Disclaimer: I do not own Labyrith, Jareth, the Goblin City, or any of the creatures within it. Those are (c) Henson, Lucas, Froud, Bowie, etc. Other mythical creatures belong to the history of human story-telling.

A/N: The Festivals named herein are not based on any actual festivals, real or fictional. Any resemblance is coincidental (and raises curious questions. If you know of any such celebrations, please share!). Oh, and my head-canon on Jareth's backgroud is rather unsettled, so for purposes of this story arc, I'll explain as I go.

Please see A/N at the end of the chapter.

Being Other, immortal, magic, Fae, arcane. Jareth wearied of those descriptors. He was, in fact, Other from Other. True, he was a magical being, in contrast to those creatures without any magic. He was immortal, with little likelihood of dying. Arcane, certainly not mundane. Faeā€¦ well that's a more difficult distinction. Not Elven, nor dwarven, nor faerie, fiery, goblin, or anything else.

Even among a category of beings, he was unique, and thus, alone.

Lonely because he ruled the Goblin Kingdom, and few of his equals relished the constant tumult inherent within a population of those having the wisdom of over-tired three-year-olds who were coming down off of a sugar rush.

There were Fae, Elven, and other beings of comparable intellectual, magical, or other abilities within his Realm. Some could match him in games of skill or amusement, and one or two could best him in a limerick challenge. He relished the occasional debate or even flat-out argument among these, whom he considered friends.

But his time with them was, of necessity, rare. He had issued standing invitations to them, but they could accept only sporadically, and seldom at the same time. He could only rarely accept their invitations to him. As the monarch, his traveling entourage was daunting, even if he chose the least formal complement.

He had no wish to burden his friends, and having them accommodate so many goblins was a challenge. Not in terms of their sleeping or eating quarters, but in keeping them entertained. Bored goblins have bad habits. Well, annoying and puzzling habits. Why else was there a biennial Chicken Waltz Contest?

The goblins' self-created diversions frequently became repeated events, and the least Jareth could do was spare his friends from always having to host the Annual Frying Pan Licking Festival.

Sometimes, a wished-away person turned out to be an adult, willing to converse. Very rarely, they were worth conversing with. How Jareth relished those times. He knew that he could not let himself hope for many of those. Hope among the Arcane population was dangerous, as it could develop life of its own. So he controlled that Hope, little realizing that he let a tendril escape under the thought that conversation with an equal, a match, would be simply delightful. And the Hope waited.

A/N: Let me explain. No wait, there is to much, let me sum up. This was originally only a prequel to a story fragment idea that I posted on deviant art. I'm publishing it here, in story order. The original story is going to be Chapter 3.

The story idea was to consider WHY would the Goblin King allow himself to fall in love with a mortal girl-child. Let's consider his situation.

Cookies to the first identifier of the very famous quote reference in the Author Note. :)