DISCLAIMER: If it's a setting, character, scene, or idea from Labyrinth, or even a HINT of any of those, its (c) Henson, Lucas, Froud, Connelly, Bowie, etc.
Stay tuned at the end for the rest of the disclaimer.

The opposite of stroking. Not petting, brushing, or anything else that might generate those feeling-good chemicals to bounce around.

And it was all his fault. It really was.

And yet, no matter how annoyed she was at this continuing, she was mostly certain that he didn't do this deliberately. The original cause, yes. The factual steps along the way, no.

He wouldn't do that to her, not after considering all possible repercussions. It would interfere with his overall intentions.

So why, she wondered, didn't she confront him about it? Perhaps confront would be too strong or out of place. But why not bring it to his attention? She
didn't object to being back in the crystal ballroom with him, things restored, but primed for a different conclusion.

She sighed, knowing that her vanity played into this, too.

It's not that she wasn't, and actually continued to be, grateful for the thought behind it all. And the fact that he remembered in such detail despite the unpleasant connotations that he ought to have from that shared moment was sweet, in a creepy, Other, vaguely non-homicidal stalkerish way. That he still treasures that part of their past, and attempts to correct it might hint at the slightest willingness to learn and implement changes to help her.

The first change he ought to make, though, were those blister factories that continued to appear on her very sore feet!

A/N: I claim no responsibility for uncomfortable shoes, blisters, twisted ankles, etc. Wear shoes at your own risk.

Please read & review. Updates to this story and my other ongoings will probably be more delayed, as I'm participating in a Labyrinth fanfic exchange on livejournal. HOWEVER, reviews encourage me to come back and continue, even though the inspiration for this particular mood is, in fact, based on my sad reality.