I've lowered the rating to a T as I've read a few M fics and I don't think my story will get that dark.
Chapter 6 – Groot's Punishment
Sarah peered over the top of her menu watching as Kyle babbled away. "The pepperoni plus is good, or are you a vegetarian? Then maybe we should get this one" he turned his menu around to show her a pizza three quarters of the way down "it's just like mushrooms and crap".
"I'm not a vegetarian" Sarah stated closing her menu and placing it down on the table. "Kyle, why did you ask me out on a date?" he put his own menu down and answered her question.
"I've liked you for some time now" he rubbed the back of his neck "just haven't really known how to ask you out"
Narrowing her eyes Sarah watched his face closely. "You seemed pretty confident in asking me at lunch"
Kyle just shrugged "I thought being direct was the best action to take, you would of said no if I gave you a chance to right?" he winked one of his blue eyes and Sarah instantly compared the colour to the Goblin King's right eye. When they had danced in the crystal ballroom she had had the perfect opportunity to study those unusual irises. Kyle's was a dull blue in comparison even Toby's big bright eyes did not compare.
"You ready to order?" Katrina broke Sarah's train of thought as she pulled her notepad from her apron and waved it in front of her face.
Kyle placed their order "yeah we'll have a pepperoni plus with a side of potato skins and some garlic bread" he looked over at Sarah "you want anything else?" Sarah shook her head.
Katrina scribbled down their order "drinks?" they each ordered a coke. As she went to leave Katrina bent down to whisper in to Sarah's ear "cheer up, you're on a date with a sexy guy" Sarah gave a smirk it was true if she was going to have to be here she might as well try to enjoy it.
"So what are you into?" Kyle asked when they were left alone
"I like plays and reading, do you read?"
Kyle chuckled "no, I'm more into sports" Sarah nodded, sarcastically thinking to herself this is going to be fun.
Katrina popped by once again (instantly dispersing the tension that hung in the air) a tray with their drinks on it was resting on her hand "here you go" she said placing them down "and here are some breadsticks" dashing off again Sarah felt awkward once more.
"How long have you and Katrina known each other?" Kyle asked
"Since kindergarten" Sarah answered pulling a breadstick free from the basket and nibbling on it.
Jareth lounged on his thrown (still dressed in his formal attire) glowering as a thick mist radiated from his aura, the dark tendrils slithered about the room the faintest hint of glitter tainting the haze. He had transported himself straight back from the Fae City but not before his father had harassed him with details of his betrothed. He had learned her name was Ballah from the Elven kingdom of Rossendale; his father had been adamant that the wedding would go ahead no later than the summer solstice. That gave him less than a month to get out of it and to get Sarah back to the underground.
"Dizzy!" came a cry that rang out through the throne room, Groot had been stuffed in to a metal cage in the shape of a sphere and was currently being kicked around the floor by the other goblins playing a game of soccer. "HELP!" he called his head spinning as the cage was toe punted across the room in to a wall, the metal bars clanging and ringing in his ears.
"STOP!" Jareth called standing and descending from the throne, his cloud of mist tucking itself around him tightly. His subjects moved out of the way looking up at him in silence as he approached Groot whose cage was spinning around anti-clockwise. Coming to a stop in front of the barred enclosure Jareth lifted a booted foot and pressed his heel down on the sphere bringing the rotating device to a halt.
He removed his foot and knelt down to look at Groot's face which was slightly green and pasty in colour "feeling sick?" the king asked mockingly with a sneer. Groot nodded instantly regretting it as his vision reeled; he clapped a dirty hand over his mouth as the king continued.
"Now Groot you know what you did wrong do you not?" afraid to move his hand the goblin closed his eyes and nodded slowly this time. "I asked you to do a simple task and you failed" placing a finger on one of the bars Jareth swayed the contraption from side to side and Groot braced himself for what was coming next but it didn't come, he looked up at his king.
Jareth pricked up his ears like a cat hearing something in the distance and was silent for a moment as if listening to something only he could hear before standing to his feet; Groot gave a sigh of relief.
Taking a step away from the creature Jareth's mood induced haze thickened he span back around and kicked the cage hard across the room "continue your game" he said to the numerous goblins dotted about, they let out a raucous cheer and rushed towards the 'ball'.
A feminine scream escaped Groot's lips followed by the sound of vomiting "it's in my tail!" he wailed as the other goblins broke out in laughter. Jareth rolled his eyes and began to teleport from the room he had felt someone disobey his strict orders.
Reappearing on the outskirts of the labyrinth he sighed, swarms of fairies fluttered about the maze's walls and his gardener was nowhere to be seen.
Jareth leant back on one of the walls crossing his arms over his chest and waited for Hoggle to return. The labyrinth let out a deep rumbling growl making the fairies panic and dart away in search of cover.
"Still mad at me?" Jareth asked humour in his tone "patience my friend, change of plan your queen will be here before the summer solstice" the growling ceased and Jareth's mist slowly recoiled (at the thought of Sarah) and completely disappeared.
Hoggle emerged from behind a tangle of vines a sad look on his face. He knew he would have to report his visit to the King it was one of the conditions of being able to visit Sarah, but he would try to avoid him for as long as he possibly could.
Hoggle kicked at a loose stone and watched as it clattered across the floor and rolled into the stagnant pond before the labyrinth's entrance with a splash. "Hogwart, I see you've been neglecting your duties" Jareth said as soon as the dwarf came in to view. A fairy had settled on the King's shoulder, he gave it a disapproving look and flicked it away.
"Aww crap" Hoggle mumbled narrowing his eyes "and it's Hoggle!"
Jareth waved a hand in the air "whatever, I believe you have something you need to tell me"
Hoggle scratched his arm "I's been to see Sarah".
"Oh I'm very much aware of that" Jareth said pushing away from the wall and stepping closer "what did you talk about?" He stopped at the edge of the pond and glanced down at the murky water a small ripple radiated across the still surface as a tiny fish darted up to grab an insect that had rested there, he was surprised anything could survive in the dirty water.
"We spoke about Didymus and Ludo" Hoggle told him standing on the opposite side of the water feature.
Hoggle hesitated "she had a feather, one of yours" Jareth's face remained stoic but inside he was glad she had kept it. She didn't know it but it was a peace offering one that represented a fresh start for them.
"What else? Jareth asked again.
"Nothing" Hoggle lied shifting on the spot.
Jareth saw straight through the dwarf he flicked his wrist to produced a crystal "your forgetting Higgle, I hate being lied to"
Hoggle gulped he knew it was futile to lie. Jareth could easily pull the events of the visit up, either way he would be punished for not sticking to the rules. "Okay, okay she went on a date!"
Jareth's perfect eyebrows flew up "she what?" he asked trying to keep his voice composed, that hadn't been what he was expecting to hear.
Hoggle repeated in a whisper "she went on a date"
Jareth could feel an ache in the pit of his stomach at the fact some other man was courting her. He didn't pursue the matter "that wasn't what I meant, one of the strict rules of visiting the Above is that you do not tell Sarah about what has befallen the labyrinth or discuss its king. Which you broke"
Hoggle's wiry eyebrows flew up "how?!" he demanded crossing his arms over his chest
"You spoke of its king 'down right moody' I believe you called me"
The dwarf starred up at him defiantly "that ain't giving anything away!"
Jareth strode around the pond coming to stand in front of Hoggle "listen to me" he said venom lacing his voice and his features darkening "Sarah has a certain perception of me that I don't very much care for, so you claiming that I am 'moody' does not help my cause of gaining her affections" Jareth smoothed his hair back and his features softened "I will not punish you, but you may no longer visit Sarah"
Hoggle began to protest but when Jareth's eyes darkened again he held his tongue "yes, your Majesty" he obeyed with a grumble.
"Good, now get back to work "Jareth ordered dropping his crystal in to the pond and disappearing, the scum in the water began to clear revealing a number of fish swimming about in the now transparent liquid.
Hoggle stood beside the pond alone watching a swarm of fairies hovering overhead.
Jareth stormed into his bed chamber slamming the door behind him, how another man could consider himself worthy enough to court Sarah was beyond him. In all the time she had been away she had never shown any interest in another male and if she had he would have put a stop to it.
Conjuring another crystal he peered in to it his eyes narrowed when Sarah came in to view nibbling on a breadstick. She sat opposite a blond haired teen that was chatting away about nonsense as she looked on bored. Jareth's expression eased up he was happy to see she wasn't particularly enjoying the boy's company, but he also felt unhappy that he couldn't recue her from her boredom.
He let the crystal pop. He was sure he had nothing to worry about but just in case he would send in a chaperon of the goblin persuasion. Jareth left his room and headed down the hallway towards the throne room, goblins lounging around the corridors jumped out of his way to avoid a kick as he passed.
He burst in to the throne room and all feel silent "where's Groot?" He asked no one in particular stepping further into the great hall.
One chubby goblin with his pot belly peeking out from under his armour spoke "his up there" he said pointing to the high celling where Groot was still in his cage firmly wedged in to one of the rafters.
"Majesty!" he called down staying as still as possible.
Jareth was not about to shout the entire conversation with the goblin nor was he about to give him an easy way down. "Goblins get Groot down and do it quick" he ordered standing back as the creatures began throwing empty pitchers and lose rocks at the cage.
"Ahhh!" Groot cried as the missiles pounded against the steel bars making it rock. The potbellied goblin picked up a spear that lay on the ground and readied himself to launch it, he began to run forward bringing his arm back but as he went to release it his feet left the ground.
"I want him down not dead" Jareth spat out shaking the spear until the fat goblin released it.
The cage shifted slightly but did not release from the beams. "Rock the cage!" Jareth called up watching in mild amusement.
Groot shook his head "nah huh, no way!"
Jareth gave a mischievous grin "rock the cage or it's the bog for you!" as soon as the words had left his lips Groot grabbed on to the bars and frantically began to shake causing Jareth to chuckle. The ball soon dislodged and plummeted towards the ground Groot's girly scream sounding all the while. Landing hard against the floor the cage split in to two halves and Groot spilled out sprawling onto the cold stone with a groan.
Using the spear still in his hand like a cane Jareth approached and poked at the vertically challenged creature with the dull end "Groot I want you to go and watch over Sarah" the goblin groaned in response "if the mortal she is with tries to take advantage in any way I want you" he poked at him again "to stop him, am I understood?"
Groot sat up "yes Majesty" he obeyed shakily climbing to his feet.
"Good! Usual rules apply; do not be seen, do not talk to anybody, eat nobody's pets and clean yourself up before you go. And Groot" Jareth walked past him towards his throne "if you mess up this time your punishment will be far more severe"
Thats right Jareth knows Hoggle's name is Hoggle his just being a wind up merchant.
It actually hurt me to call the sport 'soccer' but as I'd already made Kyle play American football (which I'm pretty sure is rugby with more clothes) I had to do it.
This story was only meant to short but I'm enjoying writing it and I'm happy people are enjoying reading it so the tale will go on! :)