Yes. I know. It's been done a million times before. And none of it is new, not really. And anyway I'm pretty late in jumping on the bandwagon.
But the fact of the matter is, this story jumped into my head and it just won't climb out again. My obsession with all things Labyrinth dates back a couple of years, from my first viewing of the movie, and was re-ignited by the beautifully drawn artwork (and, I'll admit, the awesome writing too) of Pika-La-Cynique (she's both on deviantart and here, but if you're reading this you'll probably know that because she is la crème de la crème in terms of Laby fanfic). So here I am, and no matter how hard I try Jareth won't stop bugging me unless I actually get this written down.
All right, all right, I'm on it, your majesty. *mutters irritably and begins to type madly*
NB: - This Sarah is English, because I'm English, and there's no way I can convincingly write from the point of view of an American. Deal. She is currently at a university somewhere in Britain, probably studying something like French because she quite likes the idea of getting away to a different country where she can forget about anything Labyrinth-related.
- My chapters are short. Sorry.
- Rowan and Beth are characters from my own stories. I'm afraid I have a tendency towards private jokes. But if anyone wants to know more about them and who they are, inbox me and I'll let you in on the know. Don't worry though, they're not key to the story.
- I don't read a huge amount of Labyrinth fic, so any similarities are entirely coincidental, unless I'm giving a nod to one of my favourite authors, in which case it means you are awesome.
- Sarah, Jareth and co DO NOT BELONG TO ME. I own nothing.
It had to be the jacket.
She adjusted it casually and flicked her hair back behind her ear as another guy walked past her, and sure enough, his eyes kind of bugged when he saw her and a deep appreciative grin spread over his features.
Yep, it was definitely the jacket.
Enjoying the unusual surge of confidence granted her by the outright ogling of pretty much every male she'd passed on the pavement, Sarah turned up her iPod and walked a little faster, swinging her hips just a little more than she usually did while Elvis' chocolate voice assured her that he needed her, he wanted her, he loved her!
It had been one of those days when everything went right and that was, frankly, astonishing because Sarah never had those days. She had become accustomed to the fact that she was a girl who always woke up with crazy hair, whose keys and phone and iPod and purse were always missing, who tripped over absolutely anything (including stairs, or occasionally a flat surface), who gained a new bruise on average once a day, and who had an extremely irritating tendency to knock drinks over. Sarah's bad luck and crippling clumsiness drove her crazy, but she didn't like to think about it too much for various reasons.
Sometimes there was a little voice in the back of her head that piped up to say that it could tell her perfectly well why she had been a major klutz since the age of fifteen, and that there was a very easy way to fix that. Also that it could explain the reasons behind her strange aversion to crossword puzzles – particularly those with mazes in them – and peaches, or anything glittery. Usually she was able to silence the little voice, but of late it had been getting all too loud.
But right now that was the last thing on her mind. Today was a good day, and Sarah was feeling sexy. Again, this was unusual. She herself wasn't particularly enamoured with her looks – the heavy dark hair was a pain to take care of, and the pale, lightly freckled skin did contrast nicely with the green eyes but showed up spots like a bitch – but she'd always been conscious of a vague feeling of surprise that neither were any boys. They always seemed to be a little put off by her, or perhaps afraid. This bothered her when she thought about it in case it was a character flaw on her part, but most of the time she was too busy tripping over something or apologising to whomever it was she'd last walked into to worry about it too much. In any case, she was not the sort of person who measured her own personal worth by male attention. She'd had enough of that to last her the rest of her life, thank-you-very-much-goodbye.
Today, however, she'd passed at least ten boys who'd eyed her up, and it was the cherry on the icing of an extremely nice cake. She had no doubt at all that it was all down to the fetching little jacket she'd found tucked away on a charity shop rail for three pounds and forty-nine pence. It fitted her like a glove (one of her least favourite phrases but peculiarly apt in this case), and showcased the curves of her figure rather nicely. Plus, the jacket reminded her of something – for the life of her, she couldn't figure out what, but it had given her a not unpleasant shiver of half-recollection when she'd first seen her reflection wearing it. It was made of an odd material; one would assume, as Sarah had at first, that it was leather, but on closer scrutiny it turned out to be something far softer and more pliant than leather – it clung, yet did not stretch. She was very pleased with it. And also with the fact that since she'd put it on, her hair had unaccountably decided to behave itself and actually look nice.
She hummed along to Elvis as she made her way up the street to the little house she shared with a couple of other third-years. While she'd had close friends at university, her language course was a year longer than most of the people's she'd started out with, so this year she was living with people she didn't know that well: Rowan was possibly the most antisocial guy she'd ever met – she could probably have counted the sentences he'd spoken to her on one hand – and Beth seemed sweet but was too occupied with her boyfriend to have time for anyone else. Fortunately this just gave Sarah more time alone in the house, which she rather enjoyed.
Today – miracle of miracles – her key opened the front door at first try, and she didn't trip over the doorstep on the way in. Today, nobody had left textbooks on the stairs for her to slip on, and she didn't catch her jeans on a nail and rip them on her way to her room. Sarah grinned to herself and, totally unsuspecting, unlocked the door to her room. Today –
She stopped her mental litany of success and stared.
The first word that came to mind was chaos, and the second one was OHMYGOD.
Her room was an absolute tip, and it was not empty. There were creatures everywhere: small, wizened, almost grotesque-looking creatures with misshapen features and bright beady eyes. They were all busy going through her belongings: papers were scattered over the floor; books were strewn everywhere, open at random pages; pens were liberally sprinkled over her bed and one of her posters was hanging crazily off the wall. In addition, her wardrobe was open and a pile of clothes was being enthusiastically examined by a group of goblins, who appeared to be more interested in the taste of the clothes than anything else.
For they were goblins – Sarah didn't dare deny that she knew it, even to herself. For one split second, she stood there frozen in the doorway, unnoticed by her unwelcome visitors who were all muttering to themselves ("Nope… nothing here," "Ooh, new diary entry!" "Photo!" "Mmm, smell good!"). Then she started screaming.
"WHAT IS GOING ON?!"
Like magic, a hush fell over the room and as one, fourteen goblins turned to look (with, she noticed with a panicky internal laugh, identical looks of terror) at their unsuspecting host.
"She's back," stated one of them, unnecessarily, after a few seconds of silence.
"We know," hissed one of the smarter ones, slowly and carefully lowering the sock he held to the ground and dropping it.
"What do we do now?"
"He said she couldn't see us."
"She's never seen us before."
They all started clamouring at once. "Why can she see us?" "This is all your fault!" "MY fault? It's YOUR fault!" "He promised us she wouldn't know!" "Can she hear us?"
"SHUT UP!" yelled Sarah over the hubbub, as her last thread of patience (and possibly sanity) snapped. "I WANT AN EXPLANATION OF THIS RIGHT NOW! WHY ARE THERE GOBLINS IN MY ROOM? AND IS THAT A CHICKEN OVER THERE?"