A/N: I didn't want to wait for my beta – not that she makes me wait – I just had to post this. All mistakes are mine and not the lovely JHaines. I'm also skipping out on my pre-reader – don't be pissed Ree. I love you! Thanks for being so patient with me, dear reader. RL has been a major pain in my ass and I seriously had to just take a break. BUT, hopefully I'm back now and you're still with me?
Warning – angst. This is taking a huge jump from the happy crap I had last chapter. But, I promise – the end of this chapter is well worth the sadness. WELL WORTH!
It saddened Her to watch them move like ghosts day by day as both seemed to be healing from something or another. When the girl was returned She could feel the distance in her life force, the small flame nearly snuffed as Her king's life force dimmed as well.
Something was wrong inside of Her walls and she was terrified to think this was the beginning of the End. As time passed as it always did Underground, She could feel the girl's energy strengthen, her light burning nearly as brightly as before – with a new strength that rivaled Her own. Yet, Her king's stayed low and cold.
Time was now measured by her breaths, her growth, her healing yet it was slowed by his rage, his anger, and his pain. She was so confused, so bewildered. What could make Her king so hateful now that she was progressing as only a true Champion would?
And then She felt it – the darkness that seemed to seep from the very bowels of the castle – the blackness that shrouded Her king's eyes when he would find it in him to grace Her with his presence. The evil that nearly brought their Champion to an early grave.
Her king to his, as well…
It was a pleasant surprise when the two began to talk and spend time together – even share small romantic moments now and again, but that didn't last as Her king made his biggest mistake yet…
It angered Her to see the change in Her king once he came back from taking care of the runner. Afraid of what the girl would say or do, he distanced himself. Acted as if his sweetness, his kisses meant nothing. Paying no mind to the broken shell of the girl who was once actually happy again.
Damn him for being so flighty with his heart, She bristled – the winds whipping through her fortified walls. And yet, now that she is here – healthy and beautiful – you torture yourself. What am I to do?
"It would do you well not to lose your senses, dear one." Jareth appeared in the center of a small courtyard, glaring at a beautiful alabaster statue depicting a pixie of a woman, water running from her breasts into the fountain below her. With a shimmer, the statue softened, the stone features coming alive - her hair the brightest of reds spiking out of her scalp, her eyes popping open to show emerald depths that swirled with liquid fire. Her nude form wrapped in a delicate white satin ribbon, starting at her neck, wrapping around her breasts, falling down to wrap around her hips only to spiral around her left leg and end at her ankle. He had the good sense to stand down from his dangerously rigid stance.
"How dare you! How dare you keep her at a distance now that she has accepted you – her kingdom – and her life in the Underground? How dare you torture yourself, kill yourself, simply because you are too prideful." She seethed, stepping nearer with each accusation. "I may be the Labyrinth incarnate, but without Her king what shall I do, your Majesty? Wither away to nothing? My power may seem limitless, but trust in me when I say that is absolutely not the case."
Jareth rolled his eyes at the pixie before him. "Please, Aria, you wound me! I see not what you are so worried about. The girl is still recovering from her attack. I can't very well walk up to her and inform her she is destined to be my queen, my wife… my lover, when she can't even stand to be touched in the slightest sense! I am attempting to keep her from going insane, thank you very much…"
Ariadne's eyes grew wide and finding absolutely no other way she lunged at her king and wrapped her dainty hand around his strong throat. As Jareth's eyes grew wide she smiled. "See with your eyes, my king, not your 'sensibilities'."
Sarah's tears as she cried herself asleep absolutely afraid and alone.
Her fitful sleep.
Her tired eyes.
Her broken heart.
He did that to her, not I, Ariadne, you'd do right by remembering that.
Shh, you dimwit!
"Jareth, please… Why won't you talk to me? Really talk to me? Anything? Yell if you have to. What have I done?"
Dinners shared, yet alone.
Sarah staring out over the labyrinth, tears trailing down her pale face, judging the distance from rail to ground.
Oh, but she would my king. She feels she's tainted to you, not worthy of love…
Have you done anything to make her feel otherwise?
"Sarah, give him time. He feels you need your own because of what happened to you. You are the only one in this castle who has ever seen the inside of that library you speak of. That must mean something to you." Brie held Sarah's hands as she wept.
"No he won't, he wants nothing to do with me. I'm a terrible wife, a terrible… I never got to be a mother… I killed my own child, Brie! I couldn't protect him… I'm not worthy of love, I ruin all that I love…"
"No, that's not true…" Brie cried – for Sarah and for her fear of losing her new friend.
"Perhaps Hoggle will understand and give me something…you know…to help."
"I beg of you! Just a little more time."
If she wants to die so badly I'll gladly give her just that – it isn't as if I have to stay on much longer afterward… I'd follow her.
And what will happen to me? Your subjects? All those poor children…
I'll bring that bastard back just to kill him again, Aria. I swear to all that is holy I will…
The determination you have, my king, needs to be put to a much better use. Go to her, go to her before he wins after all… Ariadne released her king's throat and stared into his miss-matched eyes that glistened with unshed tears. She had only seen him this upset twice in his life – when Sarah denied him, and once before that – it broke her heart to see him this way. "Please, go to her."
Jareth looked once more at his oldest friend and with the slightest of nods, he was gone.
Sarah watched the sunset from her perch on her balcony, attempting for the millionth time to come up with a reason to see the next sunrise. John had taken so much from her and she feared she was worthless now, that Jareth would see reason and send her back Aboveground where she had absolutely nothing left. Here she at least had a few friends, but yet she had to see him… The man she'd loved since she first laid eyes on him, only she was too young to know what those feelings were deep down inside.
Watching him traipse through this place with little more than a glance my way… What happens when he finds a queen? What will happen to me then? New tears poured from her dying green eyes as reality began to sink in further and further. "I'm nothing…" She whispered.
Sarah spun, her hand over her throat strangling a scream. Jareth looked at her and choked back a sob. It was the hardest thing to see her battered and broken body that fateful night, but it was damn near impossible to see her battered and broken spirit through her dead eyes. He hadn't noticed it before – the sunken look of her face, the wisp of a body under her wrinkled dress… How long had he blinded himself? How long had he been killing them both?
Taking a step toward her, he watched as she cringed into herself. He stopped, only to breath and steady himself. "I can hear your dreams…" He whispered as he searched her eyes. "Do you feel the way I do, Precious? If you don't I will make sure to keep my distance, say 'I love you' when you're not listening…"
"What?" Finally, a glimmer deep in the back of her eyes, her tight hold on herself slipped and she began to fall. Jareth moved quick enough to catch her only to fall to his knees.
"What have I done?" He begged.
"Please…don't…" She cried, fighting his grip on her. "I'm afraid of what you'll see right now…"
"Sarah, please, I have given you everything I am, and I'll continue to do so until you understand that my broken heart only beats for you." He said, his lips brushing her ear as he held her tightly. He felt weak body tremble in his strong embrace.
"I've been waiting for you to take me – to do something – but you just keep waiting…for what I have no idea. I've tried to show you how much I appreciate all you've done for me, how much I lo…love you…" Sarah sobbed, gripping his shirt in her tight fists. "I've just nearly given up." She breathed.
Jareth pushed back just enough to see into her eyes – to see if she was giving him permission – with no words he ran a gloved hand up her back, to her neck, to cup her face in his hand. Eyeing her once more, he found his answers there, and he brought his lips to hers.
The world seemed to stop as he kissed his Champion. His heart seemed to grow beyond its cage and burst into a million pieces, only to reassemble somewhere inside of her and when she whispered his name against his lips he found a new strength and raised them from the cold ground only to lie his Sarah on her bed. "Please…"
"What do you want from me, love?" He asked, barely containing his raw fear of her turning him away.
With the flick of his wrist they were bare before each other, running their hands over each other's bodies – memorizing everything. "I love you, my queen, I love you with everything I have." He worshipped her body with his mouth and his bare hands, caressing every inch of her as she writhed beneath his touch, crying out for all he could give.
Reaching down he felt how ready she was for him and with one more pleading glance he filled her completely. "Oh!" Sarah gasped, her eyes squeezing shut, a lone tear falling as she gripped his shoulders and wrapped her legs around him. Kissing her tears away he began to move within her, barely able to control himself.
She felt perfect – he fit perfectly within her – and he could feel himself healing as he rocked them. "It has only ever been you, my Champion. I gave you my heart in the ballroom and have been empty ever since."
"Jareth," As her stomach coiled and her body burned from each thrust she could feel something happening to her heart – it was breaking in half, but not in a painful way – it was too big for her body. "I love you, I've always loved you!" She cried as a light burst from her chest and disappeared into his as they both reached their peak. With a shocked scream she clenched down around him causing him to roar and spill into her with a shudder.
"My love, my queen, my wife…" He whispered as he rolled them so she was lying on his chest. "I am sorry I've hurt you so."
"Promise me to never be distant again." She said, kissing his chest above his heart – her heart.
With a satisfied smirk, Ariadne went back to her half-life – somewhere between the living and the resting – taking her place above the fountain so she might feed her kingdom it's life's nectar. I won't be the only one making magic tonight, She smiled.
A/N: Please be gentle. This was NOT the plan, but I was listening to something and this just HAPPENED. Blame Christina Perri's Distance…not me. O_o Please leave me a contribution in the little box!