A/N: There's really no excuse for the gap in between chapters, here. Halfway beta'd by the lovely doctor's gal 1792. I say halfway because I sent her a chapter 6 months ago, she fixed it all up and then I changed the entire end of it. So again, any mistake are mine.
Thank you SO FLIPPIN MUCH to those who reviewed I didn't expect a fourth of what I got, it still makes me happy. Hopefully the story can live up to the expectations!
Also, this chapter without the author's note was 3,013 words. I thought that was rather nifty.
Disclaimer: Tis not mine.
The intense sharp sound of the crystal crashing onto the floor echoed throughout the castle's hallways. Startled, Sarah's eyes were drawn to the sparkling, broken pieces that littered the floor. In a heartbeat she was moved against her will, her back was against something hard, it took her a moment to realize she was no longer looking at the floor, but instead into the cold mismatched eyes of the Goblin King, a gaze she hadn't seen in seven years. He had used the noise as a distraction to pin her against the wall by her shoulders.
She glared at him, "Already using dirty tricks, your majesty?"
Jareth ignored her words, "Where is he?"
He wished someone away, Sarah reminded herself, someone important judging by his reaction. Though she had never gotten a person before, the goblins and chickens all ended up in the same place, "My apartment, probably."
"Return him at once," He demanded, there was a hint of an unspoken threat in his voice.
Sarah frowned, crossing her arms in between them, he had made the wish, not her this time, to her he had no right to be barking out orders at her. It wasn't her fault she had to do what she was summoned to, his unnecessary, but truthfully not unexpected, hostility fueled her irritation "What's said is said." She replied, her stare matching his cold one.
His grip tightened on her shoulders, "Do not mock me." He snapped, and felt the magic she had flare in response, it alarmed him more than he was comfortable with. He looked her up and down, already seeing the little silvery and golden specks imbed themselves into the stone wall behind her, "How are you able to do this?"
She opened her mouth to speak, but faltered for a moment, genuine confusion crossing her face, "I don't know," She confessed. Really, at this point she didn't want to know either, she just wanted it gone, "I thought you might though."
Jareth looked at her for a moment, "I do not." He admitted, "Before you arrived I was investigating the one responsible for leaving a mess within my city." He released his grip on her and took a step back, his anger slowly resolving.
"Great," Sarah sighed heavily, her eyes closed as her fingers coming to rest on her temples, a headache was beginning to form. "Who was it you wished away?"
Jareth hesitated to answer, the sudden realization how painfully ironic the whole ordeal was, and it was quite the blow to his pride.
Sarah glanced up at his silence, "Your… Majesty?" She questioned, slightly awkward as she was at a loss of what to call him. She had never actually called him by name, just simply his title, it seemed weirdly informal to do so otherwise.
"My brother." He answered stiffly, he figured she would find out eventually.
Sarah stood still a little dumbstruck, with a cross between absolute disbelief and amusement at the Goblin King, they had completely switched roles, the irony of it was threatening to overwhelm her. She was halfway tempted to make a smart remark or comment, and by his looks he expected it as well. She refrained however, clamping down any laughter that dared to bubble up, though Sarah didn't imagine he would have done the same in her shoes. Despite the turn of events, an idea popped up into her mind, mixed slightly with a familiar memory.
"Well then," Sarah said in a calm voice, surprising herself and Jareth, though he didn't show it "How about I make you a deal?"
He studied her carefully for a moment, "A deal?"
She nodded, "How about you help me get rid of the powers, or gifts, or whatever you want to call them," She told him, maintaining her even tone as she finished "And in return you can have your brother back." After a side thought she added, "You seriously can't want me just popping in, taking away anyone or anything from the Labyrinth by anyone's call, do you?"
Jareth seemed to take her words seriously and mull over them, "No." He agreed after a moment, "However, what you're asking me would take some time, it is not something easily done in, for say, thirteen hours."
"I solved your entire Labyrinth in less than that." She felt compelled to bring up.
It earned her a glare from the King, "Yes that may be, but this is no physical obstacle in which I can see to overcome."
Sarah refrained from commenting on just how much of the Labyrinth she didn't see, trap doors, misleading walls, pathways that changed.
"It is an entirely different problem all together, it would take well over half a day's time just to gather the materials just to begin searching for an answer." He said in addition, at her body language and stare.
Sarah thought about it for a moment, "Okay, thirteen days then." She said keeping the symbolic number, "One of us has to find something by then."
"You could return my brother whilst working to resolve the issue." Jareth pointed out, "You have already brought up a well enough reason for me to aid you, in addition to several of my own." The mess she left, the stories she started, the fact that every goblin seemed more terrified of her than him.
"Yeah well, think of it as collateral." Sarah said, a hand on her hip, still weary of trusting him, "For all I know this is all of your doing for whatever reason."
He should've hung her by her toes over the Bog of Eternal Stench, not that he could, however. He knew though that Micah would be more than fine in her care, if not a little disorientated "Very well." He agreed.
That sealed the deal, Sarah felt herself being drawn back, she looked at her watch, midnight exactly, "Thirteen days." She reminded him before entirely disappearing.
Jareth sighed to himself, now entirely alone in the vast hallway, a thousand thoughts ran though his mind at once this was something he had never expected to happen in all of his wild imagination. He tried not to focus on his lack of control in the situation, had felt her surge of raw magic that nearly overpowered him. It was frustrating enough to not have any power over her, but it was unnerving for her to have such power over him. He was very careful not to express his alarm throughout their conversation, she seemed oblivious of it though, making her harmless for the time being. Deciding not to waste a precious moment of time he began his way to the castle library to start his research.
Micah had found himself in one of the most peculiar places he had ever been in. At first when he arrived he thought for a moment his brother had sent him away to some part of the Labyrinth for annoying him, but he soon realized that was not the case. He concluded that he was in a bedroom of sorts, though it was one he had never seen the likes of. It was cramped, overstuffed with furniture, books and knick-knacks littered the floor, and mysterious tufts of orange covered the bed. The disorder of things rivaled the throne room in Jareth's castle, in fact Micah was pretty sure he even saw a few feathers scattered around. It looked as if someone had been attempting to put back things in order before leaving the job half finished. When he saw the distinct handprint of a goblin's hand on the wall, he ecstatically realized that his brother had said the right words, and he was in the residence of the Girl, intentionally or not.
"So, I guess you would be the Goblin King's brother." A female voice said from behind him.
"That depends on who's asking." He turned to become face to face with the legendary girl, however she was not what he expected her to be, hesitantly he continued, "I assume you're the one the goblin's have been talking about ever so much?"
She sighed, leaning against the doorway, so much for those little creatures keeping their mouths shut, "Yeah, but I prefer to go by Sarah."
"Sarah." He echoed, thinking out loud, eyeing her up and down, her outfit was one of the likes he'd never seen a woman from the Underground wear, perhaps not out of the bedroom at least. "Hm. You don't seem like a witch, or a sorceress, or a girl for that matter, maybe a succubus perhaps-"
Her eyes narrowed, "Look buddy, I don't know who you are, and maybe you're some big shot where you're from, but you're on my turf now so keep the rude comments to yourself." Sarah said, crossing her arms.
"My sincerest apologies," He told her, not that Sarah believed that he was. Suddenly he had a new set of questions, "Where exactly is 'Your Turf' as you so classify it?"
"My friend calls it the Aboveground." She answered, "Ever been here before?"
He shook his head as he looked around yet again, "I cannot say that I have, but I've heard quite a bit about it." His eyes then settled on hers, "So, if you are nothing of what I listed before, what are you?"
"Just a girl with some bad luck," She said honestly, with a shrug of her shoulders "That's it."
Micah fixed her with a disbelieving look, "No simple mortal girl can just take another from an entirely different realm without any sort of power."
"Well, I managing." Sarah replied, easily dismissing his questions, much to his dismay, "I don't think I ever got your name."
"Micah." He told her, a glossy covered book caught his eye, he delicately picked it up off the shelf one of the few left there, his curiosity getting the better of him.
"Just Micah?" Sarah asked as she moved to flop down on her bed, regardless if it was covered in Ludo fur, she was just too tired to care at the moment and standing in her heels all night was killing her. She stifled a groan as she remembered that she had just disappeared in front of her date, the guy must be flipping his lid at this point. Explaining what happened was not going to be fun at all.
Micah was nodding, "Yes. I assure you there's an unnecessary lengthy attachment to it, but like you I'm not one for titles." He put down her copy of The Wizard of Oz for the paperback of Gone With The Wind.
"Fair enough I suppose." She said kicking off her shoes, each one made a noisy clunk when they hit the ground.
Her casual attitude surprised him, a constant reminder he was no longer home. Another thought struck him, "So as I'm not familiar with the fine details of what happens in the Goblin's story, what exactly is to happen now?"
Sarah stared at him for a moment, her brain working slowly, the she realized unlike her experience with the Labyrinth, he didn't have the advantage of reading the story before living it, "Oh right." She thought to herself for a moment, thinking on a way to explain it.
Micah waited patiently as he placed the book neatly back, looking at the others.
"So you know that the Goblin King wished you away for whatever reason, yeah?" She asked after a moment of silence.
"Yes I do." Micah said, smiling on how easily it was to get on his sibling's nerves.
She nodded, "Okay, so typically how these things go is in order to get whatever you wished away, you have to do something to get it back."
Micah looked at her then, wondering if she was aware or not that Jareth did the same from time to time, "So what is it that my dear brother has to do in order for me to return?"
Sarah hesitated for a moment, indecision to tell him or not was written clearly across her face, though she couldn't see the harm in being straightforward, "He agreed to help me get rid of… well whatever this granting wishes thing."
"You wish to extinguish your magic?" He had never heard of such an absurd thing, to live without magic in his world would be like to live without air, "Why?"
She gestured her hand around her disaster of a room, "Because, answering a goblin's call at three o'clock in the morning isn't exactly what I would call a good time, especially when they leave this for me to clean up afterwards."
He still failed to see her logic, "Is that all you can do though? Grant wishes?"
"I…" Sarah stopped herself from replying, because she didn't know in all honesty. She had never seen any other evidence of magic anywhere else. She of course could do such things as call on her friends and cross over into the Labyrinth if she so wanted to, but she that wasn't her doing- that was the magic of the Underground itself. Wasn't it?
He raised an eyebrow, reading her confused expression, "Have you tried to do anything other than answering a summons?"
"Not that I know of," She admitted after a moment.
Micah had been right on some level, although she wasn't a youth by mortal standards, she was new with magic, which explained apparent signature she had left throughout the Goblin City, "Are you aware of how you obtained your magic?"
She shook her head, "Not at all." She ran a hand through her hair that had steadily been losing its curl throughout the night, "I was perfectly fine one day and then poof! I'm standing in the middle of a goblin's living room getting told I'm this legendary girl or something."
"Interesting," Micah sat down on her vanity chair, a thoughtful finger tapped his chin as he was temporarily lost in his theories. His foot lightly brushed against something on the floor, he glanced at the object the bright red cover attracting him. He stretched his arm to pick up the small book that had been torn from the shelves and not quite yet made it back yet, the gold lettering of the title sparked his interest more than any other, he started to pull back to cover for the first few pages when Sarah suddenly got up off of her bed. Quickly, he pocketed the book, with all intentions to read it later.
"Well, I suppose you're going to need somewhere to sleep." She ran a hand through her long hair, ignoring the feeling of it being thick and clumped from the hairspray. She really needed a shower, but just couldn't bring herself to do much else but want to sleep now. "You can take my bed, and I'll take the couch while you're here."
Micah blinked at her while she gathered blankets, "You're going to give your prisoner your own bed?"
Sarah stopped what she was doing, "What on Earth makes you think you're a prisoner?"
"Well, you are holding me in exchange for something." He said with a small shrug of his shoulders.
She had to refrain from sighing once more, "Look, you're not a prisoner. It's more like… we're all in a contract. You're staying with me for thirteen days, your brother gets some motivation and I get some help, but after those thirteen days, presto, you're back in your own home."
"That's quite a way to put it, though you do not fear I will try to rebel or escape?" He asked.
She looked to him then, one hand on her hip, ready to go to bed, "Well, are you?"
"I…" He was entirely thrown off by her straightforwardness and attitude that went along with it, "I… well, no." He said simply and honestly in return, "No. I was not planning on it."
"Then there you go. If that's everything, I'm off to bed." She gathered the rest of the blankets, "Bathroom is just to your left, wake me if you need anything."
He nodded silently, endlessly being surprised by this world, her blind trust was something he hadn't experienced since he was a child. Though, he knew not everything is always what it seems. He felt there was something more, she was too vague for his liking. Thoughts swirled in his head as he shrugged off his jacket and laid down on the bed that was pleasantly comfortable. He had failed to realize how late it had gotten or how tired he actually felt. He would have a list of questions for Sarah in the morning but for now, sleep didn't seem like such a bad idea.
Sarah tried her best not to think too much into things as she curled up on her couch, ready to meet the sandman. It wasn't working at all however; her mind got the best of her, creating horrible little ideas as she closed her eyes. For instance, if Jareth did succeed in helping her, would she still be able to see Hoggle, Sir Didymus, Ludo or even the few goblins that came around? Maybe she would she be permanently 'Just Human' after all. Could she deal with a lifetime of babysitting various types of poultry for the sake of her friendship? After only a second's thought she definitely decided that she could, though it might destroy all of her relationships with friends and even her family in this world, not to mention any guy. She imagined Karen calling her, asking if she had a boyfriend yet, she would have to answer no. After all, the impending promise of having to just randomly disappear at any given moment at the wish of a mythical creature was kind of deal breaker in the Aboveground. Though, what was an ordinary, traditional life in comparison to the endless wonders and adventures that came with the Labyrinth?
She turned, drifting off to sleep with warm dreams of kind beasts, grumpy dwarves, fearless foxes and their noble steed, all tangled in a web of tan stone.
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