King of Dreams, Owner of None

by Bunniko

AN: Yup, another Laby fic. With oblique references to me and my friends. Therefore, there's some stuff I own. I own: Trixie/ Jeannie, Melinda, Deborah, and other things as they appear. I do not own: Texas (bummer), England (yay!), the Labyrinth (sniffle), Jareth, Sarah, etc. To my real life friends: See if you can find yourself. Did I write you in? lol

Please Note: The scene begins 5 years before our beloved movie, than flashes forward to just after. I will not write the movie, for obvious reasons ;

Note 2: Updated, corrected, slightly edited 8-12-02.

HAJIMEMASHOU!!!! (Or in English, 'Let's begin.')

Chapter One -- Boredom, Children and a Messy Messy Room

Jareth lounged indolently on his throne. He was long past any interest in his pack of goblins. He'd once, in a deep vale of boredom, factored out that the probability of any two brain cells in any given goblin's vacuous head meeting was a little more that one in a billion. The chance that even one of said two cells would recognize that they were of the same species was a more than one in a trillion. And the feasibility of those two brain cells communicating an idea successfully ran a bit under one in a sextillion. He'd been too depressed to calculate the odds of the idea being new, interesting or, stars forbid, remotely intelligent.

Such decay was directly due to Jareth's own depressing lack of dreams. Five years ago, he'd been in the same condition. Rarely summoned, never amused, disappointed in the above ground's depressing love of reality, he'd been idly viewing a small park in a dull town in England. There he chanced upon two girls, one fair-haired and light-eyed and one chocolate-eyed and dark- haired.

They were young, too young for Jareth's bedroom fantasies. Through his tastes ran strange when he was bored, he prided himself on never desiring young girls. He was sickened by those that preyed sexually on children. Sure, he stole babies, and sometimes children, but he rationalized that he was taking them away to a better place.

Though he was often bored, he never used his unwanted little ones badly. He raised them himself, allowing them to choose what form they wished to take in his Fae-land. His goblins were those who in America, for example, would probably have been dumb jocks who lacked real talent. Better here chasing chickens than a lonely, unhappy life in a trailer, watching bad daytime TV and talking about his high school years as the highlight of his life. They would have been dissatisfied and unhappy with a life they couldn't manage to escape. Here, they didn't remember two minutes ago, so they were perpetually happy.

In fact, most of the Fae-Land inhabitants were happy. Jareth's gloom only affected his castle, Goblin City and the Labyrinth. Nothing beyond suffered his darkness. Out there was where the others of his children lived. He would never harm them. To them, he was always kind and jovial, his cruel side kept hidden; he could never bring them such pain or fear. He had rescued them from that!

He instinctively knew that these two girls were somehow important to him. He zoomed in on the blonde girl. Wide green-hazel eyes, very beautiful, were framed by long, easily tangled blond strands. Two full brown eyebrows expressively rested above them and under bangs that were clearly cut by her mom. She was tiny, almost fragile-looking, but in the eyes he could see many things: intelligence, warmth, determination, love, and, most importantly, a rampant imagination. She charmed him.

But when he tired of watching her mouth spill words at the speed of light, he moved to the quieter girl. A river of dark brown hair, deep chocolate eyes, pale skin, her dream-like expression, all erased the blonde from his memory like dew shaken from a flower. She haunted him immediately. He wanted to know all about her. It wasn't a desire he had ever felt before. She was somehow like him. After being alone for so long, he wanted to be near someone who seemed like him so badly it hurt. He left in a flurry of feathers.

The park was their home for a very happy year. Even the introduction of a large sheep-dog puppy dreamily named Merlin didn't faze the owl that always watched the two friends. But change is unavoidable. The blonde, whom he only knew by her nickname, was moving.

The girls had recently developed a deep love for a series of teenage sleuth novels, the star of which was Trixie Beldon. So the blonde was called Trixie, being as energetic as the heroine and Sarah, the brunette, was often called by Trixie's best friend's name, Honey Wheeler.

Honey and Trixie were inconsolable. Trix had come over with her parents because her father, US Air Force, had been loaned out to Britain's Royal Air Force. But now, he was needed back in the US, being sent to Texas, far away and long before email.

Both being of a romantic nature, they swapped 'eternal' friendship bracelets. Both vowed to never take them off. But Jareth, sad to see his dreamers parting, gave them another gift. A gift that would ultimately bring about some of the greatest changes in all three of their lives.

He finagled his ways into the dreams of an eccentric uncle of Sarah's. The uncle dreamed of two books, matching red leather covers, identical to each other. He 'remembered' that he had bought them from an odd little man in a dingy second-hand bookstore. It occurred to him that they were the perfect gift for his sad young niece and her little friend. Inspired, perhaps by Jareth, perhaps by his own unique personality, he had them wrapped in the glitteriest paper he could find and each decorated with a miniature crystal ball. The girls were delighted with the presents, though as they were presented last minute, they only had the chance of unwrapping them before desperately hugging each other goodbye. And then, Trixie was gone.