Something's Gotta Give
Characters/Pairings: Sarah, Jareth; totally unashamed Sarah/Jareth
Rating: T for sensuality and physics
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: I wasn't prepared for the response that I got on "Seven Minutes in Heaven" and it warms my heart (and inspires my muse!) just how positively the story was received. I got several follows on the story, which is a little disconcerting on something that was always intended as a one-shot. However, I took it as a sign that perhaps you wanted more set in this particular Labyverse, and so you shall get more. This story is set six months after "Seven Minutes in Heaven," and focuses the relationship between Sarah and Jareth and the obstacles they'll have to overcome in order to make it work. If you haven't read "Seven Minutes in Heaven" I strongly suggest you do so. It's got an M rating but that was more to be on the safe-side as there's some adult-type touching and themes along with an F-bomb.
In the spirit of being completely honest, I have never taken physics. I never wanted to take physics. (I took geology and biology and environmental science and that was good enough for me, thank you very much.) However I'm familiar with the paradox - and of course the song that this story shares a title with. Now if you have time, dash off to the YouTube and search for "Something's Gotta Give Fred Astaire" to see the musical number mentioned in the story. The movie itself is a fun little popcorn flick, a good way to spend a rainy afternoon or waste some time. The song, though, is a serious ear worm. I seriously hummed it to myself the entire time I was writing this.
(Yes, I know, long author's note is long. Apologies.)
I have no idea if I'll continue to write in this particular Labyverse or not. Perhaps, if inspired I will continue to do so. But this is also a one-shot. There will be no more chapters following this.
On the first day of Physics 101, Sarah had been introduced to the Irresistible Force Paradox. The paradox asked what would happen when an irresistible force met an unmovable object. By their very natures the irresistible force could not be stopped and the unmovable object could not be moved, so there was no way to find out what would happen should they collide. Her professor had encouraged his students to spend the semester pondering the paradox and at the end of the semester, for extra credit, could write an essay with their stance and why they chose it.
Sarah had mulled it over during the twelve weeks she was in physics. She had nearly given up on trying to answer it when she was home for Thanksgiving break and wound up finding Daddy Long Legs on TV and watching the old Fred Astaire movie with her stepmother. Lo and behold the paradox had been turned into a song and dance number proclaiming that something would inevitably give. Suddenly inspired, Sarah had dismissed herself from finishing the movie and locked herself in her room to write out her essay, which she would type up and give to her professor once she got back to school.
Once she had finished her physics final and turned in her extra credit essay, Sarah didn't spare another thought on the paradox. She didn't need to. Physics wasn't her major – it was merely a laboratory science requirement in order to get her degree.
College continued on as it was wont to do. Classes took up much of her time, and after her first semester she got a part time job doing administrative odd jobs for the English department in exchange for a break on her tuition. Her entire world became tied up in Shakespeare, Chaucer, Salinger and Capote, with the odd science and social science class to break up the monotony. During the summer she'd reconnect with her high school friends during weekly parties, where one took an interesting and unforgettable turn.
However, six months after being locked in a closet with the Goblin King by well meaning so-called friends, Sarah was wondering what she had found so attractive about him in the first place.
Okay, yes, he made leather pants and silk shirts look good. He had this cocky half-smile that Sarah was pretty sure could cause panties to dissolve, eyes that could be hard and mocking one moment and then mischievous and flirtatious the next. The way he carried himself spoke of power and sexuality that made even the least interested of women sit up and take notice. In other words, physically he was a fine specimen and a woman would have to be blind not to notice. But a relationship based around the physical aspects alone couldn't stand the test of time.
After six months her relationship with Jareth was starting to show signs of stress. They spent a lot of time arguing; if only because Jareth seemed amused by pushing her buttons until she started pushing his and all hell broke loose. She had bog immunity, which was good to know, but at the same it didn't mean much. Not when there were multiple oubliettes he could banish her to if she made him mad enough.
She pinched the bridge of her nose as she listened to the Goblin King railing once more that she never did what he asked, that she was contrary for the sake of being contrary, and would it kill her to just once go along with something he wanted? He was like an unmovable object, probably several centuries old and very much stuck in his selfish ways.
However Sarah wasn't being contrary for the sake of being contrary. She didn't like being told what to do but she knew when to back down. For the most part Jareth's demands were ridiculous. She could partner with a boy in geology lab because he was just helping her on assignments, not making designs to get into her pants. She could spend a Friday night on her own and not attached to a needy Goblin King who wanted his already over-inflated ego stroked. She was an irresistible force once she got going; nothing was going to stop her from getting her way.
Suddenly the long forgotten paradox entered her brain and Sarah had an image of herself racing full-bore at Jareth, who was firmly rooted in his spot.
And she burst out laughing.
Jareth stopped mid-rant to stare at her. She was doubled over in laughter, which soon dissolved into some rather unattractive snorting. "Sarah," he said tensely, "perhaps you could explain to me what is so funny? I find absolutely nothing funny about our current situation."
She looked up at him, her hazel eyes glittering with mirth, and dissolved into laughter once more. With a melodramatic sigh, Jareth flopped onto his throne and glowered at his boots. He figured that Sarah's laughter would have to die down eventually, however every time he thought that she had calmed down enough to tell him just what in the seven levels of Hell was so funny, she'd start laughing again.
After half an hour she finally managed to stop laughing, her breathing slowing and calming down. That, and she had the hiccups and the continued laughter was making them worse.
She was perched on the windowsill, a grin on those pretty lips, her hazel eyes positively glowing with happiness. He glowered at her. "Perhaps now you're in a fit state to tell me just what is so blasted funny?"
"On my first day of physics, my professor presented the class with the Irresistible Force Paradox."
"What does that have to do with anything?" Jareth asked her irritably.
"The paradox asks what would happen if an irresistible force met an unmovable object. Of course, it's a paradox because if an irresistible force exists, there can be no such thing as an unmovable object, and vice versa."
"I'm familiar with the concept," Jareth deadpanned. "What does that have to do with your sudden fit of the giggles?"
Sarah pointed to herself. "Irresistible force." She then pointed to Jareth. "Unmovable object." And she dissolved into the giggles once more.
Jareth, for his part, understood the concept. As someone with a ridiculously long lifespan, Jareth had taken to study as a means to pass the time. Physics was one of many subjects that he had mastered over the years, but he wasn't quite sure what Sarah was getting at. "You're not making any sense," he grumbled.
"No, no, no!" she said brightly. "It makes perfect sense. I'm an irresistible force and you're an unmovable object. Our whole relationship is a paradox, and not just because I'm a mortal and your fae. Our personalities are polar opposites, that's why we're drawn to each other, but on the same note, they're often in conflict."
"The point is, Jareth," she said his name pointedly so she knew she'd have his attention, "by all accounts there's no way for us to have a relationship. It's a logic bomb."
"I find that unacceptable," he growled at her. "Seven years, Sarah, I waited seven years for you and I am not about to lose you simply because you decree that our relationship is a logic bomb."
"I'm not done yet," she said as she walked over to where he was moping on the throne. She moved his legs so she could sit in his lap, her fingers twining in the forelocks of his hair. "Ultimately, something will have to give. One of us is going to eventually cave, though it might take a while for us to reach that point." She smiled at him. "I'm not being contrary for the sake of being contrary, Jareth, I just happen to think your demands are stupid. Mark is my lab partner in geology and you have to deal with that. We do assignments together and that's it. Also, if I want to spend Friday night curled up watching sappy chick flicks with the company of Misters Ben and Jerry, I should be allowed to. I fail to see why an occasional Friday night watching movies and eating ice cream by myself should cause you to have a complete meltdown."
She held a finger to his lips. "No buts, Jareth. I will not bow your will every time you demand it of me. It's not in my nature. I will concede if you have a valid point, but sometimes you're just being ridiculous. I would expect you to show me the same courtesy I show you in return. I don't want you to bend to every demand I make of you because that's not who you are. All I ask is that you sometimes allow me to make my own choices and occasionally humor my requests."
She leaned in and rested her forehead against the crook of his neck. Taking a deep breath, she allowed his scent to flow over her. Sarah never failed to be amazed at just how good Jareth smelled. He smelled like white musk with hints of lilac fougere, a few other things she couldn't identify, and the leather of his pants and jackets. It was comforting to her, which was why she had stolen one of his shirts to sleep in when she was feeling particularly restless or stressed out from school.
"Sarah…" he sighed.
"You wouldn't love me the way you do if I were easy to control," she pointed out. "You love that I fight with you, that I willingly defy your orders. I turn your world upside down and you love every second of it."
"Hm, I suppose I do," he agreed, an ungloved hand finding its way to the nape of her neck and tangling in her hair.
"The point is, Jareth, something's gotta give. I'm telling you right now that it's not always going to be me," she explained. "You'll have to concede to me from time to time, and I know that you'd give me everything I want right now if I asked, but that's not the same. I want to know that you respect me and my decisions. That's all."
"How is it that you ask something so simple and yet so difficult. I am set in my ways, Sarah, and I always get what I want. Even in the end I got you."
She pulled back, a look of disbelief on her face. "I'm here because I choose to be. Do I need to say The Words again? Perhaps a reminder is in order. You have-"
Jareth cut her off with a kiss. When he pulled back, he smirked at the dazed expression on her face. "No need to say The Words again, precious."
"I hope not," she murmured. She gazed at him a moment before she shook her head. "Will you at least make an attempt, for my sake?"
He rolled his eyes. "I suppose I shall have to try, for your sake."
Sarah's face lit up with a brilliant smile. "That's all I ask." She leaned in to kiss him again, getting lost in his scent and his lips and his touches. However she was forced to pull away when she felt him start to tug her shirt from the waistband of her jeans.
He looked severely disappointed as she grabbed his wrists. "Why did you do that?" he asked irritably.
"Because I think it would be more prudent to continue somewhere a little more private," she answered gently.
Jareth was about to tell her that they were alone in the throne room, when he noticed movement from the corner of his eye. As soon as the arguing had ended, his subjects who had initially fled when the screaming started had trickled back in. Sure enough, a cluster of about eight goblins were watching the king and his lady intently.
This was one of the points that Sarah had mentioned earlier. As much as he thrilled at the idea of taking Sarah on his throne, he didn't feel like yelling at the goblins to get out and ruining the mood. "As you wish," he murmured as he conjured a crystal and then threw it at his feet. The air around them shimmered and shifted and suddenly they were sprawled on his massive bed.
Sarah smirked at him. "See, was that so difficult?"
"There will be another time to take you in the throne room," he conceded with a wolfish grin. "But perhaps we'll be more comfortable and less likely to be interrupted here in my private chambers."
She rolled her eyes. It was a minor victory, but a victory nonetheless.
Eventually, something's gotta give.
Thanks for reading!
One last little note: Do you want to know what Jareth smells like? Jareth smells like "Jareth" from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's Labyrinth collection. I have a bottle and it smells amazing. Now go, shoo, look at the pretty perfumes and maybe buy a bottle.