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I Could Show You Incredible Things

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Chapter Nine

So Baby Pull Me Closer

 

 

Sarah's face lit up when she saw Jareth walk in her bedroom. She quickly stood up, fingers twisting together nervously. Her heart picked up speed as she drank him in. He looked so good dressed in dark grey tights with a loose blouse covered by a magenta jacket that accented his broad shoulders. To her starving gaze, Jareth was stunning and so, so magical. Self-consciously she pushed back some hair behind her ear, her tongue darting out to lick her dry lips. She took a deep breath, inhaling to soothe her fluttering pulse before she spoke. "Thank you for the clothes."

He captivated her, filling her vision as he came closer. Stopping in front of her, he gave her a cocky smirk. "I thought you may have wanted to dress in something more comfortable and a bit less…" He tilted his head to the side, deliberately dragging his mismatched eyes slowly down her face, enjoying the red flush that began to spread across her cheeks as he dipped his gaze lower to appreciatively examine the way the fabric draped across her chest. Jareth's lips frowned slightly at the way the cloth hung loosely around her concave waist, evidence of her malnourishment. His eyes flickered further downward, admiring the long stretch of her legs, the denim hugging her slender calves and thighs gently. Snapping his eyes back up, his smile widened at the warm red flush that burned from her ears to below the neckline of her shirt. She shivered, her eyes darting away from him as she clasped her hands behind her back to hide their nervous trembling. He smiled a little more, continuing his thought. "….Well a little less hospital."

Her hands continued quivering; they'd been shaking since she'd gotten here, and not just from nerves. She felt weirdly on edge, and again, it wasn't just from Jareth's presence, although he certainly wasn't helping her feel any more composed. No, this was the after effect of the medications and treatments she had done. Sarah was having a hard time meeting his eyes. "Thank you for being so thoughtful. It means a lot to me."

Without a warning, he reached out and placed a hand on her upper arm. With a firm but gentle tug, he pulled her towards him. Her breathing stopped in her throat and her heart somersaulted at the sudden feel of his firm body pressed against hers. He was so solid, a rock to her spinning senses. Sarah's gaze darted up to his face, eyes wide with anticipation as she waited breathlessly for what Jareth was going to do next. He ran his hand down her arm, lifting her delicate fingers to his lips. He placed a soft kiss on her still trembling hand, mismatched orbs studying the red that seemed permanently burned into her face with gentle affection.

His lips brushed over her skin lightly as he spoke, those eyes still watching her. "Are you hungry?"

For a moment, Sarah couldn't formulate a response. Her attention locked onto his lips- they looked so addicting, promising sinful pleasures. They shimmered as if he had put gloss on, daring her to taste them. Blinking, she realized he was still waiting for an answer. Giving herself a mental shake, she focused on his question. "No. I haven't been able to eat."

He lowered her hand from his lips, keeping his fingers wrapped around hers. "Well… personally I find myself famished. Perhaps we can find something that will appeal to you? I fear you may vanish if we don't get some food in you. My future Queen needs her strength."

She blushed and looked away, looking anywhere but at him at the reminder that he intended for her to be his queen. It was overwhelming, but she offered him a shy smile. "I guess I'll try."

He smiled warmly, giving her hand a gentle tug as he pulled her with him towards the door. They walked hand in hand down the hall and past the throne room where goblins were singing and drinking. Sarah peeked over as they continued by, watching as the creatures ran around gleefully chasing chickens and chugging their ale. She looked back ahead of her, quietly following Jareth's lead.

They went up a winding staircase stairs, then down another hallway. Halfway down the corridor, Jareth led them through a door on their left. Sarah looked in awe at the large room. In its center, there was a long table full of food and plates. Fruits, pastries, meats, desserts...anything Sarah could have imagined was sitting there on the table waiting to be selected for consumption.

"How long has this food been here?" She asked softly.

"Not very long. It's fresh, don't worry about that." He said gently and led her towards the table.

She picked up a creamy egg-shaped plate. She scanned the table for anything that looked appealing. Her stomach refused to be tempted, even though she hadn't eaten her breakfast this morning. Those rubbery hospital eggs seemed like a lifetime ago, even though it had only been a few hours. Glancing at Jareth, she noticed that he continued to watch her closely. She had to try, for him at least. She placed some apple slices and grapes on her plate then prepared to sit down.

Jareth raised an eyebrow at her selection. "Is that all?" he asked, sounding both slightly surprised and dismayed.

She nodded, feeling guilty. "I'm afraid I don't have much of an appetite."

He tsked, picking up a plate himself and loading it with food. She waited until he was done, following him into an adjoining room where there was a large, formal dining table. Sarah watched as he went to the middle of the table and pulled out a chair. She waited for him to sit, but he looked over at her with a questioning arc of his eyebrow.

Her pulse picked up. "Me?"

Jareth nodded. "Yes you."

She blinked, an involuntary "Oh" jumping out of her mouth as she quickly moved to take the indicated seat. As she sat, he pushed the chair in, setting his plate down at the seat next to hers. Sarah watched curiously as he lowered himself into the chair next to hers, eyebrows raised. Why wouldn't he be sitting at the head of the table? Wasn't that the King's spot? She couldn't keep the question in and it left her lips before she could stop herself. "Why are you sitting here?"

He picked up a small piece of cheese, studying it with disinterest before bringing his eyes to hers. A bemused quirk twitched at the corners of his lips as he looked at her with his eyebrows raised slightly, head tilted inquisitively. "Why? Do you not want me next to you?"

She blushed, shaking her head "No, that's not it." Sarah looked down at her plate and shrugged her shoulders, "I just kind of thought you'd be sitting at the head of the table. Since you're the King and all."

Jareth laughed lightly, his hair sliding along his shoulders as he shook his head. "I will sit with you. I do not need to sit at the head of the table at all times just because I am the King. Right now I'm just Jareth, love. Next to you is where I belong, should you need someone to talk to."

Sarah felt another red flush creeping up her neck. Distracting herself, she picked up an apple slice, nibbling on it the tiniest bit. Her stomach churned and protested, but she forced herself to slowly chew, grimacing as she felt it slide down her throat. God, she hated that she had no appetite. The food looked absolutely delicious and Jareth was watching her expectantly. She looked at him again, a sliver of suspicion in her voice as the last time she'd seen him replayed in her mind. "Just talk?" She asked, fingers absently fiddling with another slice of apple.

"Of course." He said soothingly.

She smiled at his efforts to make her feel comfortable as she nibbled on the fruit, despite the protests of her stomach. "What do you want to talk about?" Until now, it had never dawned on her that they hadn't actually talked in person. Well, she had talked to him when he was Robin, but it wasn't the same as facing the Goblin King, free of all disguise. Now he was here, sitting next to her, intimidating and gorgeous all at once.

His gentle voice broke through her thoughts. "How long was it that you were treated… without me there?" He asked.

She put down the apple she'd sort of nibbled on, closing her eyes. How long had it been since he'd vanished? She tried to think of how much time had passed before today. The medications had distorted her sense of reality, making it impossible for her to keep track of how long it'd been since she'd seen him last. She looked back at him, speaking slowly. "I'm not so sure. Two months maybe?"

His eyes hardened and he said something under his breath angrily, but it was too quiet for her to make out. He looked back at her, his eyes softening once more with regret. "What did they do? Did they give you any of their medicines?"

She nodded. "They put me on anti psychotics and medicine for anxiety. They even made me do these… shock treatments. Three times a week."

He looked as if he was struggling with something, his fingers biting into the wood of the dining room table until his knuckles turned white. Alarmed, she watched with concern as his nostrils flared and his hands balled up into fists. Through clenched teeth, he ground out "What… shock treatments?"

She looked away, fearful she must have said something wrong to make him so upset. Reluctantly she continued. "I think they were called ECT. But they put me to sleep and shocked my brain. They did it three times a week." She further explained.

Jareth leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes and breathed through his nose and out through his mouth, fighting against the urge to go up and beat whatever doctor had done such a thing to her senseless. That was possibly the most barbaric thing he had ever heard of. Forcing himself to take another deep breath, he waited several heartbeats until he felt his murderous rage subside. When he felt like he was calm enough, he reopened his eyes again and ensnared Sarah in his gaze. "Well, I have my work cut out for me then. I shall be reversing what they did to you. I'm so sorry, Sarah, that you had to endure such torture in my absence. It wasn't my intention to leave you."

She stared at him in shock. Jareth, King of the Goblins, had just apologized. How often does that happen, she wondered? Flustered, she looked down at her plate, on which still rested a few slices of apples and grapes. She picked at a grape and shrugged, attempting to cloak her discomfort. "It's okay." She mumbled. But she knew it wasn't.

Jareth's hand covered hers, gently pulling it away from the plate and drawing her attention to him. Her green eyes were wide as he brought up his other hand to caress her cheek. "Sarah, love… it's not okay."

Sarah sunk her teeth into her lower lip as tears pricked at the corner of her eyes. This was all just so surreal. It was almost too much for her overloaded, medicated mind to handle. Her scared eyes met his steady blue ones as she gave voice to her concerns. "I'm so scared this is just a dream. That this is just… a hallucination from everything they put me through."

He leaned closer, bringing her face in closer to his with a finger under her chin. "Listen to me, you are not hallucinating. You are not dreaming. You are here… with me. You are safe." There was finality in his tone.

She closed her eyes as he spoke, savoring the sound of his voice. The British-sounding lilt and the different tones, rising and falling lyrically. How his voice would be deep and steady, and then rise in pitch with a few words. She kept her eyes closed as he finished speaking, her voice soft and uncertain. "How can I believe it? How can I be so sure?"

He said nothing, but she heard the chair creak a split second before she felt the soft pressure of his lips meeting hers. Her eyes flew open, body stiffening for a brief second before relaxing into his gentle warmth, eyes fluttering shut. Warmth blossomed across her chest, but before she could even think about deepening the kiss, he pulled away. His hand still softly stroked her cheek, mismatched eyes warm and affectionate as she slowly opened her eyes to look at him. Her heart pounded, a feeling spreading through her that was indefinable, and yet so much more than simple attraction.

"Over time you will begin to believe. Underground is nothing like the world you have grown up in. This is a place of magic and fairy tales. Time through here passes differently than above ground. But you will believe. I will show you."

She raised her eyebrows, "Show me?"

He nodded once, squeezing her hand before bringing it up to his lips for a chaste kiss across her knuckles. "I will do everything I can possibly do to show you that you are awake and here with me. You will sleep and wake up here… you can even dream once more if you wish. I can help you with that, as I did before."

She swallowed the lump in her throat as he mentioned sleeping. The thought that she could wake up back in the hospital sent her heart racing with terror. Giving another hard swallow, she looked back at him. "Dream?"

He nodded, "If you wish to have a dreamless sleep then I can do that. But if you wish to dream of… good things I can make that happen. I can keep nightmares at bay."

She pulled her hand out of his and looked away with a shake of her head. "I—I don't even want to think about dreaming or sleeping. I don't even think I can fall asleep."

"Do you wish for that special pill I always gave you?"

She quickly looked at him with wide eyes, "What? No. No pills!"

He nodded, but gave her a secret smile. "It was never a pill, Sarah." He leaned back in his chair and raised his hand. A crystal appeared with a small flourish. With another flick of his wrist, it turned into a peach that he extended to her. "It's always been this."

She raised her eyebrows and her mouth went dry. "It's always been a peach?"

He nodded, "This is what made you sleep. This is what made you dream of me."

She looked away and looked down at her trembling hands. "Thank you, but I don't want it."

There was a movement from him in her peripheral vision, and when she looked back at him the peach was gone. She licked her dry lips, watching his impassive face. Saying nothing, he turned back to his food and began to eat.

She waited until he was done, not wanting to spoil his meal. Had she said something wrong? Should she just have accepted his offer? His sudden silence was unsettling, yet she found her voice failed her. The mid-morning medications she had taken were still flowing through her system, making it impossible for her to come up with a way to break the silence. Even a simple phrase or question failed to stay in her mind long enough for her say it. Everything in her mind was just blank, and it seemed determined to stay that way.

"Are you done, precious?" Jareth's voice broke through the fog.

She blinked and quickly looked over at him and nodded. "Yeah. I just can't eat." She said sadly.

He gave a short, understanding nod. "Give yourself time. It's little wonder you cannot eat with what has been done to you. You will return to normal in time." Standing, he offered her his hand. Timidly laying her hand in his, she allowed him to lead her out of the room, exiting through a door different than the one they'd entered through.

"I was thinking that perhaps if would be beneficial for you to see your friends. I'd be happy to reunite you with them, if you feel up to it." Jareth said as he led her back down the hall.

Confusion creased her brow. "My friends?" She asked, before the memory returned to her through the fogginess of her mind. Her heart lifted at the thought of them, energizing her. She had friends. Real friends.

"Hodgehead and that big beast." He went on.

Sarah smiled, using the hand not clasped in his to push her hair back over her shoulder. "Hoggle and Ludo." She corrected.

"Yes, well I'm sure they would be happy to see you as well." he said dismissively. Jareth stopped walking just outside of a door, tilting his head and giving her a cocky smile. It stole her breath away, seeing the teasing and affectionate humor dancing over his face. For a moment, she could do nothing but stare at him in wonder. It amazed her that someone like him, someone so perfect and magical, could be in love with her. If this was a dream, she never wanted to wake up.

"I would love to see my friends. Please, take me to them." She said happily.

A soft chuckle escaped him at her eagerness. Opening the door, she followed behind him as they stepped through. Sarah could tell they were somewhere outside of the castle, but she couldn't tell exactly where. The door closed behind her. Glancing around, she noted there was a forest surrounding the edge of a very large clearing, almost the size of the park she played it as a child. "Where are we?"

He looked over his shoulder before turning to face her fully. "Somewhere outside of the labyrinth. Certain doors in the castle can take you to where you desire. We desire to see your friends. This is where they are." He explained.

She nodded, looking away to scan the area for signs of Hoggle and Ludo. A few hundred feet away, there was a little hut with smoke coming out of the chimney. "Is that where they are? How could Ludo fit in there?"

"I'm sure hogsbreath is in there. Ludo must be around somewhere." Jareth said, tugging her along with him towards the rustic cottage.

Sarah giggled each time he said Hoggle's name incorrectly. She knew he was doing it on purpose. Whether he did this to put her at ease or make her laugh didn't matter; she rather enjoyed it and appreciated his efforts to relax her.

"Hoggle." She said softly, smiling up at him.

"Yes." He replied absently, the corner of his own lips quirking.

Within a few moments they were at the door. Raising her big green eyes to his uncertainly, he simply smirked at her. Releasing her hand, he rapped firmly on the wooden door.

They heard a grumble coming from inside, the unmistakable clanging of pots and pans being dropped along with something else, followed by a string of curses. Sarah laughed softly, impatience and excitement making it impossible for her to stand still as she bounced on her feet.

When the door finally opened, Sarah flung herself onto her old friend, sending the unprepared dwarf staggering backwards. "Hoggle!" She cried, squeezing him tightly.

"Wha...?" Hoggle barely managed to croak, falling on his bottom with a dull thud, Sarah on top of him.

"Sarah? Is that you?" He asked shocked as he finally got a look at his exuberant assailant, who was currently hurriedly standing up.

"Yes! Oh Hoggle!" She squealed, pulling him to his feet. She knelt down so they were face to face. "I have missed you so much!"

Hoggle stared at her in shock, completely at a loss for words. He looked over Sarah's shoulder to where Jareth was still standing, idly leaning in the doorway, watching them. Hoggle shivered, not liking the dark look in the King's eyes. He was grateful when Jareth turned his attention fully back to Sarah, the storm clouds clearing as he took in Sarah's happiness. Confused by the shifting moods of his monarch, Hoggle foced back on his friend, who continued to beam at him.

The dwarf shuffled his feet. "I thought you forgot about me."

Tears welled in her eyes and she quickly shook her head in denial, "No! Some things happened and… it's a long story...and well, I'm here now." She sniffled and wiped at her eyes, brushing away the liquid that threatened to spill over.

Hoggle patted her knee, not liking to see her upset. "Well you is here now. We's gots time to talk about it." He looked back at Jareth, worry creasing his already deeply furrowed brow. "But uh, what is Jareth doing with you?"

Said person advanced menacingly towards the dwarf. "You little ungrateful little servant. Are you saying that you are not honored by my presence?" Jareth said, his voice deceptively smooth.
Sarah laughed, recognizing Jareth's goading for what it was as she wiped away the last of her tears before patting Hoggle on the shoulder, "Relax. He brought me to see you." She glanced back at Jareth. "And you- stop teasing my friend." She commanded playfully, giving the King a radiant smile.

Hoggle looked back at Sarah doubtfully. "He brought you?"

Sarah nodded and laughed again; she was so happy that she couldn't seem to stop the giggles from bursting forth. "Like I said; a lot has happened."

"Er, right." Hoggle said and backed away slowly, "Come on and sit down then. I'll make us some tea."

Sarah stood up straight, eying the small dining table before she looked over at Jareth, then back at Hoggle. "I don't think we'd all fit."

The dwarf glanced at his table, realizing she had a point. Muttering something under his breath, he looked back at Sarah and Jareth. "Rights. Well…" He moved to step out of the cottage to allow room for his guests, edging as far away from the King as possible.

Before he could get very far, Jareth's voice interrupted. "How about I leave you two?" Jareth suggested, looking towards Sarah, ignoring the wide-eyed shock that flashed across Hoggle's face.

Sarah looked back at Jareth, fear and uncertainty at the thought of him leaving flashing in her green eyes. "What?" She squeaked, a little too loudly, the flare of panic she felt revealing itself in her tone.

Jareth put his hands on Sarah's shoulders, looking into her eyes reassuringly. "I won't be far. Spend this time with Hogwart."

"Hoggle." Sarah and Hoggle both corrected at the same time, a ghost of a smile quirking Sarah's lips while the dwarf frowned unpleasantly.

"Yes." Jareth replied amicably, gently running his knuckles tenderly down her cheek. Hoggle gaped at the intimate gesture, his jaw snapping shut as the King's eyes flickered briefly towards him before returning to Sarah. "Should need me, just call my name. I will come…. I promise."

She stared at Jareth and searched his face, warring with herself. She wanted to trust that he would come back for her if she called, and yet the fear that she could be dreaming was still all too real. His blue eyes were sincere, asking her to trust him. Finding what she needed in his loving gaze, she slowly nodded. "Okay."

He gave her a proud little smile. "Right." He let go of her shoulders and slowly backed away, skewering Hoggle with a piercing glare. "If any harm comes to her I'll be putting you head-first into the bog." Sarah rolled her eyes, and Jareth gave her a conspiratorial, playful wink before disappearing into thin air.

For several heartbeats, she stared at the empty space where Jareth had been standing, struggling to control her uncertainty and fear at his absence. A breeze blew some of her hair across her face and she slowly pushed it back, releasing a sigh as she turned to meet the confused eyes of her friend. Timidly she smiled at him, suddenly acutely aware that he'd witnessed her interaction with Jareth. Smiling a little sheepishly, she met Hoggle's dark eyes. "How have you been?"

Hoggle was looking at her like she'd grown a second head, or a third limb. "Er well… fines." He shuffled to his kitchen, motioning for Sarah to join him and have a seat. She took in a deep breath as she followed his directions. There was a lot she would need to fill him in on. She would have to start the beginning of her story of what happened and why she went missing.

He joined her at the table, setting the tray of tea down in front of her and pouring two cups. "So uh… what's going on between you and Jareth?" Hoggle gruffed, looking at her from under his bushy brows.

Sarah squirmed under his stern eyes, blushing slightly as she began her story from the beginning. She told him what happened and everything Jareth had done, minus the more intimate moments they'd shared. Finishing her story, Hoggle was staring at her with his mouth gaping and eyes wide.

"Why'd that rat do all that? Don't make no sense! He's up to something!"

She smiled slightly, unsurprised by his reaction. She inhaled deeply, knowing he probably wasn't going to like what she said next. Watching Hoggle's reaction closely, she said slowly, "I'm to be his queen. He did everything to save me."

Hoggle's eyes widened and his mouth opened and a growl came out. "Oh look what you've done!" He stared at her, gaze unrelentingly stern "Save you? He don't do nuffin' for nobody but himself. You can't be serious about marrying him?!" Hoggle asked, disapproval clearly evident in the deep grooves of his face.

Sarah stared at him, frowning. How could Hoggle not understand, after everything she'd told him? "What do you mean? I'd rather be his queen than be stuck in some insane hospital for the rest of my life!"

Hoggle stomped a foot, "He's no good!"

Sarah rolled her eyes, a smile quirking the corners of her mouth. "Hoggle I may know him a little bit better than you realize. No matter what you think you know about him, he's a good person."

"I do know him! That's why I say he's no good!" He crossed his arms across his chest, obstinately refusing to think of Jareth as anything other than a villain.

Sarah felt her temper start to flare. "He is good, Hoggle." She stated firmly, giving her friend a stern look as she crossed her arms. "If you knew all the things they did to me in the hospital without him there to protect me you'd be cheering Jareth on!"

Hoggle was unmoved by her argument. "He gets in your head! That's what he's good at. He's gotten in yours but good!"

Sarah fumed, feeling her face burn from either anger or embarrassment. Perhaps it was some combination of the two. When she spoke, her words came out clipped and sharp. "Hoggle. He saved me. He's been so, so generous. Even while I was in the hospital… he treated me kindly. He kept me sane in a place that was trying to tell me I wasn't."

Hoggle spluttered, looking away from her. He still didn't believe that Jareth could have been helping her for anything other than selfish reasons. She shifted uncomfortably in her seat, struggling for something to say. There wasn't anything she could tell him that would sway her friend from his negative opinion. Finally she gave up with a resigned sigh.

"I know you don't like him, but if you don't believe me then maybe you should watch how he treats me. Actions speak louder than words, right? You saw that he gave us time together. He easily could have just said for me to say hi and then take me back to the castle. He's not keeping me locked away or trapped in a dungeon. I have my own room for God's sake!"

This seemed to break through when nothing else had. "Y-ya do?" he looked back at her with puppy eyes, wanting to believe that Sarah was safe.

She smiled, reaching across the table to touch his weathered hand. "Yes! He's been a complete gentleman. He hasn't tried to touch me or hurt me at all. I know I haven't even been here a full day yet, but I'm sorry Hoggle, I can't help what I feel for him."

"Well…" He raised his eyebrows, "how DO you feel about him?"

Sarah was at a loss for words and she stared at him, unable to respond. How did she really feel for Jareth? Averting her eyes she pushed back a lock of hair from her face nervously. "I—I…" she stumbled over her words and slowly shook her head. "I'm not sure. I just want to be around him all the time. I'm so scared that this all is some amazing dream and I will wake up back at the hospital. I want to believe this is all real, and that this will all be here when I wake up. Plus, God, this is only the first day I've been here. I can't be expected to know something like that so soon, right?" She rambled, the words spilling out of her in a torrent.

Hoggle nodded, patting her knee soothingly. "It's not a dream. Yer here and just as real as me. Just don't let that rat Jareth treat you however he wants." The last part came out as a protective growl.

Sarah laughed and shook her head, "I honestly don't think he's capable of treating me badly."

"Hmph, we'll sees abouts that."

She simply smiled. "I guess we will."

The two friends chatted for a while longer, both reluctant to bring their long-awaited reunion to an end. With one last, lingering hug and a promise to visit again soon, Sarah called for Jareth, returning to the castle at his side.

~*~

Later that night, Sarah found herself alone in her room. It had only been with extreme reluctance that she had parted from Jareth, finally allowing him to persuade her to get some sleep. Once he'd left however, she'd been unable to do so. Instead, she'd been tossing and turning in her large bed, looking around the room in the dark. The memory of Jareth's chaste goodnight kiss lingered, reminding her of other times she'd touched those lips with her own. It'd reignited the fire she'd felt before with him, making her tingle with remembered sensation. She rubbed her lower lip, closing her eyes as she thought of his lips brushing over her heated skin. With a groan she reopened her eyes. It was no good. She was filled with a combination of fear and want, making it impossible to relax in the obscenely comfortable bed. The conflicting emotions rioted within her, strangling her. God help her if she were to wake up in the hospital, for she would truly lose her mind if that were to happen.

She turned on her other side, kicking off the cotton sheets in her agitation. No matter how perfect the bed was, there was no way for her to sleep. Her fear was too great, her heart racing too hard. She needed reassurance, another presence to remind her that this really wasn't a dream, and that it would all still be here when she woke up.

Making a decision, she got up from the bed. Absently she straightened her knee-length, oversized sleeping shirt, grateful for Jareth's consideration of her preferences in dress. She padded barefoot across the dark room and exited into the hallway.

The first thought was to find Jareth. She wanted to be with him. It was so odd to her now that she had come to this point where she would find comfort in his presence. Once, she'd been too scared to even speak his name. But as it always had been with the Labyrinth, things were never as they seemed. He wasn't all bad, and he had been so very kind to her. In fact, he'd been her lifeline in the hell that had become her life. She pushed her hair back from her eyes and started to walk down the long hall way. Sarah paused outside of the throne room and stared into the dimly lit large chamber. Goblins were passed out and snoring, their sprawled out bodies littering the floor like extra-large pieces of confetti.
A smile crossed her face and she shook her head. These goblins seemed more like useless drunks than responsible citizens of Jareth's kingdom. Although, she mused, she might have to try the ale sometime, if they liked it that much. Carefully picking her way around the bodies as so not to disturb them, she crossed the throne room to the stairs on the other side. Last time she was here she'd taken these same steps to rescue her brother. Now, she climbed in search of something vastly different.

The winding staircase eventually led her to another long hallway. She gave a little huff, looking at the corridor with mild annoyance. This place seemed to be a maze of hallways. She began striding forward, hoping to God that she wouldn't end up in the Escher room again. She'd never get out of there and who knows how long it would take Jareth to find her if she ended up trapped in there? Her thoughts halted as a particular door grabbed her attention. She stopped, her heart somersaulting in her chest. Instinctively she knew this was the right place.

Not wanting to wake him, she carefully reached out and turned the knob. The door swung open easily, the dim light from torches in the hallway softly illuminating the room. His room was larger than hers, and in the center was an even larger bed. She could make out his silhouette lying in it, his distinctive wild blonde hair resting on a pillow. Her pulse picked up speed, hesitating for a moment as she considered what she was doing. It wasn't too late- she could still go back to her own room and he would never know she'd been here. But the thought of returning to her empty room, alone with her fears and doubts, quickly steeled her resolve. Before she could second-guess herself any further, she slowly began walking forward, gently closing the door behind her. The room was enveloped in darkness, causing to stop once again.

Softly she whispered his name. "Jareth?"

No response.

Reaching out blindly, she went in the direction of the bed. After several tentative steps, she was relieved when her fingers brushed the finest of satin, and she relaxed incrementally, not realizing until that moment how concerned she'd been about stumbling into it blindly. Carefully she made her way to the opposite side of the bed, slipping between the sheets beside him. Already she felt better. His breathing was steady and reassuringly real in the darkness, the warmth from his body comforting. She moved closer without touching him, close enough that she could feel and see the blankets moving with the rise and fall of his chest.

Letting out a breath of contentment, she closed her eyes. His musky scent drifted to her, soothing her further. Tension began to unwind itself from her muscles and she felt herself finally starting to relax.

So it was a shock to her system when she felt a warm, firm hand rest itself on her hip. A startled gasp escaped her lips, her body jumping involuntarily from the unexpected touch. The momentary panic made her heart pound, her mind racing as she stiffened, a hot flush heating her skin.

"Hush now." He murmured, gently tugging her closer.

Heart still pounding, she shyly brought her hands up and placed them on his chest. His bare chest. Her breathing stuttered, pulse racing for an entirely new reason as she explored the smooth planes of his pecks, reveling in the firmness beneath her fingers. Hearing his breath hitch the tiniest bit, she was emboldened to continue her tentative exploration. Softly, she traced her way down his chest to his stomach, feeling the hard ridges of his abdomen. Jareth was all sinewy muscles, lean and solid. Licking her suddenly very dry lips, she moved to his side, feeling along his hip, frowning slightly as she continued. Her fingers grazed over his firm buttocks and thighs, and she yanked her hand away with a startled gasp. He was naked.

"Oh God!" She choked, pulling away from him in sudden and instant embarrassment.

He laughed softly, refusing to let her escape her torment. Sliding in closer to her, he pulled her against him. She swallowed audibly, her heart hammering, making him laugh a little harder. She hid her face in the crook of his neck in mortification, her face burning hotly. "Are you trying to embarrass me to death?" She grumbled, even as she struggled to not think about how tightly his lean form was currently pressed against her.

"You are rather adorable when you get flustered so." He teased, his hand sliding slowly along her hip, setting her skin on fire where he caressed her. Deftly his hand pushed up her shirt, his palm cupping her bare bottom. She could swear she heard his eyebrow raise, a playful smile in his voice. "Although love, dressed as you are, one would be inclined to wonder who was attempting to embarrass whom." He said devilishly, giving the tiniest of squeezes to the flesh beneath his palm for emphasis.

Mortified, she reached behind her and removed his hand from her bottom, placing it safely back on her hip. "At least I'm wearing a shirt."

"Ah, so that makes you innocent? You should know a young woman wearing no panties and crawling into a man's bed is up to no good. It makes a man think she might have certain...intentions." He teased, his hand wandering to the hem of her shirt once more

She playfully bit his neck, and she laughed when he pretended to be wounded by her bite, giving an exaggerated yelp of pain, much to her amusement. Pulling away from him, she looked into his face, trying to make out his features in the darkness.

He could see her clearly, and could see the dark circles smudging under her eyes. Just why had she sought him out at this hour? Gently brushing a lock of dark hair away from her face, he asked "What's the matter, love?"

She nibbled her lower lip, looking away from him. "I just couldn't sleep."

Gently, he rubbed his thumb along the bare skin of her hip reassuringly. He'd been worried that she would have trouble sleeping. "So you came to seek my assistance?"

"I guess….yes. But not with magic or the peach. I just didn't want to be alone. I don't want to wake up in the hospital."

"You won't." He said gently.

Sarah fell silent, deciding to focus on being here, with him. She enjoyed the gentle touch of his fingers, the way he circled his thumb and would draw little designs on her skin. She closed her eyes and smiled. How was it that she used to be so afraid of him? He had once said he could be cruel too, and perhaps he could. But right now, he was just her gentle Goblin King. She opened her eyes and saw that his were closed. Her gaze travelled to the line of his lips, and without giving it much thought, she closed her eyes and kissed him softly.

He returned the kiss and squeezed her hip gently. She pulled away, her eyes hooded as she reached up and ran her hand through his wild hair. Jareth's soft groan was the only warning she received before he captured her lips hungrily, his hand on her hip travelling to her back to pull her closer.

Her hands found their way back into his hair, fingers tangling in his blond locks as his tongue stroked a fire within her. Against his talented lips, she was sure her inexperience was evident. Her teeth scraped his in her fervor, yet it seemed like he didn't notice or care. She felt his hardness pressing against her, firm and insistent against her hip. His reaction fueled her fire, her body responding instinctively to his as their lips continued to war for dominance.

Gasping, they parted for air. Jareth pressed his forehead against hers, fighting a war within himself. His hand traced from her hip to her back, the hard ridge of her spine giving him pause. It reminded him of her fragile state, both mentally and physically. As much as he wanted her, he would not let her go further just yet. Everything in his body rebelled against this decision, his rigid member weeping for her. Grinding his teeth in frustration, he pulled back, savoring the way she watching him with half-closed, darkened eyes, her lips swollen from the ferocity of the passion that had flared between them.

He groaned, pulling her wandering hands from his own heated flesh in dismay. The disappointment in her luminous eyes was obvious, tugging at his own heart. Gathering her to his chest, he stroked her long dark hair, his voice husky and breathing ragged. "Not yet, precious. Not until you are ready." Jareth reasoned with himself that she still had yet to fully recover from her experience at that damnable hospital. It would be unreasonable and unfair of him to take her like this, in this state. Not until she was recovered from her ordeal and less fragile. He would not take advantage of her momentary weakness, or be accused of doing so.

She ran her hand back around the back of his head and held onto him. "I want to."

Her soft, simple phrase nearly shredded his resolve. "Sarah, I don't want anything clouding your judgment in this. Once you have been healed from all that has been done, I will have you in my bed for more than just a sleepover." He said softly, gently tugging her hand away.

She nodded once, feeling like she was being strangled by her disappointment. Relenting with a sigh, she reached up to toy with his hair, enjoying its silky texture between her fingers. Unfortunately, she didn't realize just how much it was arousing him. But he remained silent, content enough for now to simply allow her to touch him. She continued to twirl his hair around her fingers, occasionally lightly scraping his scalp with her nails. He bit back a moan of pleasure, second-guessing his decision to wait. After all, what harm would it do? Mercifully, she distracted him from her ministrations with a question. "Is there some kind of ceremony to make me your queen?"

"Yes." He said softly, unable to contain a soft moan as she ran her hand down to his ears. Her eyes widened with surprise as she ran her fingers over the pointed tips. Elf ears.

Deciding the ears were question for another day, she returned to her original inquiry. "When will that happen?" She asked nonchalantly.

"It will be soon, but there are preparations that must be made. Time passes through here differently than your world. There are a few things that must be done." His voice sounded husky and he almost moaned when she went back to playing with his hair.

"What all has to be done?"

"When the time is right I will tell you all you need to know. But for now just try to heal. I want you to get used to everything here, to make this your home." He removed his hand from her hip, grasping the hand that continued to comb through his hair. "Love, if you keep that up, I will pounce."

"Oh." She whispered and blushed. "Sorry."

"Don't be sorry. I just want you to be aware of how you affect me. It is incredibly difficult for me to hold back my own desires, particularly with you coming so willingly into my chambers and look at me as you do." He said gently, running his hand down her arm, brushing along the side of her breast and back down to her hip. He was trying so very hard to maintain control, to remind himself that she was still too fragile.

She ran her hand along his arm, comforting herself with his warm presence. She didn't know why she was touching him everywhere. Perhaps it was a way to reassure herself that this really, truly, was not a dream. She closed her eyes and let out a sigh, relaxing into his comforting embrace. "Jareth?" She whispered.

"Yes, precious?" He asked huskily.

"Will you….will you sing to me?" She asked a little embarrassed.

He was quiet for a moment, and she thought that perhaps he would decline. Turning to face away from him, his arm snaked around her waist, tucking her snugly against his body. She smiled, feeling his desire for her evident against her bottom. It thrilled her that she could effect him that way. Squeezing her thighs together against the heat in her loins, she instead focused on the strength of the arms embracing her, the musky scent of him, the safety that came from him and him alone. The heat in her veins cooled as she cuddled against him, securely enveloped in his strong embrace, a different sort of warmth spreading throughout her breast.

She was surprised when his husky voice started to sing softly, crooning a slow tune just for her. His breath tickled the hair by her ear, and she shivered, but didn't move as the words began to flow past his lips.

"Walking in the snowy street..."

Smiling to herself, she buried herself deeper into the blankets and him, his wonderful baritone lulling her into a warm cocoon of security.
"Let me understand..."

She didn't want to ruin this moment, the tender way he held her, his voice comforting her. Focusing on the vibrations in his chest as he sang, she allowed herself to be surrounded by the protective warmth that was Jareth.

"Walking in the snowy street
Let me understand
Drifting down a silent park
Stumbling over land
Open up your heart to me
Show me who you are..."

"Thank you." She whispered as he continued to sing. Slowly, Sarah drifted off, the King's voice resonating in her dreams.

"And I would be your slave."