When Two Are One
"Son of a bi—"Jareth's roar was covered by the small goblin's scream as he kicked him across the room.
Everything was going according to plan! He'd been so close to having Sarah make the wish. He had been in the middle of showing her everything he'd ever wanted for her, everything he'd felt and kept locked inside for so many years, and then...then she'd woken up before he could see it through to the end. Somehow, he'd ended up back in the underground. Immediately he tried getting back to the hospital- she must be feeling so abandoned. Nothing. It was as though there was something blocking him.
"S-Sire!" A meek goblin cried out.
Jareth's mismatched eyes went to the squeaking goblin and his lips curled back in a cruel line. "I have no time for you!" He kicked that goblin across the room as well.
He turned his back to the goblins and stared at the wall. He gave a hefty glare at it and if looks could kill…
"I was so close!" He shouted to no one.
His Sarah was probably angry and frightened now. How long has it been since she woke up? A week? Two weeks? Time moved so differently between their worlds. It didn't matter. Any length of time was too long. Who knew what that damnable hospital would do to her without him there? All of his work with her… all the time he had spent to just help her feel comfortable around him... to realize his love for her...
"Kiss me." Sarah's voice still rang through his ears.
Jareth let out a groan and turned and paced to his throne. He stood before it, glaring. He didn't feel like sitting. He felt like torturing someone. Anger and disappointment clawed like beasts within his chest, warring with so many other emotions he couldn't put words on. His work would down the drain and Sarah would begin to forget once more.
What had caused this? Why did it happen now?
He quickly turned on his heel and glared at his subjects. The creatures were cowering behind objects, fearful of making a sound and incurring his wrath. Some of them were trembling. A few, trying to mask their fear, shakily brought their cups up to their mouths to drink their ale. He snorted and looked away, tapping on his lower lip in thought.
Something was blocking him from going up there. Something wanted to stop him from seeing his Sarah. Quickly he conjured a crystal, somewhat relieved to find he could still watch her through the glass orb. But this was far from enough. He needed to speak to Sarah in person. He needed to hear her say the words; not just any words- the right words. How else was he going to get her out of there?
He needed answers, and he needed them now. He needed to know why he was being stopped from going above, to Sarah. Normally he was free to go anywhere he desired, but now something was blocking his power, limiting his freedom.
Without regard to where he was going, Jareth took off down the long hallway. He stopped in his tracks when he reached a particular door. It was her room. The one that he had prepared for her for when she came back, for good. Sighing, he opened the door.
Instead of seeing the bedroom he was greeted with a forest.
The door closed behind him with a final thud but he didn't look back, too confused to be concerned. Where had this come from? He looked around, the forest lush and healthy, humming with activity. There was a unique sort of music the forest was making. Crickets, birds, squirrels, and even wolves could be heard in the depths of the trees. They all called to him and made their own music that put peace in his heart. Despite the beautiful serenity that soothed his anger, restlessness stirred within him. He needed Sarah. Somehow, he knew the answer he sought would be here.
"Why can't I see her?" He called.
No one answered. He took a few steps forward, making slow progress down the green path before him. In the branches on his left, he saw a large snake on a tree limb, its tongue flickering out as it peered at him. He looked away and kept walking. Intent on a destination he didn't know, he failed to notice that the creatures of the forest were watching him and flocking closer.
When he came to a clearing, he stopped. A creek bubbled through a beautiful glade, unnaturally brilliant in its clarity. Everything went quiet as he stepped into the space, the sounds of the forest halting. A heartbeat of absolute stillness passed. In the silence, the dull thuds of slow, deliberate footsteps seemed to echo. Whatever it was, it sounded large. Looking around, he saw nothing at first. Returning his gaze to the front of him, somehow a large elk had appeared and was now standing on a rock in the creek. It stared at him, a soft glow emanating from its chestnut fur.
Jareth held his breath as he watched the creature. It bowed its head toward him, its large antlers pointed respectfully in his direction. Jareth mimicked the movement, waiting with bated breath to see what this creature would do.
"You've come for answers." A baritone voice came from the animal.
Jareth released the air from his lungs, eyes widening in surprise. He was quite certain that he'd never encountered this creature. What was it? It had to be something powerful. He could feel its magic emanating off it in waves, filling the glade completely. It dwarfed his own abilities in comparison. "Yes."
"You have no power over the girl."
"Yes, I know." Jareth said slightly annoyed.
The creature shook his head. "Impulsive child. You do not understand. You were gaining power over her. That can not be allowed." It said patiently.
Jareth raised his eyebrows. The elk was speaking, but its lips never moved. Its blue eyes looked wise and old. "Who are you?"
The elk considered the goblin king carefully. "I am what holds your kingdom together. I control nature and all its creations. I am beauty. I am love. I am…. What I am."
Something niggled in the back of his mind. A myth, one older than the Labyrinth itself. He spoke slowly to the creature, choosing his words carefully. "You're saying you are the creator?"
"Yes." it stated simply.
There was some snickering to his side, and Jareth looked away from the elk briefly to see a variety of fairies giggling at him from their spots on flowers or lilacs in the creek. He turned his attention back to the Creator. "Why have we never met until now?"
"You have never needed my wisdom until now."
Jareth tilted his head to the side slightly, "How is it that I have never known of your existence?"
"I am old. I could be considered a myth but I am as real as you are. As real as she is."
Jareth nodded slowly and lifted his hand and brought it to his chin and rubbed his lower lip with his gloved fingers. "So why is it that I can not go to her?"
"You have put your will and power over her, but she must decide on her own to accept. She must make the decisions. I will not allow you to interfere with fate. You have watched over her long enough."
Jareth's lips pulled back in a snarl, "She needs me. She is going through too much!"
The elk moved its head to the side and looked back at Jareth, "You have done all that you could. You have used too much magic in the above; people were starting to notice. I had to erase memories. I had to wipe your time away… as if you were never in there to begin with."
"That's going against everything I have done!" he roared.
The creator continued, in spite of his outburst. "She remembers. Hers remains."
Jareth stopped, lowering his hand down to his side. Hope rose within in his chest. His heart fluttered and his stomach started to knot. "She will summon me then?"
"That I do not know. Time is by your side. I will allow your creatures...your...goblins... to listen to her. But you may not appear aboveground until she has chosen."
Jareth shook his head, "It all makes no sense!"
The elk started to move off the rock and back away. "Say what you must." It said patiently, unfazed by his outburst. He turned, heading back into the long grass by the bank of the water. It turned so it was side ways, looking ahead before then glancing back at Jareth. "Should you need me…"
Jareth watched as it slowly walked off and into the distance, becoming enveloped by greenery. It all made no sense but at the same time it did. He had abused his own magical abilities by trying to gain power over Sarah, the one thing that he was not supposed to have power over without her saying the right words, and now the creature… this… this God like creature was stopping him from traveling aboveground.
Jareth turned around and walked back on the path and listened as the music started to play again as the creatures resumed their noises. The fairies joined their chorus. Some laughed. Some cheered. And some cried. Eventually he reached the door that had led him here, and he stepped through it. Firmly he shut it behind him, relieved that he was back in the hallway of the castle. Quickly he went back to the throne room.
The goblins froze as he walked in, trying to gage his mood.
He pinned the nearest one with a fierce glare. "Go aboveground and listen for Sarah to say the words." Jareth demanded, his voice resonating.
They all blinked, then started to cheer. Their King was back.
"She must say the right words." Goblin number one said.
"Master misses hers." Another said.
Jareth's thin lips curled back in a smile. She will say the words. He had told her all she needed to know. She would remember.
Constantly she was shivering and trembling. She couldn't tell if she was cold or the medication but honestly, she couldn't tell the difference anymore. Her muscles were just spasming and she couldn't do anything about it. Her mind jumped from thought to thought, never able to settle on a single idea or even word for more than a moment before it would vanish. Her mind would go blank at random times and she would be unable to summon words as her brain refused to function. She barely ate. The nurses and her new doctor were constantly criticizing her, telling her she had to eat at least three hundred and fifty calories with her medicine. But she just couldn't stomach it. Food made her nauseous.
She looked down at her plate of cold eggs. Her stomach rolled in rebellion just from looking at them. She'd just finished another ECT treatment. Her doctor had been right; they did put her to sleep for it. They put in an IV in her arm and made her take a shot of gross medicine- it was sharp and disgustingly tart. Her mouth would become dry and her tongue stick to the top of her mouth afterwards. When it was time to begin, everyone surrounded her. They'd lie her backwards onto the bed and put a mask over her nose and mouth. Through the IV, they'd injected the sleeping medicine. She could feel it burning its way through her blood stream for a split second before her world went completely dark.
All she wanted to do was sleep. She didn't want to be bothered; she simply didn't have the energy to deal with anyone. Slowly, the elation she'd felt from Jareth's arrival dulled to a tiny flicker as she began to lose hope. The meds were having the opposite effect on her- Sarah was seeing things that shouldn't be, her emotions rioting uncontrollably. Outbursts of screaming followed by episodes of uncontrollable crying were her new normal. Her doctor would say she was having a 'psychotic breakdown'. In response, he continued tinkering with her medications, each change bringing a fresh new hell of side effects. Once, she'd looked down at her hands and was horrified to discover that they'd transformed into octopus tentacles. When she'd freaked out, she was taken to the solitary confinement.
Her head lolled forward and she felt a little drool come out of her mouth. She made no moves to wipe it away. Her focus was solely locked onto the only thing that still anchored her to some semblance of reality. Slowly she brought her eyes down to her tightly clenched fists, loosening her white knuckles the tiniest of bits to reveal the object she held so dearly. The mismatched colored scarf. Quickly she closed her hands around it again. No one could see it. She had kept the items safely hidden and she made sure that no one knew she had it. Footsteps came towards her, and she reluctantly dragged her gaze upwards to see who was coming towards her.
"Sarah, you need to eat." The nurse chided. Sarah couldn't recall this woman's name. It wasn't Jackie.
Sarah stared at her stomach, her eyes refusing to rise any higher to allow normal eye contact. "I'm…I'm not hungry." She mumbled out.
"Sarah, you must eat." The nurse's hand came out and shoved the tray closer to her.
Sarah closed her eyes and shook her head. "Not hungry. Puke." She whispered breathlessly.
"You're going to puke?" The nurse asked quickly.
Sarah nodded slowly. "If I eat, I will puke."
The nurse sighed, annoyed. Grabbing the still-full tray, she walked away, leaving Sarah alone once more. Slowly Sarah opened her eyes and stared at the empty spot where her tray used to be. Her Thoughts trailed back to Robin… no, Jareth... as tears began to form and blur her vision. She had tried so many times to call for him. She had cried. She had pleaded. But he had not appeared. He had not taken her away as she'd hoped. She closed her eyes, trying to prevent the tears from spilling over, but several leaked and left damp trails down her cheeks regardless. Why wasn't he saving her? She had called for him. Hadn't she said the right words?
"Jareth." She whispered. "Please."
She waited a second. Then two. She opened her eyes and saw she was still in her seat at the table in the damned hospital. A small whimper escaped her lips, and she covered her mouth as a sob threatened to escape. Another cry left her, and Sarah got up as fast as she could before she could break down. She made her way to her room, closing the door behind her as she fell onto her bed.
"Jareth." She cried out, finally allowing herself to succumb to the bitter disappointment and pain ripping her heart into pieces.
She cried into the scarf, burying her face in it. Clinging to the fabric was the sweet, stale smell of the magic and musk. Of him. Sarah cried until her medications forced her into a dark, dreamless sleep.
"How are you feeling today, Sarah?" Doctor Moore asked gently.
Sarah glanced around the room and noticed all the changes. The wallpaper was a dark brown, and Jareth's warm wooden oak office desk was now a sterile steel and glass table. The clock on the wall was gone; instead, there was a digital clock on the desk. She didn't like the changes. In fact, she hated it. Everything was too clean. They had erased Jareth completely, everything she had loved about him stripped away. She sucked in her lower lip and looked at the doctor, who was still watching her expectantly. Her response was automatic. "Fine."
He raised his eyebrows and nodded slowly, "Fine? Just fine?" She could see in his eyes that he didn't believe her. To be honest, she didn't blame him. She probably looked horrible. She hadn't bothered to touch her hair in days, and dried drool was probably still stuck to her chin. Her eyes were red from crying, dark circles bruising the pale skin under her eyes. Of course he wouldn't believe her when she said "fine".
Sarah nodded, unwilling to speak to this man. He was nice enough, but one more medication change was one too many. "Peachy." She lied.
"Sarah, it's best we are honest with each other. I heard you were in your room all day… crying might I add."
Sarah quickly looked away and played with her fingers. She'd wanted to hold onto her scarf, but she'd left it back in her room. Worrying her lip, she sincerely hoped no one would find it while she was here. But it was safer there than in this office. Knowing he was waiting for a response, she shrugged. "I tend to do that a lot these days."
"But before you weren't." He stated more than asked.
She shrugged again and picked at her nails, deciding to be honest. She didn't have the strength to lie. "I miss him."
"Ah. This… Goblin King. Or Robin."
She stared down at her nails, chewed down to the quick and stayed quiet. Maybe if she just didn't talk about him, he would stop these treatments. Maybe then she wouldn't be so heavily medicated. She felt so numb and exhausted.
"Sarah, you have to know he's not real."
Sarah looked up at him and glared, "He is."
He smiled gently at her, "Sarah, I thought these medications and treatments were helping. It seems you are still having these delusional thoughts. Still, you haven't seen him? So the hallucinations must have at least gone away."
She still glared at him and looked back down at her hands. "I have faith."
Even as the words left her lips, doubts plagued her. Did she still have faith? By now, she'd wished and wished and wished- but nothing had happened. He hadn't appeared. He hadn't taken her away. What was she to believe? Over and over again she'd said the words 'Goblin King take me away', with no response. Her shoulders slumped dejectedly.
Her doctor leaned forward, steepling his fingers. "Do you want to talk about it still?"
She shook her head. "Not with you."
"Sarah, we are getting no where if you close up on me." He chided.
Sarah thought she heard something; a rustling coming from the corners of the room. Something was off. It was almost as if she could feel electricity, like static on her skin. The hair on her arms stood up in response. Another sound, this one a mumble. Her eyes darted to the closet, eyebrows nearly meeting her hairline. It couldn't be, could it? She felt her heart race, her stomach twisting into a solid knot. Were they really here? Were the goblins really listening?
She drew her gaze back to the doctor, heart still hammering. "Would you like to know the story?" She asked softly, shifting her gaze again to stare at the closet door.
"Shh." She heard softly from the closet.
"What story?" Doctor Moore asked.
A small smile appeared on Sarah's lips as she turned her head and looked at the doctor. There was a new gleam in her eyes as she began to speak. "Once upon a time, there was a girl who was locked away declared insane. She had pleaded with her doctors that she was not crazy. The king of goblins loved the girl, you see, so he gave her certain powers."
She heard hissing and shushing from the closet. The doctor seemed oblivious to the noise. How could it be that he couldn't hear them?
"She had spent too long in the hospital and did everything she possibly thought she could do to get out. Then one day…"
She stood up, watching the doctor's reaction. His eyes widened and he leaned back, concerned for what her next actions could be. "Sarah, what are you doing?"
She smiled, "Then one day, she'd had enough. So the goblins said, 'Say the right words'." She said, mimicking the high-pitched, immature tone of a goblin.
"She's going to say the words." She heard one hiss.
"Sarah, please have a seat. You need to calm down and focus on reality. The goblins are not real." Doctor Moore said in a serious tone.
She shook her head, continuing in spite of his interruption. "So the girl thought it over. She had tried multiple times and it never worked. But then she realized what she should have known sooner. Things had changed. Times had changed. She was no longer a child, but an adult. So, one day, after she was exhausted from treatment after treatment, unable to endure the side effects anymore, she looked at her doctor right in the eye…"
"Sarah…" he warned.
"I can bear it no longer! Jareth! Where ever you are! I wish to be by your side…right NOW."
Sarah looked around breathless, feeling torn apart when she didn't see anything happen. She looked at her doctor who was looking back at her with a very concerned expression. "Why didn't it work?" She whispered. "It should have worked."
The mutterings from the closet continued. She could have sworn she heard one give an exasperated groan of "That's not it!"
"Sarah, I think you need some time alone." Doctor Moore stood up and started to walk around the desk, apparently intent on showing her out of the office.
She shook her head and let out a sob, "I wish to be with Jareth, right now." She cried out desperately.
Doctor Moore stopped. Thunder cracked and the lights went out. She screamed and covered her face with her hands, her body trembling as wind whipped violently around her. The ground beneath her shifted abruptly, a terrified sob ripping itself from her throat as she held herself tightly. She heard footsteps coming closer, and she squeezed her eyes shut tighter. She didn't want to see Doctor Moore's face looking at her with that kind expression. She didn't want to hear his new idea for treatment. She just wanted everything to stop. She just wanted Jareth.
But the voice that said her name wasn't Doctor Moore's deep bass. No, this voice was filled with tenderness, caressing her name lovingly as it passed his lips with a slight British lilt. "Sarah."
The wind died down, Sarah's heart halting as sobs wracked her bony frame. She heard her name over her own tears, barely daring to hope as her breath hitched in her throat. Slowly, she removed her hands from her face, daring a glance around. She wasn't in the doctor's office anymore. Instead, she found herself crumpled on a hard stone floor. Rising to her feet, she realized immediately where she was, and her heart began to drum painfully against her ribs. She was standing in the throne room. But then...where was...
Quickly she spun, and he was there. She shouldn't have been surprised to see him standing beside her, snaking one arm around her hollow waist, his touch warm and soothing to her starved soul as he worshiped her with his soft mismatched eyes. Her own green eyes went wide, her mouth dropping open and snapping shut again at the glorious sight of him. She didn't know if she should scream or laugh or cry.
A combination of all three broke through, and she collapsed into him. Sarah clung to him like he was her lifeline as she sobbed, taking gasping breaths as she struggled to get air into her lungs past the tears flowing turbulently down her face.
"Hush now." He soothed, stroking her back as he held her close. She'd lost so much weight since he had last seen her. It was disturbing to feel the sharp ridge of her spine beneath his gentle touch. Just what had they done to her? He tamped down his anger, focusing instead on soothing Sarah, brushing away the tears coursing freely down her face as best he could as she continued to gasp for air and tremble in his arms. It wrenched at his heart that he hadn't been there for her. But she was here now, and that was all that mattered. She had finally said the right words.
"Why did you leave me!?" She screamed through a sob, beating a fist weakly against his chest.
Jareth didn't answer and she continued to cry until her quaking knees gave out. Falling limply against him, his arms were the only thing holding her upright as tears continued to fall steadily down her face. She offered no resistance as he swept her effortlessly into his arms. Again, he was struck by how small she had become in his absence. As he walked with her across the room, he mentally promised retribution to whoever had done this to her. A wave of anger and protectiveness rushed through him as he held her helpless form tightly against his chest. No one would ever hurt her again. Carefully, he settled her gently into his lap as he sat on his throne, pulling her close and tucking her head under his chin. He'd known Sarah long enough to understand that now was not the time for words. Gently he ran his fingers through her hair to soothe her until her tears abated. Again he cursed the Creator for keeping him away from her.
Weakly Sarah held onto his loose white ruffled shirt, desperately trying to pull herself together as the warmth of his body seeped into hers. He was here. She wasn't dreaming, was she? Trying to soothe herself against the rising panic that this could all just be a dream, she breathed deeply, taking in his scent. He smelled like spices, the distinct smell of magic underlying his masculine musk. She loved it and hadn't realized just how much she missed it. Closing her eyes, she nuzzled the side of his neck as her breathing finally resumed a steady rhythm at the familiar and comforting scent.
"Better now?" He asked softly.
She nodded slowly, her voice soft and hoarse. "Yes."
Sarah didn't know how long they stayed like that, but she could have remained there with him forever. Absorbing his warmth and his scent, feeling his gentle touch calming her, reassuring her that she was safely within his embrace. Her mind began to collect itself as relief settled in, warm happiness beginning to wrap itself around her heart. She was free. Jareth ran his free hand up along her side, gently hooking a finger beneath her chin to bring her gaze to his. Her thoughts scattered as their eyes met. Oh, how she'd missed those mismatched eyes. His voice soothed her, sweeter than warm honey. "Let's get you settled. Perhaps a bath?"
Shyly, she looked away. The way he looked at her like she was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen was too much. She still had tears in her eyes, and she knew that her nose had been running as well while she cried. Sarah was sure that she looked awful, especially compared to his flawlessness. But he looked down at her lovingly, like she was by far the most precious jewel he had ever laid eyes upon. Slowly, she nodded. "Yes."
Reluctantly she stood up and backed away from him, giving him ample room to rise. Placing a hand on the small of her back, he gently directed her to the way out of the room. They turned left down the hallway, his footsteps reassuringly solid 'thuds' behind her. She still looked over her shoulder to him to make sure he was still there, part of her still worried that she'd wake up again in that awful hospital.
He smiled at her, lengthening his stride until he was by her side. Looping an arm around her, he continued to lead her down the hall with his hand resting gently on her waist. One more right turn and they halted in front of a door that she vaguely recognized. It was her room.
She stopped, pausing as the pushed open the door. Sarah hesitated as he walked further into the room. A moment of panic gripped her when he vanished out of her sight through another door on the left. What if she never saw him again?!
"Jareth!" She gasped out, fear lending speed to her feet as she ran to find him.
He tilted his head in bemusement at the wide-eyed fear in her eyes as she barreled into the room. Pulling his hand away from a lever, she watched as water poured into a tub roughly the size of a queen-sized bed. Behind the tub, there was a glass window that overlooked the Labyrinth. Reaching for a bottle of something sweet-smelling, he began to add it to the steaming water. He gave her a gentle, teasing smile. "I'm still here, love."
Her relief was so great, her body trembled as she tried to slow the pounding of her heart. Wrapping her arms around herself, she fought to keep from falling apart in front of him again, swallowing hard against the lump in her throat. Her skin crawled at the thought of him vanishing again as she watched as the bathtub continued to fill.
Corking the small bottle of oil, he turned to her. "Get in the water, precious. I'll still be here waiting for you." He said softly. She watched as he came closer to her, his eyes searching hers as he stopped inches away.
Tilting her head to look into his face, she asked "Is this a dream?"
His lips quirked upwards, one of his hands reaching out to tuck a rogue strand of hair behind her ear. "No. This is real."
She nodded and felt her lips tug with a return smile. Her eyes followed him as he left her alone, closing the door softly. The water beckoned her with its sweet scent and steaming surface. How long had it been since she'd had a real bath? Undressing herself, she carefully put one foot in the water and almost moaned when the heat hit her. The hot water was heavenly, and without further hesitation she sunk into the relaxing warmth.
She leaned her head back against the tub, really moaning this time as the tensions began to unwind themselves in her body. This was perfect. She hadn't realized that she needed this so badly. The fragrant oils that Jareth had put in reminded her of incense and magic, and of his own comforting musk that she adored so much. Slowly she dunked under the water and stayed for a few seconds before she resurfaced.
The bathroom was still empty when she came up, and she was struck by sudden fear. What if this was all some kind of dream or hallucination? Another cruel side effect of the medications? She looked to the door and nibbled on her lower lip. If this was a dream, she wanted to be with him as much as she could before she woke up. If it wasn't, she needed him near her to reassure her that this was real, and that she really was here. She felt like a child, scared without her guardian to keep her safe.
"Jareth?" She called, a hint of hesitation in her voice
The door opened a crack, the King remaining respectfully on the other side. "Yes, Sarah?"
She covered her breasts, even though they were under the water. Her lower lip would become raw if she chewed on it any harder. "I…I want you in here." A hot blush rose in her face as the words left her lips.
He raised his eyebrows, "Do you know what you are asking?"
She closed her eyes and took in a deep breath. "I can't stand the feeling that this could all just be a dream...that I could wake up at any moment... Please… don't leave." She begged softly, as her head dropped.
She heard the door close, and she figured he must have left. But then she started to hear clothing material shuffling. She slowly opened one eye and saw him undressing. Heat rose to her face again and she quickly shut her eye once more, staying silent as he undressed and slowly made his way into the bath.
She heard him sigh, the water sloshing slightly as he sat down. She opened her eyes, blushing hotly once more as she saw him watching her, bare chest glistening with moisture. Averting her gaze, she looked over to the glass window that was behind the bathtub. It overlooked the scenery outside, sunlight cheerfully highlighting the hedge maze below. Flowers covered the bushes, making them appear almost as though they were coated delicately in snow from the soft white blossoms.
"Is it summer?" She asked nonchalantly.
She smiled and stared outside. She could clearly see the city, and the Labyrinth beyond it, stretching for what seemed like eternity. "What month is it? Do seasons work the same here as they do in my world?"
Jareth grinned a little at her curiosity. "Mostly. It is currently March here."
She stayed silent and watched as goblins went to and fro with their every day life. She eventually turned her head and looked at Jareth, who was still watching her. She blushed and gave him a shy smile. "Did you have all of this planned out?"
"For the most part."
She furrowed her eyebrows and stared at Jareth, hurt flashing in her eyes briefly. "Even the part where you disappeared on me?"
He shook his head. "No. Not that part. The creator…the labyrinth itself prevented me from going to you. I had no power over you. Or at least, I was not intended to."
Something in the way he said that caught her attention. "What do you mean you had?”
He smiled a cocky smile, "You wished yourself to me, Sarah. You gave me power over you. I could not get you out of that gods-forsaken hospital otherwise."
She tilted her head and slowly lowered her arm away from her breasts. "What does that mean then?"
His eyes didn't flicker downwards to her exposed chest; he just continued to meet her gaze levelly, his expression serious. "That means you agreed to be my queen."
Sarah sputtered, her heart racing at his blunt statement. "Y-Your queen?"
He nodded once. "Yes."
She looked away and looked down at herself, thoughts churning. How could she be his Queen? Critically she looked down at her body, which was weak and scrawny from the lack of food for the past few weeks. Her ribs clearly showed through her skin, her stomach hollow. Whatever Jareth had put in the water had also made it cloudy, but still she found herself wanting to cover up, her hands automatically moving to hide the juncture between her legs. But really, who was she kidding? He'd seen all of her naked already. There must be something about her that he found pleasing, especially if he intended on making her...Queen... her thoughts stuttered at that word, the seriousness of that title weighing heavily on her. And yet, if it meant she could stay here with Jareth, she would happily accept. Nodding slowly she looked back up at him. "I'll take it then. If that means I don't go back there." Her voice cracked, tears threatening to erupt once more from her eyes.
He shook his head, "I will never let you go back there, Sarah. I promise."
She nodded and rubbed at the liquid threatening to spill from her tear ducts once more. "Will I ever be able to go back aboveground?"
"But of course." He said soothingly. "I can take you anywhere you please."
Her fears melted away, leaving behind a warm swelling of joy in her chest. "Anywhere?"
He nodded. "Anywhere."
A wide smile spread across her face, and she threw her arms around him, forgetting for a moment their current nudity in her exuberance. The warm press of their bodies sliding against each other quickly made her remember where they were, and she pulled away as a hot blush burned her ears. "I'm sorry."
He smiled, a little teasingly. "No need to be Sarah. I rather enjoyed that."
A mortified heat ran from the crown of her hair all the way to her toes, and she almost dove under the water to hide herself once more before his chuckle made her realize he'd only been teasing. Sheepishly she took in a deep breath, releasing it slowly as her heart slowed itself. Looking for a distraction, her own long dark locks caught her eye as it floated in the water. "I need to wash my hair."
He turned, reaching for a bottle and handed it to her. She examined it, but there was nothing to give away what it was. It was simply a plain glass bottle, stopped with a cork. Glancing at Jareth curiously, she opened it. Bringing it close to her nose and taking a whiff, she almost burst into tears of happiness. "This smells amazing!"
"It's made for you."
She looked at him and smiled. "Thank you."
He nodded, looking away as she began to pour the soap into her hand.
She went to business with shampooing her hair, rinsing it out and finding another bottle filled with what seemed to be conditioner. Delightedly she worked it through, savoring the instant difference in the texture of her hair. When she felt like she was finished she moved towards Jareth, who'd patiently been waiting for her to complete her washing from the opposite side of the tub.
"I'm ready to get out."
He nodded, "As you wish."
He stood up and she looked away quickly, waiting until he'd secured a towel around his waist before looking back at him. Jareth was holding a large towel out for her as a screen, his head turned politely away as he waited. His consideration was touching and sweet. Careful not to slip, she stepped out of the tub and wrapped herself with the large red towel, reveling in the soft fluffiness of it.
"You go on and dress." Jareth pointed to the door. "I will be back."
She looked at him and was about to ask him not to leave, but then she realized that he probably wanted clean clothing as well. Reluctantly she nodded her acquiescence, chewing on her lower lip as he vanished. Stepping into the bedroom, there already was an outfit waiting for her on the bed.
It was a simple outfit. Jeans with a ruffled white blouse, simple socks and shoes. Something comfortable that she would have worn as a teenager, but still nice even for her more matured taste in style. Drying off quickly, she changed into the clean clothing before sitting down on the large bed to wait for Jareth to return as promised.