AN: *digs toe in dirt* Yes, its another song fic, and another Goo Goo Dolls song. I kinda saw
a concert and am even more obsessed so... LOL You guys don't *have* to read the lyrics...
Hehe... This story was actually kinda tough to write, dunno why. I'm not sure if I'm pleased
with it or not. I'd love to get some second and third and fourth opinions. So go ahead, read
it, and let me know... *shoo, shoo*

Disclaimer: I own neither Jareth, Sarah, or the Goo Goo Dolls. Damn, three strikes and I'm
out. By the way, the Goo's new cd is *awesome*! It grows on you... *winks*



********************************* Long Way Down **************************************


*Oh here you are, there's nothing left to say
You're not supposed to be that way
Did they push you out? did they throw you away?*


Sarah knelt in the cool grass as dusk drew the day to a close. Knelt by the lake she had
played by and cried at for years. Knelt under the weeping willow with its gently swaying
limbs. Knelt in the sharp breeze of approaching fall. Knelt and carefully gathered the man
in her arms.

She had grown in the years since he had last seen her. Grown and blossomed and became someone
different. Someone more.

Her fingers were soft as they traced the cuts on his sharply defined face. As they traced the
lines of his cheekbones and lips and dark, arching brows. They closed the fluttering eyes and
smoothed down the tangled ashen hair. His fantastic collar was absently straightened, his
velvet vest re-buttoned.

"Oh Jareth..." Her rich warm voice was heady as vintage wine and breathless as a sigh. Her
two words held a world of regret. She didn't ask how he had come, or why. Didn't ask about
his scars and injuries.

Didn't say anything else at all.

He was lighter than any man should have been, though his burden was en emotional one. Sarah
tried not to let herself dwell on the vulnerability she saw in his regal face. Tried not to
wonder as the Goblin King let her carry him, carefully, oh so carefully, home.


*Touch me now and I don't care
When you take me I'm not there
Almost human, but I'll never be the same*



Jareth hissed as the antiseptic stung his tender flesh. His jaw clenched but he said nothing
as Sarah continued her ministrations. As she cleaned and bathed and bound each and every
wound.

She worked in silence, head bowed, her hair a curtain of amber and sable that hid her face.
She was beautiful though. More beautiful than he had thought possible. Beautiful like the
earth... Vibrant and alive and somehow, no matter how real she seemed, untouchable.

He watched her. Watched her with his unblinking stare. With a gaze that was sapphire and
emerald threaded with silver. Watched her deft fingers cool and soothe his inflamed skin.
Watched as he was swathed in bandages of white that made his pale skin stand out even more so,
her tanned fingers a frightening contrast.

She gave him something to drink, and pills to take with it. Jareth didn't question her. He
drank obediently, medicine and all. She flashed him a sad, understanding smile and gave his
face a half caress before slipping from the room, the door closing soundlessly behind her.

Left to his own devices, he stared in mild, dulled curiosity around the room. At the airy
windows that let dawn wash him golden. At the white linen curtains and the walls, painted a
soft yellow, that were adorned with landscapes filled with flowers and waterfalls and white
picket fences.

Long, slender fingers, once so strong, grasped the sky blue comforter. He stared at his hands
dispassionately. Lifted them up to his face and inspected the wide palms, the brittle nails.
He swallowed and looked away. Sleep claimed him as the sun confidently claimed the sky.


*Long way down, I don't think I'll make it on my own
Long way down, I don't want to live in here alone
Long way down, I don't think I'll make it on my own*


He sat, still as death, on the porch swing. Jareth gazed out at the mortal world, face a study
of cool disdain and mild interest. Children played in the yard across the street. A dog barked
from a yard several houses away. The paper boy sped by on his red, red bike, running late, as
he threw a tattered paper at the porch steps.

The dog at the once King's feet whined softly, his shaggy tail thumping slightly. Jareth
glanced down and met the creature's warm brown eyes. He reached absently down and patted the
great monstrous head. Merlin's tongue lulled out in contentment as Jareth scratched behind his
ears.

Sarah watched, silent, from behind the screen door. Watched the man who had ruled her dreams as
he quietly rocked away his life... dressed in faded jeans and a soft gray t-shirt two sizes too
small, one of Toby's extras from when he deigned to visit. Watched as every day the scars grew
lighter and lighter on his fair skin. Watched as his soulful eyes grew no less haunted.

Her jaw tightened. Jareth had been King.

It was a long way to fall.


*I never put you down, I never pushed you away
You're not supposed to be that way
And anything you want, there's nothing I could say*


He watched her as she moved, graceful, serene, so mature. He watched her as she cooked dinner
in sandals and a cotton sundress, a pristine white apron tied around a slim waist. Watched as
yet another meal was created by her deft fingers.

Watched as she made lemonade and a casserole, as she fed Merlin, her only companion in this big,
empty, deserted house. Watched how her face was light, lit, as he remembered it, from within.
Watched as she hummed to herself... as they ate in a silence Jareth never sought to break.
Watched as she cleared the table and washed the dishes.

And when he could stand no more he rose and went into the living room. He spun as a lilting
voice filled the room.

Sarah regarded him thoughtfully from the kitchen doorway. She held a radio tucked under one
arm which she placed on the coffee table.

He stared at her as if she was alien when she extended her hand. Jareth met her calm eyes and
he knew they were both remembering another stolen dance shared. The once Goblin King expelled a
breath and slowly closed the distance between them, giving her the time she needed should she
want to retreat.

Sarah moved closer as he clasped her hands and drew her to his side. They danced just as
slowly, in comfortable silence, as artificial voices poured from the cheap speakers to drown
out the world and the ghosts that plagued them both.


*Is there anything to feel?
Is it pain that makes you real?
Cut me off before it kills me*


Sarah swallowed as the opened the door. There were lines clearly drawn between them that
weren't to be crossed. And she was crossing them all right now.

It was night, dark, as dark as it had been the first time she had seen him, when he had blown
into her life with glitter and moonbeams and the telltale smell of cinnamon and magic. Jareth
cried out in his sleep, rough, hoarse yells that pierced the suburban quiet of the house and
neighborhood. He thrashed, skin white against the blue, blue sheets, gripped in a nightmare or
memory that Sarah wanted no part of.

But she could not leave him to his pain. To his terror. She had learned compassion in their
time apart.

Before she could question herself further Sarah crossed the room and perched on the side of the
wide, wide bed. She whispered soft assurances as her steady hands stilled his struggling. As
her lips kissed his brow and brought him slowly, slowly to the world he lived in now.

Jareth quieted beneath her as his breathing steadied. His eyes snapped opened after a moment
and they stared at each other in the silence that had become so much apart of their lives.

He gripped her tightly and surged up like a bird seeking flight. He brought his mouth to hers,
bruising, needing, desperate to banish the shadows and the darkness that held him in torment.

Their tears mingled as Sarah gave him what she could.


*Long way down, I don't think I'll make it on my own
Long way down, I don't want to live in here alone
Long way down, I don't think I'll make it on my own*


He woke with dawn, warm and surrounded by a softness that would rival velvet or silk. Sarah was
cradled by his side, their limbs a contrast of light and dark. She slept soundly, quietly, as
she did all things.

He studied her gravely and shook his head, baffled once again by the mortal who was so had been
so many things to him... enemy, conquest, comforter, lover. To live so brief yet to be so much,
it boggled the mind.

He rose, careful not to disturb her slumber. Rose and dressed in sweat pants and a tank top.
He got the morning paper and fed the dog and when Sarah finally stumbled down the stairs she was
greeted with coffee and slightly burnt toast.

She ate what he gave her, wordlessly, but there was a speculative, questioning look in her
eyes. Jareth ignored her for the most part. He was grateful when she said nothing as he
grabbed the leash and took Merlin for a walk.

She found them hours later, sitting by the pond. The dog was sleeping soundly at Jareth's feet
as he searched the still, still waters for answers. Surprisingly enough, they held none.

"I... I found you here," Sarah said. Jareth's strange, dark gaze flickered to her for a moment
before glancing around, settling briefly on the weeping willow that swayed overhead before
returning to the lake.

"I know," he replied, simply enough. She sat warily beside him, knees drawn to her chin.
Hours later, as the moon bathed the world in silver, his cool, cool hand reached out and
grasped hers. The three sat that way until yet another birth of day.


*I never put you down, I never pushed you away
Take another piece of me
Give my mind a new disease
And the black and white world never fades to gray*


"Is life always this hard?"

Sarah turned, half guilty, to find Jareth leaning nonchalantly against the doorframe of her
old room. She held the Labyrinth book in her arms and the title gleamed dully in the
artificial light.

"I..." Sarah smiled weakly. "Yes."

"Then sometimes I wonder if I ever lived at all." He entered the room. Walked, pace measured,
as his keen gaze picked out the worn bear dubbed Lancelot, and the music box, and the plastic
figure that reminded him so much of the man he used to be. His hands reached out, carefully,
to trail lines in the dust of forgotten dreams, in the loss of magic and realms and... and
kingdoms. Jareth paused as his hands clenched into fists.

"What does a King do when he is no longer a King?"

He turned to face her. Sarah shook her head, long, beautiful hair flowing in response to the
movement. Distracted, Jareth watched it tumble.

"Learn to live?" she asked, rich voice soft and unsure.

His piercing gaze pinned hers in a moment. "Alone?" Jareth demanded and was ridiculously
relieved at the laughter in her face.

"No," Sarah replied firmly. Her face was solemn though as she gently set the tattered red book
on the bed she used to sleep in. It lay forgotten as she stepped forward and cupped the scarred
cheeks of the once Goblin King. "Never alone..."

Jareth smiled and it was fierce but unshadowed by all the things he had suffered. "Good."

The Labyrinth was forgotten and life went on. Jareth and Sarah lived, as happily as they could,
in the yellow room with blue cotton sheets... Dancing in the living room, swinging on the
porch, sitting quietly, when memories disturbed their tranquility, by the lake, Merlin at their
feet.


*Long way down, I don't think I'll make it on my own
Long way down, I don't want to live in here alone
Long way down, I don't think I'll make it on my own*


And he was never alone again.