DISCLAIMER: Settings, characters ideas, scenes, etc, from Labyrinth are (c) Henson, Lucas, Froud, Lee, Bowie, Connelly, etc and are NOT MINE.
This is one of a few stories written in thanks to spike30 (on deviantArt) for taking some of my suggestions for cosplay pics. There's a link to his dA page on my profile here.
Stay tuned for A/N after.

It was a gloomy day that wouldn't make up its mind to rain. Sarah didn't notice. If Karen had had any doubts about her step-daughter's relationship with some man that hadn't been introduced to the Williams family yet, that basic fact should have dispelled them all.

And, strangely enough, it did.

Somehow, Karen was going ring-shopping with Sarah for him. Wedding ring shopping. After spending all morning, watching Sarah examine every possible candidate at the jeweler's, Karen suggested that they break for lunch.

Willing to be fed, Sarah agreed, knowing that Karen would finally begin to grill her about her mysterious fiancé.

Once the food had arrived, Sarah forestalled the inevitable barrage of questions. "How about if I just tell you about him?"

At Karen's quick nod and impatient gesture, Sarah began.

It was a couple of years ago now, when I was auditioning for the traveling repertory troupe. Winston was stage manager, and gave me a couple of pointers, both before and after my try-out. He knew from how the company manager reacted that I probably wouldn't be hired, but that I had potential. So Winston got my number, and we met for coffee after. We've been staying in touch ever since.

The gloomy sky got darker.

When the company was back in town a couple of months ago, I knew about it, thanks to Winston. I was well-prepared this time, and my audition was a success. Once I was sure of being hired, I found him to thank him, said that I owed him one. He agreed, and said that I could take him out to dinner and dancing.

The thunder started to roll.

I was surprised, as I didn't think he was interested in me. I mean, we spent more than two years on the phone with each other, becoming good friends, and talking about our dating lives, and he never gave any indication! I'll be honest, I found him to be very attractive at the start, but didn't think anything of it. The logistics of a long-distance-plus-one-traveling-relationship didn't appeal to me then.

A spear of lighting and a loud clap of thunder made the two ladies jump, grateful to be inside.

So we had dinner, and danced, and kissed, and the rest, as they say, is history. We've talked on the phone every day since, and last week, he proposed!

Another, brighter lightning-bolt landed somewhere nearby.

"But Sarah, why haven't we met him yet? And why are you shopping for a ring for him when he hasn't even given you an engagement ring?"

Sarah smiled, a touch wistful, "He wants to meet you, the whole family, but I've held him off."

"WHAT?! WHY?" Karen's exclamation not only came close to bursting Sarah's ear-drums, it was echoed on many levels by others, both mundane and arcane.

"I'm sorry, but is there something wrong over here?" The waiter's cultured and concerned tones made no attempt to disguise the slight reprimand at the possibility of a disruption in this venue.

Sarah hid a smile, and began to apologize.

A gloved hand landed on her left arm before she could do more than open her mouth.

A black gloved hand, with a proprietary sense about it.

Swallowing a double-take, Sarah relaxed inside. Finally!

"Karen, I'd like for you to meet…"

"Winston, of course! How delightful!" Karen's relief at meeting this paragon spilled over, rendering her nearly unable to speak.

Another chair was brought before anybody could comment on the need for it. The waiter left discreetly, mind at ease over the volume level and general degree of disruption to be expected from this party.

"My apologies, madam, but I must correct this horrible misunderstanding." A smoothly accented, baritone voice carried well without being loud.

Sarah began to blanch. She would have run out, as fast and as far away as possible, had Jareth not slid his hand down to take hers, fingers interlocked.

This masculine addition to their party moved smoothly into his chair as he continued. "My name is not, nor has ever been, 'Winston.' My name is 'Jareth,' but I am going to marry Sarah."

By the time he reached her name, Jareth had reached up with their joined hands, and tipped Sarah's chin up, forcing her to face him. He leaned over to whisper in her ear, "Winston? You had to pick such a name as that?" He kissed a line from her ear, down her jawline, before claiming her lips.

When he would have pulled away, Sarah held him there, as much with the look in her eyes as with her free hand, now on his shoulder. She shrugged, and whispered in return, "Nothing else was working. How else was I going to get your undivided attention?"

Pleased to see evidence of romance and relationship in Sarah's life, Karen could barely restrain herself from launching all of those questions at Jareth that she had planned to lob at 'Winston,' but with an addition.

Reluctantly turning away from his promised-Queen, Jareth faced Karen. "You must be wondering, why the charade? The fake name, the story, not knowing that you were going to meet me today… The truth is that Sarah and I have had our differences to work out. Until she definitely said something about her future, I couldn't come."

He stood, giving Karen a brief bow that gave the impression of full courtliness, bent over to kiss Sarah once more, whispered, "You'll hear from me soon, precious," and left the restaurant.

Astonished at how well that had worked, Sarah sat, speechless for a full minute afterward. Karen chattered away, about her impressions of Jareth, and his appearance and behavior, and the way he kissed Sarah, and the way he moved when he walked, and…

Sarah finally interrupted Karen's monologue. "Are you ready to get back to shopping now?"

At Karen's assent, they finished up, and left. Neither commented on how clear the sky was, or the fact that there was now a ring on Sarah's left hand.

A/N: special thanks to Pika-la-Cynique for feedback on layout / timing!

While this story is part of the thanks / debt to spike30, it isn't part of the series "Ordinary Magic", or any other story / plot / anything else of mine.

Un-Beta'd: Beware of Typos. You spot 'em, I want 'em!