Chapter One: Windows
Disclaimer: No part of Labyrinth is mine. It belongs to Jim Davis and everyone who worked on it. I just write fanfiction about it whilst I sit in my living room and listen to music.
Author's Note: Marie is mine. I created her and Sarah's son from the depths of my (rather strange) mind. I promise it gets angstier later on. For the purposes of this story Jareth (and Marie) are the children of Oberon and Titania.
"If you turn it this way, it will show you your dreams!" The woman mumbled. She was sitting in a small bed in a cozy room painted in dark blue and green. "He turned it into a snake and threw it at me. And on the hill, the one over the Labyrinth, he told me to turn back. I just don't know what to make of the man."
She looked furtively around the room, as if expecting her room to respond. The furniture in the room was an odd mismatch of elegant and modern. Metallic shelves and lamps competed with an intricately carved vanity and wardrobe for dominance in the room. All the furniture was scratched and battered as if it had been used too many times. The large window on the far wall was open, though the night was cold. The white curtains fluttered in the wind.
"It's as if he's two things at once. I was entranced and appalled at the same time. My hand reached for him as my feet took me as far as possible the other way," the woman said to the window. Talking to inanimate objects was a habit she had developed when practicing lines from plays alone. "I wonder where he picked that up? Perhaps he was an actor in a human theater, everyone needs a villain. There's always got to be someone we love to hate. Or hate to love, I guess. A villain is hard to come by these days." She smiled at no one.
The woman walked to the vanity and sat down on the piano bench in front of it. She examined the objects on it carefully, thoughtfully picking some of them up one at a time. First she examined a tube of red lipstick. She rolled the lipstick out and put it to her lips, then shook her head and put it down.
Next, she picked up a small newspaper clipping. It was an article on a performance of Beauty and the Beast. Above the article was a black and white photo of the cast. They posed and smiled, dressed in absurd costumes. The woman herself stood in the upper right corner with a longhaired man, her arms around his neck.
The cast of Beauty and the Beast after their performance. Back row: Angela White (left), Michelle Wingman, Anita Louis, Olivia Jakes, Matthew Kane and Sarah Williams. The woman did not read the rest of the cast's names. She put the clipping down and closed her eyes for a moment.
The woman picked up a long nosed eye mask next. She put it on and looked in the large vanity mirror. Sarah turned her head from side to side and examined her face from every angle. She took of the mask and angrily threw it back down on the table, disrupting a pile of hair clips.
Lastly, she picked up a small red book. The book was tattered and wrecked. The spine was duct taped in several places, but the title on the cover, written in gold script was still clearly visible. Sarah opened the book to the page dogeared several times over. On it the heroine pleaded with the villain for her brother.
Sarah read the line she remembered out loud. "What's said is said!" She smiled again. Then she gently put the book down and looked in the mirror again.
"I wonder if I could fall through the looking glass?" She wondered aloud, winking at her reflection. "It wouldn't be any weirder than the Labyrinth, right?" She nodded at herself and smiled again. "Although I don't think I could be afraid of any other villain after-" Sarah covered her mouth. "Bad Sarah!" She told her reflection. "Saying his name is inviting him, and we can't do that."
Sarah went to the shelf by her bed and took out a blue hardcover book, which was only slightly less tattered than the red play. The title was written in large red capitals.
The Beauty and the Beast. Sarah didn't open this book. Instead she put it under her arm and exited into the hall.
Sarah's hallway was painted white and hung with pictures of Sarah and a young boy who looked like her. A single photo of Toby hung near the stairs. Sarah went into a door on the left hand side of the hallway.
In contrast to Sarah's room, this one was painted bright yellow. It had Venetian blinds instead of curtains. The blinds were closed. The boy from the photographs was sitting on the bed, playing with a toy robot.
"Sam," Sarah said his name quietly. The boy looked up. He was about six, with thick brown hair and strong cheekbones. His face folded into a smile.
"Mommy!" He said.
"Bedtime, Sam. Put the toy away now, OK?" Sarah crossed to the bed and hugged her son. Sam put the toy in a small box decorated with stars next to his bed and pulled out a patched teddy bear. He quickly lay down in the bed, eagerly expecting something.
"Will you tell me a story tonight, Mommy?" he asked. Sarah pulled the book from under her arm so he could see the title. "Beauty and the Beast? Again?" He looked up at her. "Can I hear a different story?"
Sarah smiled indulgently. "What story would you like to hear?" Sam thought about it.
"Lab'inth!" He grinned. Sarah held her smile on her face.
"Are you sure, Sammy?" She asked. The boy nodded and wriggled around in his sheets.
"Okay. Be still, then and I'll tell you the story of the Labyrinth." The boy stopped wriggling and looked, wide eyed at Sarah.
"Once there was a girl," Sarah started.
"Was she beautiful?" Sam asked.
"Yes, she was very beautiful. She was a beautiful girl whose wicked stepmother made her do all the chores and stay home with the baby all the time. But what no one knew was that the King of the Goblins had fallen in love with the girl, and had given her certain powers." Sarah paused for dramatic effect. The boy clutched his teddy bear tighter. "The girl could call on the goblins to take the baby away to the castle beyond the Goblin City. But she knew the Goblin King would cheat and make the baby into a goblin and keep him there forever. So she suffered in silence…"
"Until one day," Sam whispered along with his mother.
"When she was tired from a long day of house work and could no longer bear it. She called on the Goblin King. 'Goblin King, Goblin King, wherever you may be, take this child of mine far away from me!' She said, holding up the baby. But nothing happened. She comforted the baby and put him to sleep, and on her way out of his room she said the words that really would take him away. She left the room and heard an eerie silence from it-"
"Wait, Mommy, what are the words?" Sam interrupted. Sarah took a deep breath and kept the smile fixed on her face.
"If I told you that, the Goblin King would come and take you away! And we can't have that, can we?"
"No, I don't want to be taken away!" Sam exclaimed and Sarah breathed a sigh of relief. "But what did the Goblin King look like? You never tell me that," he continued. She plastered the smile back on her face.
"Haven't I? Well, he's very tall-" Sam cut her off again.
"Taller than you?" Sarah nodded. "Taller than Daddy?" Sarah slowly nodded again. "Wow, he's tall! What else?"
"He has eyebrows that face down, like this," Sarah put her fingers on her forehead to show the slant of the Goblin King's eyebrows. "And a pirate shirt, black gloves and black boots. He also sounds a bit British, and he breaks into song an awful lot." Sam giggled at the description, then frowned a little.
"But, Mommy, why do you know what he sounds like?" He asked. Sarah's cheeks were starting to hurt from smiling.
"Mommies know everything," she said. Sam shook his head.
"No, Willie told me mommies don't know everything. So how do you know, Mommy?" He said. Sarah paused, deep in thought as to how to explain.
"Well, I met him once. Who do you think I heard the story from?" She said.
"Oh, that makes sense!" Sam exclaimed. "And Mommy-"
"Would you like me to tell the story or not, Sam?" Sarah asked, getting irritated. She softened at Sam's expression, though. "I'm sorry, Sammy. What did you want to say?"
"I wanted to ask why the girl in the story didn't marry him. He seems to like her an awful lot," Sam said, and put his thumb in his mouth.
"Because…well, because she didn't know that he liked her," Sarah explained.
"She's stupid. It's obvious he was in loooooooooove with her." Sam dragged out the word love to have ten syllables and sound like a curse word.
"She wasn't as smart as you!" Sarah said, leaning over to tickle her son. "And she was young and thought he was the villain," she said more quietly.
"Oh." Sam said. He sucked his thumb as she told more of the story, and fell asleep before she described the Bog of Eternal Stench.
"Good night, Sam," Sarah whispered, kissing her sleeping son's forehead. She picked up the forgotten copy of The Beauty and the Beast and went to bed herself.
Before she fell asleep, Sarah asked her ceiling a question.
"Why didn't she marry him, anyway?"
Meanwhile, the Goblin King was pacing across the floor of his ballroom, holding a crystal loosly in his left hand. His entire face was contorted in a frown that would have been comical, had it not been so utterly terrifying. Abruptly he stopped and turned sharply around to face the fancy archway that served as a door.
A tall woman with blonde hair, pointed features and a calm expression leaned casually against the frame, legs crossed at the ankle.
"Marie?" Jareth said. He looked blankly at the handsome figure in the doorway.
"Jareth," the woman replied in a voice like a bell.
"What are you doing here?" Jareth asked. He didn't look happy.
"Visiting you, of course. Aren't I allowed to visit my big brother?" Marie pushed away from the wall and walked towards Jareth, taking long strides.
"You're allowed, but perhaps some warning next time?" Jareth smirked at his sister.
"Did I interrupt you in a deep thought?" Marie asked, her voice warming. Jareth didn't reply. He looked his sister up and down.
"What are you wearing?" He asked. Marie looked at her outfit. She was wearing jeans and a black button down shirt with the top two buttons undone. Her long blonde hair was braided down her back.
"What is wrong with my clothing?" Marie looked hurt. "Just because I don't wear tights like you, you insult me?"
"Well, you are a princess. It's generally expected you wear clothing befitting one," Jareth pointed out. Marie flushed bright red. "I'm only teasing, Sister. You look fine." Marie smiled.
"You are so cruel, Jareth," she said. Jareth winced slightly at the evoked memory. "But do tell me, why are you alone in an empty ballroom? Has your cleaning staff left you?" Jareth looked around at the dusty ballroom.
"I came in here for some peace and quiet. The goblins are loud, and I got tired of the smell. We never use this room, anyway," he replied. His sister made a sympathetic noise.
"Business is slow?" Marie asked. Jareth gave her a hard look.
"Business?" He said the word slowly, rolling it around his mouth like a lemon drop.
"You know, the runners and all that? Your Labyrinth?" Marie elaborated.
"My kingdom is not a business. What are they teaching you Above?" Jareth crossed his arms. "We pay for that school, and if they're teaching you that rotten human logic-"
"Easy, Mom. Everything is fine," Marie interrupted. Jareth's mismatched eyes crinkled at the corners.
"Oh, alright, then. I trust you," he said, smirking. "But where are my manners? You are a guest. Would you like to be shown to a room or perhaps take the tour?" Jareth mimicked their mother. Marie threw back her head and laughed, showing her pointed teeth.
"The tour, please, Queen Titiania. And might I say I love what you've done with the décor?" She replied. "Actually, Jareth, I just wanted to talk to you. 'Just dropped in to say hello' as they say Above."
"Well, let's talk somewhere more comfortable, shall we?" Jareth dropped the crystal he was holding and in a puff of silver glitter they were in a smaller, cozier room. This room was lined with bookshelves and cabinets. It was carpeted in dark green. A desk and desk chair were tucked against the right wall. Two leather armchairs facing each other, with a small table between them, occupied the main space. Long green curtains were drawn over the window on the left wall. Two small lamps set low in the walls provided the only light, giving the room an intimate feel.
"Fancy," Marie said approvingly. "Where are we?"
"My study," Jareth replied. He crossed to a small cabinet on the wall and pulled out a bottle of wine and two glasses. "Wine?" Marie nodded and sat down in the chair below the window. Jareth put the glasses on the table and poured them both goblin wine. After putting the bottle down, he sat in the other chair and picked up his wine glass.
"So, human school. How is the world Above?" Jareth asked.
"It's fantastic. They have films with sound and color now. I went to see one with a few human friends. It was a horror film. The special effects were amazing, they made humans look like vampires and zombies, and the victims were made up to look almost like Fae," Marie replied animatedly. She sipped her wine.
"You have friends Above? What are they like?" Jareth asked.
Marie crossed her legs. "Well, we all have nicknames for each other. And they're all really nice, but they can be kind of rough. I'm the only girl so it gets awkward sometimes," she said.
"You hang out with a group of rough boys? Oh Marie…" Jareth clucked his tongue, imitating their mother again. "What's your nickname?"
"Princess," Marie said. "But not for that reason, it's just what they started calling me when I met them. I sat next to them on the bus one day, and they started talking to me. Because I've got this accent and am a girl they call me Princess. It's really awkward when I see them somewhere on the street, because Spinner, my best friend, yells 'Hey, Princess! Come have a drink with us!' which turns a few heads. They're honestly nice guys." She looked down at her wine and blushed a little.
"Oh, blushing? Could it be my little sister has a crush?" Jareth leaned forward and smirked. Marie smacked him on the arm.
"Shut it," she said.
"Which one is he?" Jareth asked, rubbing his arm. Marie hit hard, but he was used to it.
"We call him Karma. His real name's Andrew, but Karma sounds so much better, doesn't it?" She drank some more wine. "We call him that because this girl, Stephanie, broke up with him and humiliated him publicly. And some of his friends didn't like that so-" she blushed again " –they took a bunch of her underwear and ran it up the flagpole. A different pair every day. I don't know how they kept from getting caught. But on the last day, they spray painted 'Stephanie is a Whore' on the underwear and she saw it. Of course she went straight to Andrew and demanded he stop his friends. He did, but before he did he led her outside to the flagpole, when everyone was there, and yelled 'Karma gets revenge' through a megaphone." She laughed.
"He's really a sweet guy, but when you get him mad he gets really mad. I…think I love him."
She put her empty wineglass on the table. Jareth refilled it.
"You know marrying a human is forbidden unless they know what you are," he said, refilling his own glass.
"I know," Marie replied.
"Just don't get your hopes too high, Marie. If he knows what you are it could drive him insane. Human men aren't very good with accepting the unknown." Jareth leaned back in his chair. "Why would you want to date a human in the first place? Fae men are richer, more attractive and live longer. And doesn't the Prince Rhydin have his eye on you?"
Marie made a face. "Rhydin! I wouldn't have him if he begged! And why aren't I allowed to date a human? Karma is funny, smart, sweet-"
"Short lived, narrow minded, vengeful, yes. I have met humans before, Marie." Jareth finished her sentence for her.
Marie's eyebrows, sculpted to look human, shot up nearly above her head. "Oh, I can't like a human, Jareth? What about that girl who beat your Labyrinth all those years ago? What was her name…Laura? Lara?" She narrowed her mismatched eyes. "You're such a hypocrite."
Jareth's mouth pressed into a thin line. "Her name," he said slowly and coldly, "is Sarah." Marie gave a cruel smirk and shrugged.
"Sarah, Laura, Marceline, whatever. She was a human. And I know you still think about her," she said.
"That was different. Sarah knew who and what I was and called on me willingly. Whereas your human boy thinks you're just a regular girl. It's pathetic, really," Jareth replied, sipping his wine.
"Sarah called on you willingly, and you scared the living-"
"Don't use curse words!" Jareth interrupted her, sounding scandalized.
"Oh, and why not, Mother?" Marie sneered. "Are you still under the belief that a lady shouldn't use foul language?" Jareth didn't blush, but he gritted his teeth in embarrassment.
"It isn't right. You can swear yourself blue when you are with your humans, but in my kingdom you act like the princess you are, Marie," her brother replied. "Would you like more wine?"
Marie didn't even blink at the sudden change in subject. "Yes," she said in a cold tone. "I would, thank you." She held out her glass and Jareth filled it.
"Marie, you've really grown up to be a little scandal, you know that?" He said and filled his own glass.
"Oh, I know. It's like when you went off to Chicago and played in a human band, isn't it?" She replied with a superior laugh. "Only I haven't lost all my money and I'm not playing guitar in the street for change." His expression softened.
"I got a damned large bit of change for that. And I got to sing in the streets," he said with a reminiscent smile.
"Yes, you had nearly enough to buy a train ticket," Marie said, draining her wine glass. They both laughed.
"You know me too well, Marie," Jareth commented.
"I know." She smiled childishly at him. They were silent for a long moment.
"You're not off the hook with the human boy," Jareth said, using the Above slang despite his suddenly serious mood.
"But Jare!" Marie unconsciously used his childhood nickname.
"No buts, Marie, you won't do this. I forbid it," he replied, raising his slanted eyebrows.
"It's not fair!" Marie exclaimed the way she had when they were both little.
Jareth winced again. "You say that so often. I wonder what your basis for comparison is," he replied without thinking. This time he did flush. The blush looked odd on the razor sharp planes of his face, as though someone had painted it there. Marie picked up on this.
"Oh, thinking about Laura again?" She said teasingly. Jareth didn't correct the name or say anything else. He simply refilled his wineglass and stared broodingly into it. "No, wait, Lara. Maura? Clara? Brother, dear, what was her name?" She spoke in a falsly cheery tone.
"Get out, Marie," Jareth said quietly and dangerously, all traces of his former good mood gone.
"Out. Now." He matched each word with a small, threatening movement. It was clear he was no longer amused. Any resemblance to a human was gone. His mismatched eyes, one blue and one brown, were filled with rage.
Marie left the room quickly, leaving her wine glass on the table.
Jareth conjured a crystal and flipped it across his palm. He gazed into it, longing obvious on his face. In it a troubled slept on her back, her long brown hair splayed across her pillow.
As if she felt someone watching her, the woman opened her eyes. She said something he could not hear and stood from the bed, her nightgown fluttering around her ankles. The woman flicked a switch on the wall and light flooded the room, illuminating the books and eclectic collection of furniture. She moved sleepily across the room to the vanity mirror and sat at the bench. She picked up an old red book, the title of which was obscured by her hands. The woman's mouth moved as if she were speaking to the book. Jareth could hear no sound in the crystal, but he turned it slightly so he could see her more clearly and read her lips.
"I can't, don't you see I can't?" She said to the mirror. "What a pity," she continued. The woman flipped backwards several pages and spoke again.
"You're him, aren't you? You're the Goblin King?" The woman's lips moved slowly, as if she were reluctant to let go of the words. Jareth nearly dropped the crystal in shock. She turned nearly to the end of the book and began to speak, clutching the book close to her face and widening her eyes. It was clear whatever she said next was something she said frequently and something important to her.
"Just fear me, love me, do as I say," Jareth mouthed the words along with her, "and I will be your slave." He winced in anticipation of the words he knew came next, the words that undid everything, but they never came. She put the book down and hugged her knees to her chest in the fetal position. The woman seemingly looked straight at Jareth, though he knew she was just looking somewhere else in the room.
"Yes," she said. She put her legs down back into a normal sitting position and swept her rumpled hair over her shoulder. "I wish I had said…no, no." She bit her lip and then looked sternly at her reflection in the vanity mirror.
"I said no. And I will keep saying no until I can sleep at night," she said to herself. "Until I can sleep. It was all a dream. It was all just a dream."
Jareth was about two seconds from appearing in her room and convincing Sarah that none of it had been a dream when a young boy walked into her room. He said something Jareth couldn't see, and Sarah stood up.
"It's okay, it was all a dream, everything will be fine," she said and hugged the boy. "Do you want to talk about it?" she asked him. He shook his head. Jareth saw how much he looked like Sarah. He had thick brown hair and her eyes, but his cheeks and jaw were different. He was a sturdy boy of about six. His eyes, so much like Sarah's, were filled with tears. "It was all a dream," Sarah said. She ruffled his hair and smiled kindly at the boy. He turned and left the room.
"It was all a dream, Sarah," she said to herself. "None of it was real-not Hoggle or Ludo or, or…"
"Say it," Jareth whispered.
"Or any of it," Sarah finished, giving her reflection another stern look. She walked back across the room and stood next to the light switch, contemplating it. After a moment she shook her head. Sarah went over to the closed window, slammed the curtains apart and opened the window as wide as it would open. She gazed sleepily out the window at the tree outside. Then she shook in laughter. Jareth turned the crystal so he could see her profile rather than the back of her head.
"I must look odd," She said to the window. "If someone could watch me, I mean. I'm kept up every night by dreams about a dream I had when I was fifteen. Every night I read bits from an old play. Every night I open this window and hope…" She trailed off. "I'll close it tonight." Sarah said decisively. She stood and made as if to close the window, then shook her head vehemently and sat back down. "Tomorrow night. I'll close it tomorrow night, and I won't keep waking up from these dreams," she promised the window. She left it open and went back to bed, turning off the light on her way.
Jareth made the crystal disappear and sat thoughtfully in the chair for a moment. Then, he stood and crossed to the window. For a reason he didn't fully understand, he pulled apart the curtains and opened the window onto the cold, Underground night.
Let us hope no one steals Sarah's copy of Labyrinth while the window is open. Muahaha. Ahem.
If you have the time, review and I will love you forever.
Happy bleated birthday to Ron Weasley and Justin Bieber. I hope you both continue to have epic haircuts.