Disclaimer: You know the rules... Ain't natta thing mine!.
Authors note: So I started my first day at Disney today (1/26/13) and I'll give you a small little hint at where I am working at... It's Nahtazu and I'm tough to be a bug… HAHAHA I do have a dodgy little costume though. I think at the end of the next chapter I'll be doing another thank you. Because let's be honest. This story is only six well now seven chapters long and this story already has….71 reviews! That's impressive. Very impressive. In fact, that's a new record for me. Oh and by the way, if you're going to leave me a scathing review at least have the courtesy to sign in so I may retaliate. Don't be a wimp about it. If you can be mean to me at least give me the chance to return the favor. Not saying that I got a scathing review on this story, it was another one…that I wrote when I was like 15 so yeah, it's crap but still. Damn, does that piss me off. Cowards... anyhow onto the real important stuff...
Question for my readers… Where did the High King and Queen stuff originate in regards to Labyrinth? I assumed it to be canon after reading it in so many stories but I was just looking on the Wiki for Jareth's parent's names and I cannot seem to find it so I'm going to make them up. Any help would be appreciated.
Chapter 7: We're Chicken Noodles
Despite the inner panic that Sarah felt she allowed Jareth to drag her along towards his parent's castle. The castle was impressive, to say the least. Sarah found herself gaping at its majestic architecture with high towers while silk flags whipped about in the wind. The grass was all lush green and carefully attended to. Birds sang in the distance. Cool streams ran through the picturesque landscape.
The higher she climbed up the stairs, and there were many, Sarah began to realize the clouds became a little more lifelike, a little more touchable. Pausing briefly in their descent Sarah turned to gaze out behind her. What she saw took her breath away.
"Jareth, is this castle floating?" Sarah asked him awe struck at her revelation.
He smiled at his wife's mouth gaping expression as he turned to look out over his parent's kingdom. He absent mindedly placed his hand at the small of Sarah's back which to her felt like he'd laid a red hot iron there. She struggled not to squirm under his touch.
"This is the High Castle," he said as if that explained everything.
"Castle in the clouds?" Sarah asked coyly silently irritated about his choice to be obtuse.
Jareth sighed, "Yes, Sarah. This is a floating castle. We are literally floating miles above the ground. It is one of the defenses of this castle. A castle located above ground is much harder to get to."
Sarah grabbed his arm tightly as if she were afraid to fall, the realization that she was floating above the ground seemed dangerous. One slip and she could fall off this island to her death. That was what her irrational mind was thinking anyhow.
"Relax," Jareth said as he plucked her hand off his forearm, wrapping his fingers around it, idly playing with the ring on her hand. "You are quite safe."
Sarah wished at that moment that she had detachable limbs. She wasn't sure if he was aware what he was doing or if he was doing it purposefully to tease. But, his leather clad fingers playing gently over hers as he twisted her ring around her finger was sending shivers up her spine. Unpleasant shivers.
Sarah tried to find her voice, afraid of the silence, not wanting an awkward silence to fall between them. She was afraid he'd discover her new found secret. One that he must never know.
"So just how did we get up here then? We came by carriage," Sarah asked suddenly realizing she had no explanation for how they reached their destination. She didn't remember any lengthy ascending, she certainly didn't remember flying.
Jareth quirked an eyebrow. With a smirk he replied, "Magic."
Sarah was about to rebute, to yell at him for being so cryptic when she realized they were at the top of the stairs. Her nerves rampaged to the forefront. She was about to meet Jareth's parents. She had absolutely no idea what to suspect. All the preparing over the last few days still weren't enough for this moment. His parents were waiting just inside the heavy palace doors.
His father, Flavian, was a tall man with broad shoulders. Unlike Jareth, there was absolutely nothing feminine about Flavian. The High King was the poster boy of manly physic. He was rough and rugged with an athletic build. His wavy chestnut colored hair hung to his shoulders. A matching trimmed beard covered most of the lower half of the King's face making his expressions hard to read.
His mother, Estrella, was a tall, thin woman with long pale blonde hair that fell past her shoulders almost to her waist. Her skin was pale like her son's. Estrella had the air of being dark and mysterious without actually being dark. The High Queen was so beautiful her clothing did not need to be extravagant. Her exemplary feminine beauty was the perfect accessory. The two piece ensemble consisted of a gold brocade dress with a royal blue overcoat which tied at the waist with a golden ribbon.
Jareth let go of his wife's hand the minute his parents had come into view. He instead put his hand on the small of her back pushing her gently forward. "Mother, father, this is Sarah," he introduced her removing his hand and clasping them behind his back. He watched carefully as Sarah curtseyed low to the High King and Queen lowering her head as she did so.
As she stood, she glanced back at Jareth who gave her the slightest nod of approval. Sarah swallowed thickly. So far, so good. Jareth's parents, however, looked amused with her formality. They inclined their heads slightly in recognition. Sarah stepped closer to Jareth. All previous thoughts to run screaming away from him were squashed as her nerves set in.
"So this is the mortal that was in the prophecy?" Flavian asked. His voice filled the room. Sarah narrowed her eyes at her husband. He told her, on that first night, that he had four women to choose from. She would just have to ask him about that later. She knew better than to do it now.
"An improvement over that filth you've been running around with for the last forty years. What was her name again? Vulture?" Estrella asked as she wrinkled her nose in disgust. Sarah smiled glad to see that his parents didn't approve of his mistress.
"Valentine," Jareth corrected. Sarah's smile fell and she took a step away from him hurt. Even here hundreds of miles away and he still thought enough about her to correct his mother. How could she ever compete with this love he had for the red haired fop?
After a few more introductions, the High King and Queen led Jareth and Sarah to a dining hall. Sarah was thankful. She was starving after their long journey. She sat across the table from Jareth. She kept glancing over him for cues like when to start eating, what to start with. The setting at this table was far more intricate than the ones she was used to at the castle beyond the Goblin City. They ate in silence during the first course which was a thick soup that Sarah thought tasted strange. The soup was definitely something new to her. Jareth seemed to love it. He practically drank down the bowl. His mother smiling affectionately at her son all the while.
"My son loves oxtail soup," Estrella said fondly as she kept her gaze on Jareth even though she was clearly talking to Sarah.
"Is that right?" Sarah said setting her spoon down onto her bowl suddenly feelings sick. Gross.
"Oh yes. He used to eat it all the time as a little boy. Our chef prepared it special for him every day and served it at lunch. Have you continued that tradition at your own home, sweet heart?" Estrella asked cooing over Jareth. Sarah stifled a giggle at how affectionate his mother was being with him. Jareth shot her an angry look but smiled at his mother. Momma's boy. Sarah noted. Useful tidbit for later. Sarah thought to herself.
"No, I only ever eat it here. The goblin cooks just don't prepare it as well as the elven cooks."
"I'll just have to send you home with a large pot of it," his mother told him. Jareth nodded gratefully. "So, Sarah," the Queen said finally turning her attention on the younger woman, "How is your pregnancy coming along? Have you made it past the morning sickness yet?"
Sarah choked on the water she'd been drinking. Across the table, the only indication of surprise that Jareth gave was to pause momentarily as he brought the spoon to his mouth. Sarah looked wide eyed at the High Queen. "I'm not pregnant."
Estrella looked affronted then laughed. "Good one, my dear. You should have conceived on your wedding night. Mortals are such fertile creatures. I'm sure you had no problem at all conceiving."
Sarah turned to Jareth for help not sure what to do. He patted his lips absent mindedly with the cloth napkin. For a moment she thought he was going to leave her to fight this battle by herself but at the last minute he spoke up. "She's not pregnant, mother."
Flavian finally joined the conversation. His incredulous voice filled the room. "You mean to tell me you have been married to this mortal for 240 hours and you haven't found the time to fulfill your duties as a man, as a husband?"
Jareth sighed. He had hoped it wouldn't be like this. Why must his parents be so pushy? Why couldn't they let him to live his life the way he saw fit? Sarah wasn't ready yet. The more they spooked her, the longer it would take. At this rate, he really would end up waiting those twenty years. "I have fulfilled my duties, Father. We've just decided to wait." He explained to them glancing at Sarah. Their eyes widened in realization.
"Wait for what? Sarah, dear," Estrella began using the supposed term of endearment venemonously "Jareth is much older than he looks. It wouldn't bode well to wait for too long. I know you are young but it's better for mortal women to have children at a young age. A few more years and your eggs will begin to shrivel and wither away."
Sarah looked at her mother in law in a mixture of horror, anger and hurt. She didn't know if this woman was intentionally being cruel or if she was just insensitive to humans. Either way, Sarah could feel the tears rising in her eyes at her cruel words. Refusing to look at either Flavian or Estrella, she turned her glassy eyes on her husband looking for comfort. She wanted him to berate his parents, telling them that they were being cruel but what she saw in his eyes made her heart sink.
She could see there in his mismatched eyes that he agreed with them. Unable to be in their presence any longer she pushed back from the table and fled the room.
"Oops, I hope I didn't offend her," Estrella said with a smirk. Jareth scoffed as he gave his mother an irritated look.
Pushing back his chair, he growled, "You know damn well you did." Turning on his heel he walked out of the dining hall to find Sarah. Behind him he heard his mother say, 'humans are so sensitive."
Jareth walked slowly down the hallway wanting to give Sarah time to herself before he approached her. He knew she'd been hurt by his mother's comment. He also knew she'd seen his expression. He hadn't hidden it from her quick enough. He did want children now. He didn't want to wait but in order to keep the peace in his life and his marriage he would wait until she was ready. One thing he did not want was for his children to grow up in an environment where its parents were at odds with each other. He was the Goblin King after all. Unhappy children were something he saw regularly and he hated it. Hated it with every fiber of his being.
Jareth took a moment to reflect on his wife. She was being so pleasant, taking everything much better than he could ever have expected her too. He often remembered her as a spoiled rotten child who thought everything was unfair but she was no longer that child. She'd grown, matured and become a fine woman. One that he would proudly have bare his children, their children.
At one time, he'd loved her. When she ran the Labyrinth, he was entranced by her beauty, her youthfulness, her playfulness. However, for the Goblin King, absence did not make the heart grow stronger. In fact, he'd practically forgotten her in the ten years they'd been apart.
He didn't love her anymore; he hadn't in quite some time. They were friends, that much he would admit. But his heart lay with Valentine. He loved her. There had been dark times in the last week where he wished it was the red haired woman lying next to him in his bed, the blue eyed goddess that called him by his first name, called him husband. He would never, ever admit this or even utter it out loud to anyone but that is how he felt. Jareth accepted his situation for what it was though. He was married to Sarah, would be married to Sarah forever.
He approached the doors to their room knowing she'd been inside. He'd asked the elven servant who was stationed a little ways back the hallway. He pushed open the doors gently and felt a breeze. She was on the balcony looking out into the garden.
Sarah closed her eyes as she heard the door open relishing in the warmth of the sunlight hitting her face. As his boot steps came nearer Sarah wrapped her arms around herself. She did not want to have this conversation right now but in a small part of her mind, the one she scolded for betraying her true feelings, was besotted that he'd come to comfort her once again.
Jareth leaned up against the doorframe of the balcony crossing his arms around him. His hair blew back from his face with the wind gusts. "I'm sorry for what my mother said. It was untowards of her."
"Don't try to be diplomatic, Jareth. We both know that you agree with what she said. So let's just not pretend that we don't. We both know that you'd like to have me barefoot and pregnant right now because that's what good little wives do." Sarah took a deep breath to try and calm herself. She wasn't mad at him, not really. She wasn't even mad at his parents, even though she did think they were meddlesome. She was scared, afraid of her new feelings for Jareth, scared that maybe just maybe she wanted to be barefoot and pregnant. Scared that her mind was trying to convince her that Jareth would love her back if she was pregnant. Scared that her supposedly rational mind would even think that. And when the Goblin Queen was scared, she lashed out. Her best known defensive mechanism, anger. "So why don't we…just get it over with?"
She turned to face him started walking towards him. When she reached him she put her hands on his bare chest, the expanse of skin that peeped through his open shirt. His face was blank but his eyes searched her face, giving away the excitement he felt by her statement. "Get what over with?" He asked frankly. No matter how happy Jareth was too hear Sarah say that he'd be damned if he'd let her get his hopes up.
"Let's make a baby," she said matter of fact running her hands down the front of his body. What Jareth saw in her face though, the false bravado, he just couldn't bring himself to do it. No matter how much he wanted it.
"No, Sarah. You know you aren't ready. I made you a promise and I intend to keep it," he said grabbing her hands, holding them tight to cease her fondling. He kissed the top of her balled fists before dropping her hands and moving away from her.
"Don't talk to me like I'm a child. I know what I want," Sarah said angrily as she followed him into the room.
"You are upset by the cruel words of my mother," He said sinking down into the couch and with a wave of his hand the fire started.
Sarah stood close to the end of the couch watching him. Damn it but he was right. It was a blow to her ego when he was right. But the stubbornness in Sarah had to keep pushing its luck.
"I saw the look on your face. You want it to happen," Sarah said quietly but determined as she continued to watch him.
Jareth stood from the couch stopping when he was inches away from her. "I want it more than anything," he whispered his face so very close to hers. Sarah thought for a minute he was going to kiss her again and her heart began to thud in her chest. His eyes lowered to her lips as if he were contemplating closing the gap between them. At the last minute he turned away, his back towards her. "But not like this," he said with a heavy sigh.
Sarah let out a slow shaky breath and closed her eyes. She walked towards him and laid a hand on his shoulder pulling gently so he turned to face her again. "Thank you Jareth. You're a better man than most people give you credit for."
The sullenness was gone instantly from his face. He smiled ruefully and winked. "Shh... don't give away my secret."
Ok, I'm going to stop there. This chapter was really hard for me to write. My muses just were not being very helpful. I hope you enjoyed it and as always please review! Hopefully the next chapter will be better. Thanks to all my reviewers! I'm thinking within in the next couple of chapters we're going to make a trip to the Aboveground!