Seven Minutes in Heaven
Characters/Pairings: Sarah, Jareth, OC; Sarah/Jareth
Rating: M for a precision F-strike and adult situations
Disclaimer: Labyrinth belongs to the Jim Henson Company and Sony Pictures. Used without permission. The plot of this story is completely fan made for entertainment purposes only.
Author's Note: My muse, the fickle bitch that she is, has gleefully abandoned other projects for this plot bunny. Not that I blame her, this was ridiculously fun to write and my first completed foray into the world of the Labyrinth fandom. I'm rather enjoying it here. I have no idea where this specific plot bunny came from, only that once it nestled itself into my brain I had no other option but to write it down. Two days of writing and one day of editing have produced this. I hope you enjoy it.
The last thing that Sarah Williams heard as she was shoved into a closet in her friend Elizabeth's house was the mad giggling of her so-called friends. And they were "so-called friends" for shoving her into a closet with an unknown guy and then blocking the door with a chair so she couldn't get out.
"Come on, this isn't funny!" Sarah protested as she banged on the door in a futile attempt to get her friends to let her out. "Let me out of here!"
"We can't do that," Elizabeth sing-songed from the other side. "The game is Seven Minutes in Heaven and you're playing whether you like it or not!"
"That's not fair!" Sarah cried to the fading laughter of her friends. They were walking away, leaving her locked in a closet with a stranger in a secluded part of the house.
"You say that so often," a smooth voice observed from the darkness. "I wonder what your basis comparison is."
Sarah felt the blood drain from her face as she slowly turned in the closet, the darkness revealing nothing. But she knew that voice, hell, she knew that line. She swallowed. "Goblin King?" she whispered.
"The one and only." She swore she could see his smirk in the dark. "At first I was understandably upset at being roughly shoved into a closet without an explanation, but things are looking much, much more agreeable now."
"Why are you even here?" Sarah managed to ask. If she could keep him talking, and Jareth was rather fond of the sound of his own voice, then she could avoid a possibly uncomfortable situation. Right now it was merely awkward. "Don't you have goblins you could be kicking?"
"Sarah, Sarah, Sarah." He chuckled and she suppressed a shiver at the sound. "I was simply walking around. I find the Aboveground intriguing and visit from time to time. I was invited to this party by a group of girls who thought, and I quote, that 'a dishy guy' like me could liven things up a little. I was bored and a college party was the more attractive option at the time."
"Okay, so how did I not see you before now?" she asked him, crossing her arms defensively against her chest and hoping that she could melt into the wall.
"I have no idea." She could hear the shrug in his voice. "Anyway, I was talking to some rather daft fellows and then the next thing I knew I was being shoved in the closet. I was about to make my displeasure known but then you were shoved in and I decided that perhaps this is not the worst place to be at the moment."
"So you have no idea why we're in here?" she asked hopefully.
"None at all," he sighed.
There was a pause and then he asked, "Do you know why we're in here?"
"It's a stupid game. If we wait long enough they'll let us out."
"And what exactly are the rules of this game, Sarah?"
She wanted to pout in silence and ignore him, but for some strange reason she felt compelled to answer. Damn her conscience. "It's called Seven Minutes in Heaven. The idea is you shove two people into a closet and they're supposed to kiss for seven minutes." She could see the Cheshire cat grin on his face clearly in her mind.
"Really." He sounded way too amused by this revelation. "Well, I for one believe that all games should be played, especially when the rules are so clearly laid out."
Sarah let out a soft "eep" before trying to find the far corner of the closet. Hell, she'd settle for Narnia at this point. She found herself pressed up against several winter coats and decided they were better protection than nothing at all.
"Now, now, Sarah love, wrapping yourself in those coats is childish. I promise you, I don't bite…hard."
"This isn't happening!" Sarah whimpered softly before squeaking in a rather undignified manner when a hand caressed her face. "Stop touching me…please…"
"I'm afraid I can't do that. By the rules of the game, we should be having a proper snog right about now."
"Oh God, this isn't happening."
"I'm very much afraid it is." He chuckled. "What are you frightened of? That you'll like it?" He carefully peeled the coats away from her. "You're not a child any more, Sarah, and I think you should stop acting like it."
"You're right, I'm not a child anymore," Sarah ground out, pushing him away from her. She tried not to think about how soft the fabric of his shirt was against her fingers. Knowing him, it was probably silk. "I say that you can't touch me, so you should respect my wishes and stay on your side of the closet."
"I would, but you know how I am about games and rules Sarah. You know all too well," he purred in her ear as he leaned in once more.
Sarah flailed in the dark, trying to push him away from her again. She felt the soft fabric of his shirt, and then buttery smooth leather of his pants. Oh dear Lord, he was wearing leather pants. "Leather pants?" she managed to squeak out.
"Disappointed I'm not wearing the tights you seemed to fancy in your youth?" he asked gleefully.
"No," she squeaked again. Damn, she really had to stop doing that.
"Well, I find the leather works just as well," he chuckled.
"Please, I…I can't do this," she murmured softly, her mind and heart racing at his proximity.
"And why ever not?" His tone was cool and imperious.
"Listen, I'm sorry that my friends dragged you into this stupid game. You should just go back to the Underground now, it'll be for the best."
"Oh? What makes you think that? What if I want to play this little game your friends have dragged me into?"
Sarah let out a hollow laugh. "Why? What's so special about me?"
"Well, you're you, to start. I'm not someone to be trifled with, Sarah, and you have trifled with me something fierce." His voice was hard. "I get what I want, except you."
She groaned. "This isn't happening," she muttered for what felt like the millionth time.
"I assure you it is. And why are you surprised that I would want to kiss you?" Her silence answered him, and he sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "I care about you more than I have every cared for anyone else. You were innocent back then, but you're hardly innocent now. And I would be lying if I said that I wasn't looking forward to completing your corruption."
"And how do you know that my corruption isn't already complete?" she sassed back.
He let out a dark chuckle. "Not in the way I was thinking, you precious thing." He moved his face to hover right in front of hers. "Really, would it be so bad for us to kiss?"
Unfortunately, Sarah didn't have a good answer to that. More than once she had woken up in the middle of the night with his name on her lips and a terrible ache in her heart for him. Her childhood villain was more than that – he was also the measure she used for every man she had ever considered a romantic relationship with. Jareth was not someone to trifle with to be sure, but he wasn't as bad as she had initially made him out to be. He did what she asked, and while he was a pompous ass he wasn't necessarily evil. He was dangerous and beautiful and powerful and, in her eyes, perfect.
"I see you have no answer for me," he noted dryly. "Honestly, we've been in here for several minutes already, we might as well do something to pass the time. How's young Toby?"
At the mention of her brother, Sarah bristled. "He's fine," she answered tersely.
"All right," Jareth drawled, "that's obviously a touchy subject. How's school?"
She rolled her eyes, not that he could see. "Fine."
"Sarah, our potential topics for conversation are running low and if we can't find another way to occupy ourselves, we're going to be trapped in here in an awkward silence until your friends decide to let us out."
She scowled. "You could get out of here right now if you wanted."
"That's true, but then your friends would question you about my escape and you can't tell them the truth, can you?"
Damn, she hated it when he was right. "Okay, fine. You've made your point. Now what?"
"Well, we either find something to talk about for the duration of this game, or we play by the rules." She knew he was smirking at her. "I'm all for playing by the rules."
A war raged within Sarah. Part of her didn't want to give him the satisfaction, but it was losing to the part of her that genuinely curious to know what it would be like to kiss him. She took a deep breath and then slowly released it. "I suppose…I suppose it wouldn't kill us to at least share one little kiss," she conceded.
"Just a little one?"
"Yes," she answered firmly. Before she could stipulate what constituted a little kiss, Jareth's lips were on her own. It was gentle and dare she say timid, the way his lips moved against hers. There was nothing hard or rough or haughty in the kiss, if anything Jareth seemed every bit as uncertain and nervous as Sarah felt.
They parted after a spell and Sarah fought to keep her emotions in check. Her mind was whirling with thoughts and emotions. Kissing Jareth had not been terrible. He hadn't pushed her too fast. He had seemed nervous about the whole ordeal. She was pretty sure her lips were tingling and as far as kisses went theirs had been pretty tame. Perhaps the most significant thought, though, was that she wanted to kiss him again, and not just the chaste pressing of lips together.
"Well," Jareth breathed, "I suppose that will have to-"
He was cut off when Sarah reached out and grabbed his face, pulling him towards her. Her lips crashed into his for a moment before she attempted to deepen the kiss. The Goblin King, startled as he was, was not stupid and went along with her. Sarah initiating the kiss meant that she was acting of her own will. Though sheer determination he pulled his lips from hers, and she nearly whimpered in protest until he kissed her jaw up to her ear, and then down her neck to her shoulder. "By the gods, Sarah, do you have any idea what you do to me?" he said between ragged breaths.
Seeing as he was wearing leather pants and pressed intimately against her, Sarah was very aware of what she did to him. She let out a soft groan of pleasure as his hands trailed from her shoulders down to her hips, lingering on the swell of her breasts for perhaps a bit longer than necessary. "Jareth," she finally said in a breathy whisper.
Jareth froze. She had never used his name. Oh sure, she had said it in her sleep but it was one thing to say someone's name unconsciously and another thing entirely to use it intentionally. Names had power, and for her to use his…
"Shut up and kiss me, Jareth," she commanded, effectively cutting off whatever heartfelt confession he was about to make.
Who was Jareth to disobey what his lady demanded? He dove recklessly into the whirlpool that was Sarah, memorizing her feel and her scent, and knowing that he would never, could never, love anyone else. He would be lucky if she ever let him this close to her again.
In the darkness of the closet, their sense of time was gone. They had no way to know how long they were in there, how much of their seven minutes had elapsed. Sarah briefly wondered if Jareth had manipulated time to extend their time in the closet, especially after he was informed of what the game was. However she was content to kiss him in the dark, her hands tangled in his hair, and ignore the very real possibility that Jareth had somehow orchestrated this whole ordeal.
After what felt like an eternity they parted, both breathing hard. Sarah felt Jareth press his forehead against hers and then nuzzle her nose with his. "That was spectacular," he murmured softly. She made a soft hum of agreement. "How long do you think we've been in here?" he asked.
"I don't know," she answered quietly. "It feels like longer than seven minutes, though. You haven't re-ordered time on me, have you?" The accusation was gentle and teasing.
He snorted. "I have done no such thing. Most likely your friends have forgotten us."
"So-called friends," she corrected as he moved away from her. "True friends would have never locked me in a closet with a guy they picked up on the street. What if you had been a serial killer?"
"But I am not, so you're lucky in that regard," Jareth answered smugly. She heard him shifting in the dark before it fell silent again.
"What are you doing?"
"Sitting, because I refuse to stand any longer," he answered. She heard him toss a shoe to the side. "You may join me if you'd like."
Groping in the dark, Sarah felt her way over to where he sat. Her hand connected with the toe of his boot first, and she followed that up to his leg, and up his leg to his hips, which was when he had decided that enough was enough and hauled her into his lap. She settled in and nuzzled his neck. "I wonder how long it'll take them until they remember we're in here."
"Hard to say," he answered. "Honestly, I'm fine with being stuck in here."
"Well good for you, but I would like to get out at some point. I don't relish the idea of sleeping in here," she retorted sharply.
He chuckled at her irritation. "I could get us out right now if that is what you truly want. Just say the right words, Sarah."
"No way. Words have power, sure, but I also know that it's never as easy as just wishing for something, it's always tit for tat," she said. "If I wished myself out of here, you'd expect something in return and I'd rather not take my chances with that, thank you."
He pressed a kiss against her forehead. "Not the rash little girl anymore, eh?"
She snorted. "Hardly."
"Well, we'll just have to get comfortable and wait it out. I'm sure they'll notice us missing sooner or later," he assured her, but part of him wondered if they had gotten caught up in something and had truly forgotten about their friend in the closet.
As it turned out, Jareth's suspicion was correct, and as Elizabeth and her friends had sent everyone else home and started cleaning up the mess left behind, they found a closet blocked by a chair placed strategically under the handle.
"Oh my God!" Elizabeth screeched as she raced down the hall to the closet. "Sarah! Sarah!"
The other girls ran to see what the fuss was about, only to all start blushing in embarrassment for forgetting that they had locked their friend in a closet with that hot stranger nearly three hours before. Elizabeth shoved the chair aside and yanked the door open to reveal that the hot guy was giving her a grumpy glare and Sarah fast asleep in his lap. He raised a finger to his lips before gently shaking the sleeping woman in his lap.
"Sarah?" he said softly. "Time to wake up, Sarah."
She moaned softly before her eyes fluttered open. Flooded by the harsh light from hallway, she buried her face in his neck. "What?" she mumbled.
"Your so-called friends have decided that it's finally time to let us out," he informed her.
Sarah went from sleepy to wide awake in record time. With a hellacious shriek she launched herself from Jareth's lap at Elizabeth, pinning her friend against the wall. "What the hell is wrong with you?" Sarah demanded. "How long have we been in that damn closet?"
"About three hours?" Elizabeth hesitantly replied.
With another shriek she pulled Elizabeth away from the wall and slammed her against it again. "And what the fuck have you been doing for those three hours?"
"I'm really sorry, Sarah!" Elizabeth gasped. "We got to playing a game and it wasn't until everyone else went home and we started to clean up that I saw the chair blocking the closet door and remembered that you were in there with Hottie McTightpants."
Jareth looked less than amused by his new nickname.
"Did you know anything about him before you locked me in there? What if he was a serial killer? Or a rapist? What then, huh?" Sarah's fury was unlike anything Jareth had ever seen before. He had seen her disdainful and petulant and annoyed, but he had never seen her wrath and he hoped that it would never be directed at him. "I could be dead right now! You're just lucky that Jareth, dubious as he is, believes in fair play." She paused. "Mostly, anyway."
"Jareth? Hottie McTightpants has a name?" Elizabeth said, looking over Sarah's shoulder to where the Goblin King was leaning casually against the doorjamb of the closet.
Sarah growled in her throat and looked like she was about to beat her friend into a pulp when she felt a hand on her shoulder. "Come now, Sarah. Violence doesn't become you. Let me walk you home."
All of the anger in Sarah dissipated with Jareth's touch. She wasn't sure if he had used his magic to calm her or if it was merely his presence, but she gave a tense nod before turning on her heel and marching towards the front door. Jareth gave her so-called friends one last glare before following her. He found Sarah standing on the front walk, looking up at the moon. "Thanks for stopping me back there. I can't believe they did that. I've known most of them since high school. The summer is the only time we really get to see each other because we all go to different colleges and we usually have these parties once a week. This is the first time they've ever done anything like that, though."
"So you're not in the habit of being locked in closets with strange men, then?"
Sarah laughed as they started down the sidewalk. "No more than I am in the habit of falling into oubliettes. Honestly, I actually felt like I had fallen into the oubliette again. I kept waiting for Hoggle to appear and show me the way out."
"Only to take you back to the beginning," he reminded her.
"That's what you think," she answered back with a smug smile. She took a moment to study him. He was dressed in a cream colored silk shirt with the top two buttons undone, showing smooth white skin underneath and the glint of his pendant in the moonlight. She was right about the leather pants, though they weren't tight so much as they were snug. A pair of motorcycle boots completed the look. His hair wasn't as big as she remembered, but that could be because it was pulled into a messy ponytail at the nape of his neck. He looked good. Hell, he looked better than good.
"Like what you see?" he teased.
She nudged him playfully with her elbow. "I suppose you're not as heinous as I had originally thought."
"Heinous? You thought I was heinous?" He looked completely offended by Sarah's confession.
"Let me see, you're the Goblin King, and even if I did wish for it you took my baby brother and then put me through ten hours of hell to get him back. What was I supposed to think? That you were some sort of dashing prince charming offering me everything?"
Jareth considered arguing the point with her, but realized that it was futile. He was hardly prince charming and he knew it. He had offered her everything, though. "Prince charming I am not, Sarah, but I did genuinely offer you everything."
"Oh yes, that's very wise," she snorted. "Offer a fifteen year old girl everything she thinks she wants. I didn't know what I wanted then. I thought I knew, but I've grown up. I live in the real world now."
"Left your fairytales behind then, have you?"
"Not entirely," she conceded, "but I also know that I can't pretend that I'm a princess being held in the tower by my wicked step-mother, just waiting to be rescued. I had to rescue myself. I'm okay with moving forward, because it means I'm no longer trapped in the past."
"You really aren't a child anymore," he lamented. "Your innocence is completely gone."
"Does that bother you?"
"No, not really. Innocence is sometimes a good thing to have, but in my world it often is a sign of weakness. I don't know if I could handle you as a weakling, Sarah."
"I don't think that I could handle myself as a weakling," she agreed.
As they turned the corner onto Sarah's street, they slowed their pace. The porch light was off at the house, which was odd. Her father always kept it on when Sarah was out, and she would turn it off when she got in as a signal that she had made it home safely. She wanted to delay her parting with Jareth, and having the porch light off could do that.
"How many years has it been?" Jareth asked suddenly.
"How many years since when?"
"Since you defeated my labyrinth," he clarified.
"Oh." Sarah took a deep breath. "Seven years."
"Seven years. Really? For some reason it felt longer than that."
She allowed herself to laugh at him. "Sometimes it feels like an eternity ago," she agreed, "but I'm just barely twenty-two so it really hasn't been that long."
"Yet long enough for you to grow from a girl into a woman." It was a genuine compliment. Until he continued, "In more ways than one, I might add."
Sarah's eye twitched. "Okay, I think this conversation has effectively ended," she said dryly.
He merely smirked at her as they continued to her house. He followed her up the porch, pausing when she stopped in front of the door. She gazed thoughtfully up at him, a million questions in her hazel eyes. "I suppose this is good night, then."
She nodded. "Yeah. I…I don't know if I'll see you again."
"Well, you seem to call on my subjects often enough, I see no reason why you can't call on me."
She flushed, thankful that the darkness hid it. "So you know about that."
"I know all that goes on in my kingdom, Sarah," he answered in a low and dangerous tone. It sent shivers up her spine.
He was gazing at her intently for a moment before he started to lean in to kiss her. However he froze when the porch light flicked on and the front door opened. He straightened as Sarah's parents stepped onto the porch, both looking a little disappointed. Looking at Sarah, he could see that she was slightly annoyed at the interruption by the way her eyes were scrunched closed and her brow was wrinkled.
"Sarah, do you have any idea what time it is?" her stepmother asked coldly.
"Late? Early? Somewhere in there?"
"Do not sass me, young lady," her stepmother snapped. "We were almost ready to call the police!"
"I'm sorry, we were playing a game and got caught up in it," Sarah explained. It wasn't the whole truth, but it wasn't a total lie. "When I realized the time I came straight home."
"And you are?" Mr. Williams asked, glaring at Jarth.
The Goblin King flashed what he hoped was a friendly smile. "A fellow partygoer who couldn't stand the thought of such a delightful young lady walking home alone in the dark."
"Uh-huh." Jareth wasn't sure if Sarah's father believed him, given his rather indifferent acceptance of the explanation.
"Ah, well I can see that I should be leaving. Good night Sarah. I enjoyed this evening immensely," Jareth said as he took Sarah's hand and gently kissed her knuckles.
"Er…thank you for walking me home," Sarah said, her cheeks coloring.
"It was my pleasure, I assure you," Jareth smirked. He nodded politely at Mr. and Mrs. Williams before bounding off the porch and into the night.
"Well, come on Sarah, it's late and I'd like to get some sleep at some point tonight," her stepmother sighed, gesturing for Sarah to enter the house.
"Yes, Irene," she sighed. Her stepmother was lecturing her about coming home late and the dangers of strange men, but Sarah's mind was elsewhere. She was in the castle beyond the Goblin City, wearing a dress fit for a princess and dancing in the arms of the Goblin King.
That night she dreamed of a crystal ball room and sweet kisses in the dark.
Thanks for reading!