DISCLAIMER: If it's a character, scene, idea, setting, etc from the Labyrinth, it's (c) Henson, Lucas, Froud, etc, and NOT MINE. Any facts, impressions, traditions, etc, related to the publishing & entertainment industries are fictional or used fictionally.
Please stay tuned after the chapter for the real A/N.
A/N: If you don't remember how Chapter 3 started, go back and reread the opening sentence before continuing
Expectations aside, Sarah woke bright and early the next morning. Relishing the fact that she didn't have to rush around anywhere until afternoon, she stretched. As she weighed the luxuries of rolling over for more sleep, or a leisurely breakfast, she realized that she had woken with a smile on her face.
That thought was enough to send her into thorough wakefulness, which also triggered her inexhaustible supply of curiosity. Rising from her bed to brush her hair, she worked her way through the last events of the previous evening. Acknowledging the joy in that simple interlude of resting within Jareth's arms, she allowed a mild blush to run its course as she plotted out the rest of her day.
Breakfast with Toby and then a quick shower readied her for the day. She allowed herself a few minutes to roam through her favorite shops in town as she headed toward her appointments.
An industry luncheon, a mani/pedi treatment, and checking out apartments kept her busy until early evening. That night, she sat once again on her window seat, gazing distantly at the still unmoved stars. She was mildly disappointed at having received no new crystals that day, but smirked at herself for the thought. It's not as though you don't have dozens of others available to you. Is it that you only like the attention, or are you ready to face some facts?
Taking a slow breath, Sarah considered her day. Five of the firms at the luncheon had their heads of Personnel extend job offers to her during the luncheon; two were from publishing houses, for positions within the editing team; one was from a newspaper, for a spot on the book review board; and the other two were from movie studios, to participate in script development. While Sarah had developed a rare instinct for stories, she would never consider herself a writer; her now former classmates had long since realized that Sarah's feedback improved their compositions quite drastically, which skill had these firms panting after her.
The dinner invitation was from an acquaintance from high school, whom Sarah had barely seen since that graduation four years prior. He had always nurtured a small crush on Sarah, who had always found him attractive and amusing, but yet they never quite connected. So their dinner date was enjoyable, not the least because Sarah felt at her most confident. This confidence made her even more attractive, but helped her to hold herself at enough of a distance that he understood that this wasn't the time for them.
Now, back in her soon-to-be former bedroom, Sarah understood why she hadn't dated seriously over the previous seven years. One part was that she knew how much she wanted to accomplish in a specific period of time, and boyfriends would have made that much more difficult. Another was the lack of any truly unique or original attempts to gain her attention or interest, a fact oft-lamented amongst her girlfriends. The finally-admitted part is what now bothered her: she had always been fascinated by the Goblin King. From the moment she first read out of that red book, she found him to be intriguing and exciting and somewhat incomprehensible. Once she met him, she added clever, deft, lithe, and exhilarating, and something about him awakened her mind to avenues of thought barely suspected, and her body to nerve endings previously unknown.
Knowing that she couldn't really know whether or not that one sentence was true until she spoke to him again, face-to-face, Sarah pulled out the crystal that had arrived on her 18th birthday. Standing now, she held the crystal to her forehead, looked in, and spoke her right words, "I wish that Jareth would come to talk with me right now."
In that split second between the air shimmering and Jareth's appearance, Sarah was glad that she hadn't removed her make-up, changed out of her dress for dinner, or brushed out her hair for the night, although she didn't regret having taken off her shoes. Seeing Jareth's attire upon his arrival, she smiled to herself, and thought of regaining those shoes, but dismissed the idea as a waste of time.
"Should I wonder, Sarah-love, whether or not this frequency of communication is going to become typical?"
His wry smile, dry tone, and arrogance of manner would have nearly intimidated her before, but no longer.
"I could make a comment about the sheer number of crystals you've sent me over the years, and ask whether they represent a minimum number of times that you'd like to hear from me, or are just a starting point."
Appreciating her valid point, Jareth nodded.
"Please, Jareth, would you like to sit down?" Gesturing to the vanity stool, the window seat, and the chest at the foot of her bed as the only options, Sarah tried to play hostess to the Goblin King while her pulse picked up a bit, even as she noticed his extra swallowing.
"The window seat will suffice, I think," he answered as he took the barely two steps to cover the distance. "Won't you join me here?"
Having somehow not considered that they'd sit together there, Sarah's mind stuttered to a halt, albeit briefly. Sheer determination enabled her to traverse the few inches back to the window seat, and sink down next to him.
Taking a deep breath, she finally asked him the first question that had been held in abeyance for nearly seven years.
"Why have you sent me so very many crystals?" She had fidgeted briefly with her hands at the start of the question, but managed to look directly into his compelling eyes by the time she finished.
Knowing that she would ask that question, Jareth gave the simple truth as he moved one gloved hand to cover one of her own, "I was reminding you that I would always welcome the chance to talk to you."
"And show me my dreams? And grant my wishes?" Her voice remained soft and clear, although she had to concentrate a little more to select the right words; she could feel his pulse through the softer-than-leather.
Jareth considered for a moment before cocking his head and claiming her other hand. "Tell me first, precious, whether it's mere curiosity behind these questions. After all," he continued, with that devil-may-care smirk, "your wish tonight was for me to come and talk with you, not answer questions."
Allowing her hands to nestle within his, fingers comfortably entwined, Sarah raised a single eyebrow at him. "I've come to realize that this is information that I need in order to make an informed decision about my future."
"Hmmmm… since I doubt that you plan to become a soothsayer, I'd say that you're trying to ask after my intentions without using that delightfully Victorian turn of phrase. Am I correct?"
Sarah nearly couldn't answer. Her mind tried to hiccup as Jareth lightly stroked her fingers and moved in ever so slightly. Feeling as though she had already received part of the answer that she truly sought, she found her spine. "Possibly. Given that I knew these crystals weren't inherently dangerous, and that you did make some mention about granting wishes the other night, I didn't think the questions were too much of a stretch. However, if that were all, you needn't have sent so very many of them."
Impressed and pleased with her verbal parry, the Goblin King allowed a hint of true smile to come through. "I'm pleased to see that your powers of reasonable deduction are working so well, and that your ability in asking the right questions has greatly improved." He raised one of her hands to his mouth, and let his lips caress it gently before continuing, pleased to hear that her breath was no longer quite even. "Tell me what it is that you really wish to discuss with me tonight."
It seemed as though her eyes had been locked in his since time began, and she certainly didn't want to have anything as uninteresting as a discussion with this more-than-a-man. Still, she had to know. "Jareth, why have you bothered with me all these years, staying involved on the fringes of my life, and determined to be present at my graduation?"
After a brief, low chuckle, the Goblin King inched forward to allow him to whisper in Sarah's ear, "It was never a bother, my dear. It was my greatest joy and pleasure these past seven years, though I hope to see them surpassed quite soon."
Pleased to see her blush, and surprised to feel his own pulse increase, he now had to swallow to keep from getting ahead of himself.
"Come now, Goblin King, you know your own rules. 'Say your right words.'" Sarah's eyes danced with humor, anticipation, and nerves, and revealed her gladness that he seemed nervous as well.
"Very well." Jareth stood suddenly, raising Sarah to her feet as well. "Dance with me, my lady. Dance with me until the stars move themselves in harmony with our joy. Dance with me until after the moon ceases to be able to reflect the light of our happiness. Dance with me until all of the hopes and dreams and fancies of all of the poets have been shown to be mere shadows of our love."
Sarah's smile launched a new constellation in the Underground, causing the various populations to speculate wildly, and without any comprehension. This confusion lasted until the Goblin King brought his bride home, two days later.
As for the accumulation of crystals, Jareth Dismissed them once he could spare enough attention to remember them.
A/N: Thanks to those who have given reviews (and helped me to find those tricky typos)! Yes, this is the end of this story. But if you give me lots of review / feedback, and help me find any sneaky typos, I'll be encouraged, and continue with my other on-going fics even sooner.
Thanks to lylabeth 1, mearra, Stuffed Piggy, Newbie83, and Silvermastermind!