my room? There are strange people in my closet, and I'm doing a Goblin King impression? I am so STUPID! At last the correct reaction of fear kicked in.
An ugly, wrinkled creature with bulging eyes and a distorted face slid slowly out of the closet. It was only about as tall as Sarah's wastebasket.
"'Ello, lady. I'm Mith," it introduced itself, raising its hands to say it meant no harm. Sarah clutched her blanket around her. She knew what this creature was. A goblin? Why? Wait! There were 2 voices before.
"Where is the other one?" she asked, dropping back into her normal voice. Mith beckoned towards the closet. A gnarled greenish foot slowly moved out of the darkness, followed by a gnarled greenish goblin.
"Hey, miss'un. I'm Bin," it said, sweeping a low bow. This goblin looked older, with eyes nearly lost in folds of wrinkles. It was slightly shorter than Mith and had tufts of white hair sticking out of its large ears. While the goblins looked almost the same, Sarah got the feeling that the other goblin was female and this one was male.
"And what are you two doing in my room?" Sarah asked, trying to look imperious. The goblins gave their dry chuckle again.
"We here for surprise!" They chorused. Surprise? What on earth are they talking about?
"Um, I'm sorry. I haven't got any surprise for you," she said. They chuckled again.
"No, no. You ARE the surprise'un," Bin said while Mith winked in a disconcerting way. This can't be good.
"Listen, I don't know what you're talking about, but I want nothing to do with you or your stinking labyrinth, ok?" Sarah snapped, holding one hand to her head.
Mith's already bulging eyes widened. "Oh," she said, drawing out the word so it had 10 symbols. "You have a…what is human term? King calls it 'leave me alone, you infernal creatures'." She tapped one long finger to her mouth, clearly struggling with the word. "Hangover!" she cried. Sarah winced.
"Shh!" she said. Mith nodded knowingly.
"When King have a hangover, he drinks special tea to make it go away," she said, looking for all the world like a 2nd grader with a gold star on her paper. "I has some with me!"
"Can I…have it?" Sarah asked. A tea that makes hangovers go away!
Mith frowned. "I don't know…we were here for surprise…" She turned to look at Bin. "Is it ok?" she asked him.
"She won't be a very good surprise'un if she has a hang-han-a leave me alone," he replied, stumbling over the word. "Give her the tea." Mith smiled wide, showing her rotten, pointed teeth.
"Bin says you can has tea! Then we make you surprise," she said, breaking into giggles again. Why am I a surprise? And what exactly does she mean by that? Sarah forced a smile; wincing at the pain it caused her.
"Good," she said. "Come downstairs and I'll make that tea." Sarah tied her bathrobe and started down the stairs, but looked back and saw the goblins standing doubtfully at the top.
"What's the problem?" she asked.
"We…" Mith started, and then looked over at Bin.
"We ain't never been down stairs without being kicked. I…don't think we can go down," he finished for her.
Sarah sighed. Damn it, Jareth. Would it hurt you so much to send me goblins that AREN'T stupid? "Alright," she said. "Do you want to give me the tea, then?"
As one the goblins shook their heads.
"Well, what do you want to do?" She asked, putting one hand to her forehead.
Bin looked at Mith. Mith looked at Bin. "Would you…kick us?" she asked hopefully. "That's what the King always does."
"You like it when the king kicks you?" Sarah asked incredulously.
They nodded. Well, if that's what it takes…I guess it's time to do my Goblin King impression again. "Very well," she said and went back up the stairs.
Sarah pulled her foot back. She kicked Mith first.
"Whee!" The goblin yelled far too loudly going down the stairs. Bin did the same. How does Jareth stand this? Sarah wondered.
Once the tea had been made and Sarah was sitting on the couch sipping it, she got around to asking the goblins about their 'surprise'. They were sitting several feet away from her, keeping a bizarrely long distance.
"Well," Mith said, obviously holding back giggles. "King…mopey, as humans say. He's always mopey on Valentimes," she said, leaning in with a confidential air.
"So we got sick of it," Bin continued. "And we decided to bring him a Valentines surprise." He looked at Mith.
"You!" they chorused.
Sarah had a vivid mental image of her wearing a pink gift bow and a dress in Jareth's throne room. The look on his face…she nearly laughed aloud at that one. Hm. My hangover seems to be gone. Do I want to be a surprise? It might be fun…I wasn't planning on doing anything today.
"Okay, guys," she declared in a much stronger voice. "Operation Valentine's Surprise is GO!" Mith whispered something to Bin and they both laughed a slightly scandalous laugh. What are they laughing about?
"Give me a few minutes to shower and stuff, ok? Will you be noticed if you stay out much longer?" She asked, the thought suddenly springing into her mind.
Bin shook his head. "Naw, he's too mopey to care. We're keeping out of his 'crystal range' so if he's watching he won't see us," he explained. "You pretty yourself up then, and we'll wait out here."
Sarah gave herself a mental pep talk in the shower. Okay, listen, me. Don't make a fool of yourself. Don't let him turn you into a blubbering idiot. You are a powerful 20-year-old woman, not an impressionable child! And don't forget to shave your legs…Her pep talk dissolved into incoherent mental mumbling.
Sarah dried her hair, brushed her teeth and painted her short nails red. She put her pink bathrobe back on and called to the goblins to join her in her bedroom. They'd better be able to go up stairs.
Fortunately they could. They examined her book collection while she rummaged through her closet. Sarah tossed aside T-shirts and work pants. She hesitated on her favorite pair of jeans, but shook her head. I ought to at least dress up a little bit. She picked up a lacy top and held it in front of herself. Not bad, she thought, giving her mirror a wink.
"Naw, go with something more casual," Bin said, looking up from Sarah's copy of Frankenstein. "And it's cold. You'll want to wear something long sleeved."
Sarah took his advice and picked out a tight, white long sleeve with a red heart outline over one breast. What goes with this? She nearly asked the goblins this, but realized they probably didn't have much fashion sense. Sarah rummaged for a few more minutes and found a pair of tight blue jeans. She grabbed a black lacy bra and underwear set and shooed the goblins out of her room.
Perfect. She gave a little twirl. Wait! Sarah examined her appearance in the mirror again. The bra showed clearly through the white shirt. Crap! Why does my sexy underwear never go with anything I wear? Actually, when was the last time I wore this? She took off the shirt and found a white lacy bra instead. First rule of dates: Thou shalt always wear lacy bras. She thought whimsically to herself. Even surprise dates with Goblin Kings. She put the shirt back on along with her red pumps and a pair of matching dangly earrings. She braided her hair in one long plait and tied it with a red hair tie. She put on her leather jacket and a red heart necklace. At last, satisfied with her appearance, Sarah went to rejoin the goblins in the upstairs hall.
"Okay, ready to go?" she asked them. Both goblins walked in a circle around her, examining every feature of her outfit. Bin finished first, giving her thumbs up. Mith seemed to be resisting grabbing Sarah's braid. She smiled at Sarah.
"Whee!" Mith yelled on her way down the stairs. Bin followed with an even louder cry. Sarah shook her head. I am so glad I'm not the Goblin King. Then again, I wouldn't mind being the Goblin Queen…Bad, bad Sarah! No fantasizing! She smiled at her mental argument and made her way slowly down the stairs.
In the living room, Bin held up a worn out teddy bear.
"What's this?" Sarah asked, looking at it as if it were magical somehow.
"It's to bring you to King!" Mith exclaimed. "Hold it." Bin put the bear on the floor between them. Sarah bent over and picked it up.
"Now what?" she asked.
"Say your right words," Bin replied with what Sarah thought was a wink. The wrinkles around his eyes flapped a bit. "But this time say you want to take the bear to the Castle."
"Well, here goes," Sarah said, clutching the old teddy bear a bit tighter.
"I wish the goblins would come and take this bear and I to the Castle beyond the goblin city," she said to the bear. She said it in one breath and had to take a gasping breath in afterwards.
Bin and Mith giggled again and snapped their fingers. Immediately what felt like a storm of darkness engulfed Sarah. The goblins disappeared along with her house and everything else. All she could feel was her arms, holding tight to the bear. She felt as if she was floating. There was nothing around her but the whirling dark, occasionally broken by flecks of glitter.
Sarah's feet hit a stone floor. She had to flap her arms wildly to keep from falling over and dropped the bear in the process. Her vision blurred.
"Good, you made it. Some of the goblins faint when we do that," Mith said. Sarah's blurry vision righted and she saw that she was standing in a stone room that she had never seen before. Mith and Bin were standing in front of her, wearing identical grins.
"Where am I?" Sarah asked.
Bin's wrinkles flapped again. Sarah had the impression he had just widened his eyes. "Why, you're in the castle, of course! This is the entrance hall. You took a bit of a shortcut last time you were here, through the back door," he explained. He pointed behind her. Sarah turned around and saw two huge, ornate double doors. It was a nicely furnished room, now that she looked around it. The walls were covered in paintings of goblins and fae. A large window to the west let in light. A grand archway led off into a carpeted hall. Sarah blinked at the splendor of the room.
"Well, come on then. We'll take you to the throne room. He's sure to be there," Mith said, breaking into giggles every few words.
"Now, when we get there, you stay out of sight behind the door. We go in and tell him we's brought him something. When Mith says 'surprise', come in," Bith said, his expression serious.
They led her into the carpeted hall. Mith stood in front of the doors on the left side. Two were close together. She hesitated a moment, then chose the one on the left. Buckets, mops and brooms fell with a loud clatter on top of her. She shoved them back in, then looked sheepishly at Sarah.
"Well, we can't be right all the time," she said. Sarah smiled, partially at the broom closet joke, and partially at the memory of Hoggle, doing the same thing 5 years ago.
"Step back," Bin instructed Sarah. Mith stifled her giggles once and for all and opened the right door.
Sarah listened near the open door, being careful to stay out of sight.
"We brought you something, Majesty," she heard Bin say.
"Something for Valentine's day," Mith said.
"And what is this 'something'," she heard Jareth's familiar low voice. He sounded annoyed.
"It's a surprise," Mith said. That's my cue.
"What could you possibly surprise me-" Jareth cut off as Sarah entered the throne room. "Oh. Well, that is a surprise," he finished, his expression setting into his usual mischievous smirk.
"Hello, Jareth," Sarah said, trying to keep her voice calm. Don't let him turn you into a blubbering idiot. You are a strong 20-year-old woman. You are a-her mental instruction stopped as she saw the look in Jareth's eyes.
She tried valiantly not to run towards him. Then she tried to run towards him as fast as she could. The result was a sort of awkward trot that she hoped looked graceful. She nearly tripped over her heels. When Sarah reached the throne, she stood in front of him for a moment, prolonging the moment. I've got to breathe normally! She tried to take a step towards Jareth and tripped, falling on top of him. At that point she gave up all semblance of grace and kissed him.
He kissed her violently, arms wrapping tightly around her. She responded in kind, pressing herself closer to him and twining her hand in his wild hair. He smelled good, like leather and peaches and something distinctly male that she couldn't place.
After a long moment they broke apart.
"Nice to see you too," she said, panting slightly. He pushed his hair back from his face and smirked, but didn't say anything.
The goblins giggled again. "You like your surprise, King?" Bin asked. Mith was unable to say anything. She was wheezing for breath and still giggling, her eyes bulging.
"Yes, I like my surprise," Jareth said. He was out of breath too. He kept one arm around Sarah. He looked at her, a frown furrowing his aristocratic brow. "But, I saw you alone in your house. It sounded like you were getting ready for a date," he said to her. Sarah laughed.
"These two planned it. They kept out of your…what did you call it?" She turned to Mith and Bin.
"Crystal range," Bin answered.
"Right, crystal range, so you wouldn't see them," Sarah finished, turning back to Jareth.
"I should stop teaching my goblins how to be clever," he muttered, smiling slightly. The goblins for once didn't laugh. They looked blankly at their king. Bin scratched one of his ears.
Sarah giggled a bit. I missed him. She smiled and tried to keep breathing normally in his hold. But he does turn me into a bit of an idiot.
"Now, Sarah, if you're not going to throw a chair at the wall," Jareth said. Sarah flushed red to the roots of her hair, remembering what he was talking about. "Perhaps you could tell me what you've been doing for the past 5 years?" As if he hasn't been watching.
Instead of saying anything, Sarah pulled his head to hers and kissed him again, gently. She felt him smile and he wrapped his arms around her again, deepening the kiss. She heard the goblins leave, but paid no mind to it, being, er, otherwise occupied.
When they next broke apart it was Sarah who smirked.
"That's not exactly what I was expecting," Jareth said, his voice a low growl.
"Are you complaining?" she asked him, flashing her sweetest smile.
"No, of course not, precious. But I did ask a question," he replied. She pressed herself closer to him. "I don't need an answer," he added. He removed Sarah's jacket and dropped it on the floor. She kicked off her heels and folded herself on his lap more comfortably.
Sarah brushed her lips against his, barely kissing him for a moment. She moved her head back and looked into his mismatched eyes, so filled with passion and love. He gave a low sound and yanked her to him.
They kept on this way until a need for oxygen pulled them apart.
"Shall we go somewhere more…comfortable?" Jareth asked once he had caught his breath.
"Lead the way," Sarah replied.
The room seemed to be a cross between the kind of room you would see in a palace and the room of a teenage boy. Finely carved furniture competed for space with posters of human rock stars. The mantel was covered in candles and action figures. A shining crown sat side by side on a shelf with several comic books.
But Sarah didn't notice any of these things.
Hours later, nearly asleep, she whispered to Jareth.
"Happy Valentine's day," she said.
Author's note: Well, that was my first shot at a fanfic. Reviews, even mean ones are appreciated. Anyone who was nice enough to come here from the Potter facebook pages, fear not. Harry Potter fanfiction is on it's way! Happy Valentine's Day!