I’m Doing This Tonight
Sarah woke with a start. Her breathing came in short, quick gasps and her heart pounded behind her ribs. She couldn't remember what had startled her awake; perhaps a dream she could no longer recall? Whatever it had been, her first thought when she became conscious was a confused 'where am I?' Slowly she began to take in her surroundings. She was in a large room, in a large bed, covered with satin sheets. She frowned slightly. This was not the typical hospital thing. Hospital sheets were thin and scratchy, not sumptuous and silky. Taking in more of her surroundings, she could see the sun peeking in the large windows, warm light spilling out from behind thick magenta curtains. She could hear the music of birds singing and soft breathing not her own.
She froze, carefully turning her head over her shoulder and slowly maneuvering until she was facing the person that was lying in the bed with her. Jareth. Her heart pounded as she drank him in. He was sound asleep, breathing softly. His face looked beautiful as ever, the sharpness of his features relaxed and peaceful in his slumber, an almost cocky smile on his lips.
Slowly the night before started to replay in her mind and instantly her breath hitched and she felt herself blushing. The Goblin King had finally pulled her from that god-awful hospital and she, unable to sleep, had crawled into his bed. The memory of the way his fingers had played along her thigh had her squirming against the wetness that instantly pooled between her legs, her womanhood throbbing in the way that she knew oh-so well ever since Jareth had first touched her. A hot blush stained her face and she darted her gaze away from him, looking for something to distract herself from the knowledge of his nudity beneath the blankets. Her face blazed even hotter as she recalled way his skin felt beneath her fingertips, warm and firm. Fighting to control her suddenly ragged breathing and racing pulse, she forced her attention onto his gravity-defying hair. The slight glow of sunlight seemed to get trapped in the strands of hair, lending him an ethereal halo. It contrasted perfectly with the richly colored satin he rested on, complimenting his pale skin. He was so perfect it made her heart ache. Reaching out, she toyed gently with a long blond lock, careful not to tug or disturb him. Her eyes slid to the side of his head, a sudden thought occurring to her.
Curiosity niggled at her, overriding her desire as she recalled one of the more peculiar characteristics she'd noticed about him the night before. Unable to resist, she slid her fingertips along the side of his face, gently pushing back some of his hair until she could see his ears. They were, indeed, elf-shaped. Smiling in delight at the confirmation of her memory, she gently rubbed the ear between two fingers, tracing along the pointed tips, marveling at the unusual shape.
"Mmm." He moaned softly.
She stopped her ministrations and glanced at him nervously. His face was still relaxed and he appeared to continue sleeping, although his lips had quirked upwards into a slight smile. Those lips glistened temptingly, taunting her with their nearness. She nibbled on her own lip nervously, suddenly having the urge to taste his once more. Flicking her eyes towards his, she relaxed when she realized he still looked to be sound asleep. Feeling a little bolder, she slid closer until she could feel the warmth of his body against hers. Sarah tried not to think about her current state of dress as she slid quietly towards him. The only barrier between them was her loose shirt, which had hiked up around her hips during the night.
But she didn't let that stop her. She closed the small space left between them to press her lips against his.
What she'd meant as a chaste kiss was quickly transformed as Jareth responded, pressing against her and deepening their contact, unwilling to release his unexpected prize. A thrill rushed through Sarah as she felt his hand creep onto her bare thigh. With expert finesse, he wrapped her leg over his lean bare hip, pulling her tightly against him hungrily. She quivered as she felt him pressed against her, his want evident. Heat erupted deep within Sarah, her heart racing as his fingers tightened against her bottom.
His tongue plundered her mouth, demanding and insistent as though he intended to devour her. She met him with equal fervor, her own tongue dancing with his as she tasted the passion of the Goblin King. There was not room for thoughts as she clung to him, her hand tangling in the hair at the base of his skull. In an instant he rolled her on her back, Sarah emitting a startled squeak as he climbed over her, pinning her to the silk sheets. The feel of his slender hips between her thighs had a shudder rippling through her, heat pooling as her body throbbed for him. She gasped, trembling at the delicious friction where her heated flesh met his.
"Jareth…" She whimpered.
"I told you I would pounce." He whispered huskily against her lips.
In response, she squeezed her legs around his hips, eliciting a throaty growl from the King. His hardened member pressed against her core, sending another thrill through her. Realizing she was gasping for air, she took a couple deep breaths to steady her breathing. With her pulse racing she continued to rain soft kisses on his lips, a silent request for him to continue stroking the fire burning within her.
He pulled away from her, and before she could protest the absence of his lips, he had begun a blazing trail along her chin, down her neck, pausing to give extra attention to the juncture between her neck and shoulders. A moan escaped her, her toes curling and her eyes rolling back as his tongue swirled over the sensitive spot. Gasping, she squeezed her eyes shut, her hips rocking gently against his, seeking more of the sweet friction against her core. Something like a cross between a whine and a moan escaped her before she could hold it back.
Jareth's reciprocal moan set her body on fire. The continued attention he gave to her neck sent electric jolts rocketing through her, her body bowing in response to his deliciously torturous ministrations. Her center throbbed, weeping for the release she knew he could give.
"Jareth… please." She whimpered, reduced to begging.
He stopped his kisses and looked down at her. His mismatched eyes were hooded, his breathing heavy. Right then, he looked every inch like a predator studying its prey. The feel of his firm member against her confirmed his own desire for her, sending another thrill through her as his intense gaze sent a ripple through her very being.
He pressed his forehead to hers, planting another long, lingering kiss against her lips before he sighed. Reluctantly he pulled away, ignoring the hurt and disappointment that flashed in her eyes as he got out of the bed. Sarah watched him, pain and confusion etched across her face. Hurt though she was, that didn't stop her from admiring his backside, flushing as she took in all his glory. His body was lithe and limber, sinewy muscles flexing as he began walking. The part of him that she'd felt pressed against her core was hidden from view, but she found her imagination was more than happy to supply the missing information. He silently walked to the end of the large bed and put on his silk robe and tied it in the front before he turned to look at Sarah.
Seeing the unspoken questions in her big green eyes, he took in and expelled a long breath. "Sarah, I want you. You must know that. But now is not the time. You are healing still. I want you thinking clearly and I want you to be really sure, your judgment unclouded by what has been done to you." He explained gently.
Sarah pulled the silken sheets up to her chest as she slowly sat up. Looking away from him, she flushed. "What if I told you that I am sure?" her gaze slid back to him, a slight challenge to her eyes.
He arched his brow then stepped back to the side of his bed, stopping near the middle of the bed. "You may think so, but you are trembling. And sadly not just from my touch. You are…" he hesitated, weighing his words carefully, trying to be gentle. "Having withdrawals from the medications. You are also severely undernourished."
Her mouth opened and closed in shock and surprise, looking away to hide the impact his words had on her. She shook her head and looked away to the window. The sun was shining brightly now. "So my weight is basically a turn off, huh?" She mumbled.
Jareth looked at her sternly. "That is not what I said, Sarah."
She looked back at him with hardened eyes. "But that's what you meant."
His voice was harsh as he began to lose patience with her. "Sarah, did you not feel how attracted I am to you? Or do I need to rid myself of this robe and show you first-hand how you affect me?"
Heat rose to her face at his stern words, her frustration and hurt melting away. "No…I felt it." She whispered.
He nodded once, "Then you know. Don't get it in your head, precious, that I am not attracted to you, for I most certainly am. I intend to make you my Queen, or have you forgotten that?" He paced, becoming agitated. "I want you to come to me freely, of your own volition, when you are fully well. The night we are to be wed I will leave no room for you to doubt my devotion, or my desire for you. I fully intend to consummate our union immediately."
She pushed back some stray hair behind her ears, blushing as she nibbled her lip. "C-Consummate?"
He smiled gently, his annoyance with her melting away as he stopped his pacing. Patiently he answered her question, "I will make love to you. In fact..." He flashed her a wicked grin "...it may be several days before you see the world outside these chambers. But until then, we need to focus on your health."
Her heart skipped a beat at his innuendo, her pulse speeding at the thought of spending days making love to Jareth, him showing her things she hadn't even begun to dream of. She looked away, nodding as she bit on her lower lip nervously. "I do have one question…"
"Ask away, love."
"In my dream… you..." She blushed, searching for words, "...pleasured me. Why was it okay then but not now?"
He sighed and walked around the large bed, "You weren't medicated. At least in your world kind of terms. I gave you the magical 'pill' to make you dream of me. To meet me in the dream world. You were fine and healthy and in the right state of mind. But those bloody doctors medicated you and shocked you." He stepped closer to her, reaching for her hand.
She accepted the offer, allowing him to tug her into a standing position, her loose shirt falling back into place. Looking into his eyes, she was alarmed to see the simmering rage there. "Jareth…" She whispered, scared.
He placed his hands on her arms and held her gently. "It's not your fault. I'm not angry with you. What those people did was barbaric and they will pay."
Relieved that his anger was not with her, but on her behalf, she wrapped her arms around him, resting her head on his chest. His steady, strong heartbeat soothed her, his warmth solid and reassuring. She hid her smile against him, finding his fierce need to protect her endearing. "What are you going to do? Put them head first in the bog?" She teased.
His arms snaked around her back to hold her gently. "Perhaps." He returned, his tone playful.
The image of muscular Dr. Moore dangling over the bog made her laugh. The sound of her own laughter startled her. It'd been such a long time since she'd smiled, let alone laughed outright. Still smiling, she pulled back to look at him. "What do we have planned for the day, my king?"
He raised his eyebrows at her shifting moods, but his lips quirked up in a smirk, "A few things, but first, I'm famished and wish to eat something. Would you care to join me?"
She knew he was being careful with her about eating. He wanted her to eat, but he also knew that she couldn't. She sighed and pulled away, nodding. "Let's go then." She said, taking his hand.
He laughed freely, "I'd rather the servants not see me in my current state. I must dress." Raising an eyebrow at her, he continued with a smile. "You must as well, and as I do not have clothing for you in my room you must return to your chambers for now. I shall join you momentarily."
She blushed, realizing that he was right and that they were both very much under-dressed. Letting go of his hand she nodded, mumbling "Oh, right." She laughed nervously, moving to push some hair behind her ear.
Jareth reached out and stopped her hand, stilling it along the side of her face before it could tuck the rogue strand away. "You know, you always do that when you are nervous." He pointed out.
"What?" She asked confused.
"You push your hair around when you're nervous." He further explained, combing his fingers through the long, silky dark strands.
She blushed and closed her eyes as she enjoyed the feeling of his hand running through her tresses. He stopped and placed his hand on her shoulder, and she looked at him curiously. "I'm sorry, does it bother you when I do that?" she asked.
He shook his head and smiled, "No. I'm just noticing the little things you do."
How did he make her blush so easily? Anther smile tugged her lips as she glanced away shyly. "Maybe I will start noticing some things that YOU do."
Jareth chuckled softly, "Perhaps, love. Now go get dressed. I will fetch you myself when I am ready."
She looked back at him and nodded, bowing dramatically. "As you command, my lord." She teased before she turned on her heels and walked out of the bedroom. His laughter followed her as she closed the door behind her.
Making her way back down the hallway, down the spiral stairs and through the throne room, Sarah was bemused to find that the goblins were awake and drinking already. Laughing lightly, she shook her head and wove her way around them, finally making her way to her room and closing the door.
Heading to the bathroom, she began to prepare for the day. She was relieved to find some modern amenities, such as a toothbrush. As she began to clean up, she took stock of her appearance as she spit out the toothpaste. She was pale, years of being cloistered away in the hospital sapping her skin of its once-rosy glow. Touching her sunken cheeks, she trailed her fingers to the dark smudges beneath her eyes. She looked gaunt. No wonder Jareth was concerned about her health. Then she smiled at herself. There was a bright sparkle in her emerald eyes, her lips full and pink. Dark hair framed her oval face, soft and silky. She was looking healthier already. Pinching herself in the arm, she smiled at the sharp pain. This was real. She wasn't dreaming. She was really here, in the Underground, in the Castle Beyond the Goblin City. She wasn't crazy, and never had been. Still grinning, she headed to the closet.
There were so many options! Lots of dresses, and she wondered what made Jareth think she wanted to wear a dress. Or maybe that was just what he wanted? Smiling at the thought, she began digging into the clothes.
She took her time looking, touching the fabrics reverently. It'd been so long since she'd worn something other than "hospital attire", as Jareth had called it. Her thoughts wandered back to the King again. Jareth. He'd been so wonderful. Her hand brushed against a material that seemed to float with the slightest breeze from her hand. Pulling it off the rack, she studied the black dress. A high-low hem, the front would likely fall just above her knees while the back would whisper against the floor behind her. The bottom edge was deep red, as though it had been dipped in a pool of blood. Jareth would like this. It looked very much like something she would imagine a Goblin Queen wearing. She smiled, imagining his surprised reaction to seeing her in something besides pajamas. It would be fun to throw him off, maybe even tease him a bit.
Decision made, she pulled it off the hanger. There were matching black flats on the floor, and she grabbed those too before she went back in her bedroom. Laying the dress on the bed, she frowned. It was strapless. She wasn't sure there was a strapless bra for her to wear with it. Moving to the dresser, her worries melted away. Every undergarment she could ever need was there, perfectly matching sets for every occasion. Finding what she needed, she quickly dressed, enjoying the feel of the soft dress as it draped around her and embraced her curves perfectly. The light chiffon floated around her comfortably, the movement of the fabric catching her eye as it fluttered in her wake. She slipped on the black slippers and went to her vanity to look at her reflection. The sweetheart neckline dipped just enough to give the barest suggestion of cleavage, drawing attention to the modest swell of her breasts. Smiling as she imagined Jareth's reaction, she reached for her hair next. There were no modern tools, but she found a small band to tie her hair back into a sleek, high ponytail. She looked at some of the cosmetics sitting on the vanity. Since she'd been in the hospital, she hadn't worn makeup in years. Some of the items spread across the table were foreign to her. The lipstick though, she recognized. Dabbing a touch of red on her mouth, she smiled. Much better.
A knock on the door drew her attention, and she knew that it was Jareth. Her heart raced, sudden nervousness accelerating her pulse. Self-consciously she ran her hands down the front of her dress, acutely aware of her exposed knees and calves. Maybe this was too revealing? Another knock. No time to change now. "Come in." She called, her voice quivering slightly as she tried to still her nerves.
Jareth opened the door. She sucked in a breath at the sight of him, her insecurities melting away as she studied him. He was dressed in his usual tight pants, black boots clicking against the floor as he crossed the room towards her. His loose shirt, paired with a leather jacket, reminded her of her run in the tunnels and the way he'd leaned in to her. His voice had been dangerous then. "How are you enjoying my Labyrinth?" He'd demurred. She shivered at the memory, recalling the way his eyes had bored into her very soul. Now, she rose to meet him eagerly, her heart racing with anticipation rather than fear. She wanted this man, this fearsome Goblin King. She would be his Queen.
As she stood, he halted in his tracks, eyes widening as he gasped. "Sarah." he breathed, his eyes drinking her in.
She smiled and took a few steps towards him across the room, halting a few feet away. "You like?" She asked and turned in a slow circle, the long back of the dress fluttering as she spun.
He smiled broadly and nodded his head, "I never would have imagined that you would have selected that particular garment." He closed the few feet between them to stand in front of her, his eyes deliberately exploring her. "It suits you. You are beautiful."
His blatant approval made her heart race. Nervously she started to reach up and push some hair away, but then realized that it was already pulled back in a pony tail. Stopping herself, she instead reached out and took his gloved hand.
Jareth didn't notice. He was too busy devouring her, admiring the deliciously creamy exposed skin. The dress dipped and hugged just right, drawing attention to her every curve and perfect flesh. Her red lips looked delicious, parted slightly as her green eyes met his hungry gaze, a delightful flush creeping across that porcelain neck of hers. A sudden surge of irrational possessiveness rose within him, half tempting him to tell her to change into something else so no one could see just how dangerously sexy she was. He looked down to her exposed legs, admiring the long stretch of her shapely calves and thighs.
He was ready to toss her on the bed and have his way with her, consequences be damned. His fingers itched to trace from her ankles to thighs, tasting her flesh as he worshiped his way to her...
"Are you okay?" Her voice broke through his thoughts.
He blinked, focusing again on her face. Realizing that he'd been staring, he smiled at her reassuringly. "I'm perfectly fine, precious. Just in awe of your beauty." Softly he reached out and ran his hand up along her exposed arm, drawing an invisible line to her shoulder and across her chest above her breasts, the black leather of his gloves sending shivers down her spine. "I'm deciding if I should tell you to dress in something else, for fear that you may capture someone else's attention." He half-teased, drawing her hand to his lips for a chaste kiss.
She snorted and rolled her eyes, smiling at him. "Who else's attention could I possibly snag? A goblin?"
Jareth smiled, realizing that he was being a bit ridiculous. "Perhaps." He teased.
She playfully hit his chest and moved away from him towards the door, "I'll be sure to be on guard against those sexy goblins then."
He didn't respond for a moment as he watched her backside, the delightful sway to her hips as she walked to the door. Pajamas had kept her assets well-hidden before. Now they were on display solely for his pleasure. He grinned, thoroughly appreciating her choice of attire. He tilted his head slightly with one last, long look before he snapped out of it to follow her. A smile tugged mischievously at the corners of his mouth. "You'll be seeing more than just goblins today, love."
She opened the door and looked over her shoulder, "What do you mean? Will I see trolls too?"
He laughed, closing the door behind him as he followed her out of the room. She moved with confidence, as though she'd walked this path countless times before. He felt a bit of pride at her memory as she led the way to the dining hall before he continued speaking. "More like my own kind. Fae."
Sarah didn't break stride as she continued to walk; only sparing him a brief glance over her shoulder. Jareth found his eyes again wandering to her backside, lingering over the exposed shoulders that begged to be nibbled. He remembered well the sounds she elicited when he'd found that particularly sensitive spot, just between her neck and shoulders. He nearly groaned aloud as the memory of her arching against him just this morning played in his mind.
"There really are more like you out there?" She asked innocently, oblivious to his discomfort. Maybe he should have stocked that damnable closet with an endless supply of pajamas after all. She was going to be the death of him at this rate.
Just like before, the food was already waiting. He placed a hand on the small of her back, urging her forward as they continued their discussion. "Yes. But there is only one Goblin King. So don't get any ideas." He teased.
She picked up a plate and glared playfully over her shoulder to him. "You think I'll grow tired of you and leave you for one of your brethren or something?"
He laughed, but then grew serious as he picked up a plate and started to put food on the dish. "Fae are not as... loyal, as you humans tend to be. You are beautiful, and I'm sure once you have been announced, several will try to swoon you. It is not unusual for Fae to have several lovers, married or not."
She glanced towards him, her playful mood vanishing. He watched her just as intently. Quickly she grabbed some grapes, apples and even tried some eggs. "Jareth, I'm not like that. I don't care if that's normal here, I don't want that kind of relationship." Heading towards the table, she waited for his response.
The tension he didn't realize had formed in his shoulders relaxed itself. "Nor do I, precious. I would discourage you from wearing such...inviting clothing in front of others however."
"If it really bothers you I could change." She said in a more serious tone as she picked up her fork.
He looked over at her and smiled, settling himself into his own chair. "Sarah, you are fine. You may dress however you choose. I am merely warning you that other Fae may interpret things a certain way."
Nodding, she turned her attention back to her plate, poking at the food with her fork. She was curious if the eggs tasted the same here as they had in the above. She popped some experimentally into her mouth and chewed carefully. They tasted exactly the same, but for the first time in forever they were warm and seasoned well. She put another fork full in her mouth, chewing with a bit more enthusiasm. Switching from the eggs to the apple slices, she began to nibble on the fruit.
Jareth stabbed at his food harder than necessary. Just the thought of Sarah considering another made hot rage boil within him. He also knew, with equal ferocity, that he had no appetite for any other woman. But that was customary in this world. She could, without qualm, have another lover. His jaw clenched, his fork coming down once more a little too firmly on his plate.
Startled, Sarah glanced at him, seeing the tension written across the lines of his body. "Jareth? Are you okay?"
Sharply he looked at her, lowering his fork with a sigh. "I'm fine. I am just considering things that I had not previously given thought to."
She frowned a bit. "If you're referring to the whole "other lover" thing, please don't. I only want you. I promise. I'm not going to go anywhere, ever. I'm not going to have another man in my life as long as I have you."
He relaxed, giving her a soft smile. "Neither shall I take another. I have no desire for any other woman in my life besides you, Sarah."
Warmth spread throughout her chest at his words, and she fidgeted, reaching for her hair again even though it was pulled back. Recognizing the gesture, Jareth smiled and took her hand, placing a kiss upon it and sending another rush of heat through her. "Try to eat something, love."
"Ok." Turning back to her plate, she quickly realized attempting to eat would be pointless. Her stomach was warning her to not eat anymore as it roiled in rebellion from the meager amount she'd already consumed. Annoyed, she broke an apple slice in half. The medications lingered for far longer than she realized. Or was this now a withdrawal symptom? She glanced at Jareth, who was far more relaxed now as he slowly ate his own food. With a sigh, she resumed her nibbling at the apple.
Jareth slid a glance to her, noticing the way her hands trembled slightly as she ate slowly. No matter how beautiful she looked, she was still incredibly fragile. He had to remember that. Turning his attention to his food, he began to eat as a comfortable silence stretched between them. Jareth quietly planned the day ahead in his mind. He wanted her to see his healer today, to see if they could reverse what had been done to her in the psychiatric hospital. Just the thought of all she'd endured in his absence made his blood boil. Those doctors would pay for harming her.
When he finished eating he looked over at Sarah, noting that she appeared to be done even though there was still quite a bit of food remaining on her plate. "Are you finished, precious?"
She looked over at him and nodded. "Yeah."
He rose, offering her a gloved hand. She accepted and they left the room, Jareth placing her hand in the crook of his arm as the exited. Turning down a new direction, he slowly led her along the maze of the hallways and doors until they finally came to a room that was new to Sarah. Giving her hand a reassuring squeeze, he led her inside. Her breath hitched with amazement as they crossed the threshold.
"Wow." Sarah said wondrously.
At first, she thought they had stepped outside, but then she realized she was standing in a glass dome. There was no need for magical lights in here; the ample sunlight clearly illuminated everything. Tall bookshelves, full of jars of herbs and different things that Sarah couldn't name, bordered the large room. She couldn't even begin to guess what substances filled the clear glass containers. Likely due to the sunlight shining through the glass, it was warmer than any room she had been in. Some of the glass panes were cracked open, allowing fresh spring air to breeze through. The gentle wind softly rustled the leaves of the various plants filling the room. She felt like she had just stepped into a tropical paradise. Butterflies and even fairies flitted from plant to plant, vanishing within the thick foliage. A plant with magnificent violet blooms caught her eye, and Sarah veered from Jareth's side to investigate it closer.
A good-natured voice stopped her short. "I wouldn't touch that if I were you."
Pulling her hand from the bloom she'd been about to touch, she looked to her side as an elderly-looking man step out from behind a large plant. A large white beard grew long enough to tickle his chest, and deep grooves crinkled at the sides of dancing blue eyes that laughed from under unruly eyebrows. Parts of his face not covered by white hair showed a map of his long existence; deep valleys and grooves telling the story of a life well-lived. His pointed ears were like Jareth's, although he was just a bit shorter than the King. A simple brown tunic gave away nothing of his identity, and Sarah raised her eyebrows at him curiously.
"Why?" She asked him.
He let out a deep belly laugh and shuffled over to the plant. Reaching out a weathered hand, he picked up a small stick that was sitting beside the plant. Poking the giant, beautiful blossom, Sarah watched as the bloom quickly snapped shut, breaking the stick neatly in half.
Sarah's mouth went open and she looked between him and the plant, her voice raised in alarm. "What the hell?!"
Jareth came up behind her and made an 'ohh' sound as he grabbed her arms and gently pulled her away from the plant. "Still working on that one, huh?" He asked, looking towards the stranger.
The old man laughed and nodded, "Yes, well, the properties this plant possesses are positively wonderful!" He lifted his hand to show off the bandages all over his fingers, giving them a little wiggle, "But it got me a few times."
"Ah I see. I'm sure those will heal quickly with your talents. There is another matter I would like to discuss with you." Jareth ran his hand down Sarah's naked arm until his fingers tangled with hers.
With a blush, Sarah glanced down at their hands, flicking her eyes to Jareth's face. He continued to look at the man in front of them, but his fingers gave hers a reassuring squeeze. Returning her focus to this strange new person, she tilted her head at him. "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I don't know who you are..."
"Oh, I'm so sorry dear girl. I'm Finrod. I'm the healer here, you see." He looked at her with a smile, his eyes twinkling happily.
She nodded slowly, "Oh. Finrod." She said softly, testing the strange name on her tongue.
"Yes?" He immediately responded.
She shook her head, "No, sorry, I was just trying out the name."
Finrod chuckled. "Oh ho ho ho. I see. So you must be Sarah."
She looked up at Jareth with raised eyebrows, who merely shrugged. Turning her attention back to the elder fae, she nodded. "Yes."
He shuffled past her to a desk nearly obscured by plants. For a moment he appeared to be confused by the items littering his desk. Plants, herbs, jars, water and a variety of instruments that she couldn't begin to recognize covered the flat surface. Riffling through the things, he made a variety of sounds. He groaned and hmm'd, finally turning to let out an 'Ah' and pulling out a stool, gesturing to Sarah. "Have a seat young lady."
Sarah's eyebrows couldn't get much higher. She took a cautious step towards him and then stopped to look at Jareth questioningly.
Jareth nodded. "You are fine. I'm right here."
She nodded once, wordlessly sitting on the stool and releasing Jareth's hand. "So you're the healer here? Have you ever healed Jareth before?" She asked nervously.
Finrod was busy looking for something on the table, but he paused at her question, a sparkle of amusement in his eyes. He looked at Sarah with a wide smile. "Many times. The poor creature tends to get colds often." He teased and winked at her.
Sarah suppressed a smile and continued to watch the old healer. "You should then tell him to sleep with clothes on then. That might help."
Finrod threw his arms up in the arm in annoyance when he couldn't find what he needed. He turned and looked at Sarah with a sigh. "Do what now?"
Sarah laughed softly, "I said you should tell Jareth to stop sleeping naked."
"Sarah." Jareth warned from behind her.
Finrod let out a burst of laughter and shook his head, "Oh dear. Sleeping in the nude." He looked at Jareth, a teasing sparkle in his eyes as he chortled even more. "I also suggested a change of sheets. Silk does nothing to keep away nasty little viruses." He spit to the side.
Sarah snorted out a laugh; Jareth sleeping on anything other than the finest satin was probably never going to happen. Quickly she covered her mouth to hide her giggle, looking quickly between the two men.
"Silk is far superior in terms of comfort." Jareth said and crossed his arms. "Wool, as you have so often recommended, is itchy, and I refuse to sleep in something itchy."
"But wool keeps in the heat! You wouldn't be having to see me every other day with that damned cold if you would just change your bedding!"
Sarah started to laugh and shook her head, "Jareth will have nothing less than the finest."
Jareth grinned at her wickedly. "And with you to warm my bed, I'm certain the chill will remain at bay, wool sheets or no."
She blushed hotly, fingers playing with the hem of her dress even as she rolled her eyes at Jareth's flirtatiousness. "I'm saying that you like nice things. Even if it means you get sick, you'd be damned before you did something sensible."
He rolled his eyes in return and looked away to Finrod. "We're not here for my cold." He said sharply then smiled. "I told you last evening about Sarah. Is there anything you can do?"
The old man reached up to rub his beard and gave Sarah a thoughtful gaze. "Hm. What all have you taken and done?"
She had stopped laughing and got a little more serious. "They gave me all sorts of medicines up there, in the hospital. I'm not even sure if you would know what they are—"
Finrod spat again in frustration "Doesn't matter! Poison I tell you! That's all that is!"
"Poison?" Sarah asked gently.
"None of what they give you up there never works! It always has some kind of side effect. This—" He gestured around the room to the plants and herbs, "this is natural. This is good. It won't poison you."
Sarah opened her mouth then shut it and shrugged then nodded. "Yeah… I suppose." She said softly.
Finrod muttered something under his breath and shuffled closer to her and picked up her trembling hand and shook his head. He set it down and looked at her face. "Open your mouth."
She did as he said and stuck out her tongue when he told her to. She closed her mouth when he was finished and he sighed and rubbed his beard.
"What all have they given you again?"
She tried to remember all that she was given and told the healer. He nodded and listened and she let him know that they shocked her brain as well. He shook his head and muttered under his breath.
"Well… we can start with a blend for the trembling and withdrawal from the medicines." He said and shuffled around the room, grabbing plants and herbs- some fresh from the plant, some from jars- and went back to his table. Picking up a mortar and pestle, he started to smash them together, adding a liquid that she thought might be water as he expertly blended the concoction. Putting it all into a cup, he switched to a long spoon-like tool to stir it vigorously.
Sarah watched as he continued to add a few things here and there until he eventually was done, handing the cup to her with a simple instruction. "Drink."
Her eyebrows lifted, eying the green mixture suspiciously. Bringing it to her nose, she took a hesitant sniff, nearly gagging as the odor hit her senses. It smelled horrible. She shook her head, "I don't think I can."
"Yes you can." The healer said confidently.
She groaned and looked down at the cup, making a face before she reluctantly brought the cup up to her lips. It was thick and sluggish, making her shudder as she forced the bitter liquid down. She coughed, fighting her gag reflex as she felt it slide down her throat.
"That's enough." Finrod said, taking the cup from her.
She was all too happy to pass off what was left of that disgusting goo to the healer. Jareth went to her side, running a gloved hand along her arm. "You did good." He soothed.
Fighting the urge to glare at him, Sarah sat in silence as she choked back her urge to vomit. As the feeling subsided, she looked at the elder fae hopefully. "Is that it? Am I cured?"
Finrod put the cup down and shook his head, "Sadly no. That's just to stop the poison running through you. Your body will naturally rid itself of the toxins within a day or so thanks to that little brew. That concoction will also ease the withdrawal symptoms you have been experiencing. Your trembling should stop any second now."
Sarah lifted her hand and watched as it shook at first, but slowly and surely stopped its uncontrollable quivering. Stretching her fingers experimentally, she made a fist and released it. "It worked!" She said in surprise.
"Heh heh." The old man giggled and shuffled to Sarah's side, gently taking her hand into his big bandaged one and patting it gently. "I want to see you every day and we shall work on 'curing' you fully."
She nodded and looked back to Jareth. He nodded and smiled approvingly before she turned her attention back to Finrod "What about what they did to me? With the shocking and all?"
He shook his head with a groan. "I'm not so sure. I've never come across something like that. But what you just drank will help with reversing the effects of what those bastards gave you at least. I'll figure out the rest, don't you worry" He spat to the side in disgust.
A little smile appeared on Sarah's lips as she noticed that he only spit in disgust when he talked about the doctors who treated her. "Well I trust you." She said softly.
"What?" Finrod looked at her confused.
She laughed and stood up, straightening her dress. "I trust you." She repeated, more firmly.
Finrod stumbled over his words and bowed to her, "Oh how lovely! Well I will make sure to make you right as rain."
Sarah smiled and nodded, looking at his bent over form. "You don't need to bow."
Finrod straightened, his back audibly popping as he did so. He groaned, rubbing the sore spot where the snap had come from. "Erm well… I have to."
Sarah shook her head. "No you don't."
"You are to be my queen! So of course I do." He went on.
Sarah blushed at the reminder of her soon-to-be status, reaching for Jareth's hand. "Well, I won't be a mean one. So if you don't bow I won't throw you head first into the bog." She teased and glanced up at Jareth, who laughed.
Giving her hand a squeeze gently, he then pulled her along out of the room with a last "farewell!" to the good doctor.
Later that evening, Sarah wondered idly around the castle alone. Jareth had excused himself for the evening saying he needed to make the arrangements for the wedding. She thought it weird that she wasn't being involved in the decision making since it's her wedding too. But she let it slide, choosing to trust Jareth.
Continuing her exploration, eventually she found herself standing in the middle of the throne room. As usual, it was full of goblins feasting and drinking. She couldn't help but laugh. She went over to one and crouched. "Can I try some?"
It's wide eyes got wider and it's mouth went open in shock. "M-Missus wants a-ale?" It stuttered out shocked.
Sarah laughed at the creatures stammering, nodding. "Yes actually I do."
He quickly held out his goblet, the contents sloshing and spilling a bit. Sarah gasped and jumped back as the liquid hit her legs. She wiped away the alcohol from her bare skin as she stood, glad none had gotten on her black dress.
"I'm so sorrys!" The goblin screeched and quickly grabbed a filthy-looking cloth and started dabbing at her legs.
"It's fine. I'm fine." She laughed at his panicked expression, swatting his hand away from her legs.
He nodded quickly, looking relieved. "Right!"
Sarah looked around and noticed all attention was on her. Some were whispering to each other. She flushed nervously, looking back down at the goblin that had spilled the drink on her. His big, bulbous nose practically took over his face and nearly hid his tiny black eyes. "Where can I get my own?"
He scrambled to get to the two barrels that were to the side against the wall. As fast as she imagined he could, he grabbed another mug and poured the ale in it for her. Bowing as much as his rotund waist would allow, he handed her the cup of foaming amber fluid. "Fer the missus."
Sarah thanked him and laughed and slowly took a sip. Never having tasted alcohol, she didn't know to expect. The bitterness that hit her tongue made her cringe as the bubbles tickled her nose and throat. She pulled the cup away from her lips as she struggled to stop the cough that had erupted from her throat.
The goblins around her gasped then started laughing. Sarah laughed with them, knowing how ridiculous she had to look and fanned her face. "I'm fine." She laughed out.
They cheered and went back to drinking and talking, no longer eying her like an alien life form. She took another sip of the ale and tried to figure out what it tasted like. It had an interesting spiciness too it underlying the initial bitterness. The flavor reminded her of the time that she'd tried to make bread in her home economics class at school- it tasted like the yeast that they'd used. Taking another drink, she quickly grew accustomed to the taste. It really wasn't bad at all! Before she knew it, she was refilling her mug with a second cup. Feeling pleasantly dizzy and warm, she set off on another exploration of the castle after thanking the Goblins, ale in hand.
There were so many different rooms and goblins that were scattered through out the castle! Some housed art, some books, others seemed to be extra sleeping chambers. What on earth could he need all these rooms for?
One room caught her interest and made her stop. It was a large, open room with bright red couches and a plush fur rug. Shelves were arranged along the side wall, covered in items that Sarah recognized. Strangely, the furniture appeared to be modern, almost like her parents' old living room, except for the colors. Curious, she walked further in, coughing as she took another sip of her ale. The further she ventured, the more modern the items in the room became. There were 8 track tapes, a skateboard, scooter, cassette player, an electric guitar- By the time she got to the other end there was a shelf with CD cases and an elaborate CD player with speakers.
She raised her eyebrows and looked around and then back at the CD player. This was new. How did this even work? Did they have electricity in the underground? She'd ask Jareth about that later, she decided. Shrugging, she decided to try it out. Flicking through the CD's, she found some that were familiar, others that weren't.
A smile cracked through when she thought of Jareth the mighty Goblin King listening to all of this music. His tastes were certainly...eclectic. There were discs from nearly every artist imaginable, from rap to country. She nearly laughed when she saw an N*SYNC CD. Thoroughly amused by the discovery, she couldn't resist putting it in. Skipping through the songs, she found a familiar old favorite. The music started to play and she found herself moving to the music, a smile tugging her lips as she found the rhythm with her hips.
"Bye Bye Bye" The voices sang.
She danced along, sipping her drink as she twirled in circles. The lyrics came to her from a long-forgotten memory, and she sang along with the boy band.
"I'm doing this tonight,
You're probably gonna start a fight,
I know this can't be right,
Hey baby come on,
I loved you endlessly,
When you weren't there for me,
So now it's time to leave and make it alone."
Sarah sang perfectly, her voice completely in-tune with the band. Putting down the mug, her moves became more elaborate as she dipped and wiggled with the music, never once stopping her singing.
"I know that I can't take no more,
It aint no lie,
I want to see you out that door,
Baby bye bye bye!"
Halfway through Sarah's performance, Jareth had stopped outside the door. Not wanting to interrupt her fun, he backed away slowly into the shadows, watching as she danced and sang to N*Sync. One of his more unusual acquisitions, to be certain, but he was pleased that she was enjoying herself. He brought his hand up to his lips, stifling the chuckle that threatened to escape.
She looked so cute dancing and singing to that pop song. She was flushed from exertion, her eyes bright as she smiled at her own goofiness.
He suppressed a laugh when it came to the part of the song that stretched out the "Bye bye" chorus for a few seconds longer. But Sarah kept to the beat and pitch. Had she not been singing N*Sync, he would have been entirely impressed by her voice. She had a talent for singing, not that she realized it. Perhaps that was a gift they could cultivate later, once she was recovered from her ordeal.
Jareth held back another laugh as she struck a pose, laughing at herself. He strode away, leaving her blissfully unaware that she had been watched the whole time.