DISCLAIMER: I own nothing Labyrinth-related. All Labyrinth characters, dialogue, settings, etc, from the movie are (c) Henson, Lucas, Froud, Bowie, Connelly, etc.
A/N: This is a multi-chapter story, currently (July 2012) in progress. The exact timing fluctuates, in terms of the chapters not happening exactly sequentially. However, I'll give notes about when stuff happens. This story begins at the end of the movie.
As the party continued with so very many of his very loyal subjects and the child-woman who had defeated him, the white owl soared away. "No, not defea…" he sighed to himself, having to admit that she did, in fact, defeat him. Not on her own, or with the help of those still-celebrating friends. No, because he misjudged her and the situation. She was too old and too young. MUCH too young. Or perhaps only a little bit too young. Perhaps the air rushing past or the distance from her enabled his mind to begin a review of tactics.
While he typically made use of the patterns long-since established as helpful and effective, this practical-dreamer presented Jareth with a new set of challenges to consider. Over the next weeks, he did just that, allowing his bruised ego, stunned pride, and surprisingly-stomped heart to see that he was not finished with the cause.
The difficulty, he mused in his throne room, is that she already had her ability to hope and dream, and then she chose my story. He abruptly sat up, causing the goblins nearby to become quieter, and watch him more carefully; the Goblin King lounges, struts, dances, kicks, flies, and moves on a whim, but rarely sits with *gasp* "correct" posture.
Fortunately for me, for all of us, she was unaware of the potency and potential of those gifts, for they are gifts. Most mortals begin with those abilities, but have begun to ignore, discount, and discard them by the time they reach double-digits.
She imagines herself to be grown up, nearly wishes it, but knows herself to be beyond a child. Jareth smiled, not the smug smirk, nor the indicator of a new interpretation of a vague set of words, but something that might almost be considered wistful. He knew that he had reached a crux, but was unsure how much further to consider it:
Could she consider me as anything other than the villain of that story? Her story? Our story? Could it ever truly be our story?
He shook his head. The mere fact that this mortal female had an ability which he failed to recognize and so to overcome did intrigue him. By the bog! It had been many spans since any had truly challenged his Labyrinth! Perhaps this fascination was simply because of the novelty.
The Goblin King considered the options open to him:
Let things be. This was one of the traditional responses to being trounced in your own magical realm – having to let the victor alone.
Seek vengeance. Another traditional response to being trounced in your own magical realm – defeat the victor.
Retire. Having been defeated, allow the next-in-line to take control. This requires the existence and immediate presence of a next-in-line, which is not currently the case.
Escher. Ahhhhh, yes, where nothing is as it seems.
Perhaps the entire situation merited further study. Jareth formed a crystal, allowing him to watch Sarah again. He had done so at various points since his defeat. Actually, ever since she selected his story, nearly two years prior to her fateful saying of the right words.
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