There were always matters that meant one of two kinds of negotiation within the courts of the faerie. One kind of negotiation depended on the wiles of words, played in honeyed smoothness or stony strength. The other was the warfare that plagued their kind, riding into battle according to preset rules, played out as if within a chess game.
Then there were the rulers who were deemed too dangerous for playing by the rules and a third, though less favored, method came into play. For all that trickery and magic were part and parcel of their lives, it was rare a fae-ruler was removed from the eternal game in such a way, as the spells so often unraveled of their own accord when confronted with the lord's or lady's own ability.
The geas had qualifying statements that the caster thought would never be met. After all, the girl had defeated him, left him in ignominy. Seducing her to their side had actually crossed their minds, but humans made far better tools than collaborators.
"I can't just call you 'boy', no matter what," Sarah told the pale-haired child standing in her living room, looking at the clutter of a single-living career woman.
"Well, I will not say that ridiculous name you uttered." The boy gave her a baleful look, daring her to challenge his use of 'will' when it was actually a matter beyond his choosing.
"You're not a Bill or David or Michael or anything like that," Sarah said. "Certainly no Lancelot either." She had to smile, certain memories crowding at the gates she had placed on them when she grew up.
"You'd do just fine to call me 'your majesty'," the boy informed her.
She laughed at him, stinging him to the quick of his own self-importance. He marked the insult deep in his soul, watching her through narrowed eyes for it.
"It doesn't work that way, not here in the real world. You…" She faltered, coming truly face to face with what he was, and all the ramifications that held for her, for the memories she had locked away. "You may be a noble sidhe on the other side of reality, but here, you are merely a boy," she pointed out, making herself accept the fae nature of her guest.
"And just what manner of creature are you to dictate who and what I am in any realm?" he demanded.
She leveled her gaze on him, firming her will just as she had so many times in that awful labyrinth. "The one that you have no power over."
A ripple of something electric stirred the air, making his long, pale hair stand out for a moment, stirring her own dark tresses. His bi-colored eyes locked on hers, even as he fixated all that she was in this moment inside him for his own nefarious purposes.
"Grant me a name," he challenged her, his voice gone quiet and sly.
Sarah opened her mouth to give him one, and something cautioned her, deep in the recesses of her soul. //Names are power. Given or taken, they hold a measure of the being who wears them.// She smiled instead, shaking her head. "How can I give you a name, when I know so little of you?"
The boy did not stamp his foot, but the tightness around his mouth was a familiar sight to a girl who still lived inside Sarah's soul. She would never forget that final moment as the world fell down around them.
He flopped onto the couch, a half-sprawl that was somehow reminiscent of a cruel tyrant upon his throne, imagery she had never actually witnessed and yet had floated in many a dream when she was younger. "Then I shall be nameless, just to make your life difficult."
"And that would not be new," she answered, but softly, under her breath, as she went to put away her belongings. Somehow, she was certain, this was all going to play out with the fleeting kiss of a dream, and sanity would return when she woke. Until she did, though, she had to abide by the rules of magic once again.