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The Goblin Queen

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Author's notes: Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author.  The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.  No copyright infringement is intended.


Chapter One

                Looking down at the stone floor Sarah Williams closed her eyes and drew in a shallow breath. It was hard to concentrate with the room falling apart around her, and with the Goblin King staring at her so intently. His pale eyes filled with a mixture of sadness and wanting. She could almost feel the feathers of his cloak brushing against her skin. I can never remember that line! She thought swallowing a lump. She looked up at him, her lips parting slightly to plead with him; he didn’t need her brother. Could she fight him? If he tried to keep Toby she would fight him. Her eyes took in the Goblin King’s build, he was slender but there was a confidence in the way he held himself. He has magic, she reminded herself, he is too powerful! A small smile tugged the corner of her lips, no he didn’t.

                “You have no power over me.” Her voice echoed through the crumbling room, the Goblin King withdrew the proffered crystal and tossed it into the air; a look of defeat and disdain etched upon his handsome face. In the blink of an eye the Goblin King had disappeared, his clothes folding in upon themselves and fluttering like curtains in a strong breeze. Sarah held out her hand as the crystal floated down towards her, it was soft and light as it touched her fingertips and stared in amazement as it burst like a bubble.

                The floor beneath her feet fell apart, she began to descend at an almost lazy pace. I won? She thought almost giddily, she had defeated the Goblin King. Exhausted she closed her eyes and waited for her feet to touch the ground once more. She found she didn’t mind if her feet never touched the ground again, she would be content to simply float. No, Toby. She reminded herself, she had not gone through all that to leave him so she could float in nothingness. Toby. Her brother’s face filled her mind and she suddenly found herself back on solid ground. The clock behind her began to strike midnight and she blinked in a daze. Was she home?

                “Toby?” She called darting up the steps and to her father and step-mother’s room, for a split second the cot looked empty, but she saw her brother beneath the white blanket as he turned over in his sleep. Maybe it was a dream? She thought as she tucked Lancelot under Toby’s chubby arm and brushed a lock of his soft downy hair from his forehead. Even if it was a dream I will never take you for granted again. She wanted to pick Toby up, to hold him close and kiss his soft cheeks. But she knew waking him would not be a good idea. “I’m sorry Toby,” she whispered, “I promise from now on I will protect you.” She vowed.

                “Perhaps you should not make promises you cannot keep?” The voice was cold, taunting and slightly menacing. Sarah’s hands gripped the edge of the cot and her breath caught in her throat. Downstairs she heard a loud BANG and she turned startled, rushing past the Goblin King she sprinted to the top of the stairs and gasped at the sight below. The hallway was in utter chaos; the grandfather clock was on its side, tables were shattered and fragments of broken vases littered the floor. “Toby!” Turning she rushed back to her father’s room, she was terrified the cot would be empty and the Goblin King gone. But he stood beside the cot looking down, his expression soft. Sarah studied his outfit, it was the one he had worn when he had first taken Toby. A glittering black cloak with a high collar, black leggings and black shirt. The shimmering didn’t distract from the threatening ensemble, rather it made all the more threatening. “What are you doing?” Sarah moved to the other side of Toby’s cot and gripped the edge, she wanted to grab him and run. But where could she hide?

                “I have come to claim what is mine.” The Goblin King’s voice was soft and low, as if he was concerned with waking Toby.

                “Sarah! Are you home?”

                “Do not answer.” The tone was menacing and Sarah looked at the man opposite her fearfully.

                “Toby is not yours – you have no claim to him.”

                “No. Not to him, but I do have a claim upon you.”

                “What’s happened?” Her step-mother’s voice was shrill and panicked. “Toby! Sarah!” In the cot Toby slept on peacefully.

                “He will not wake until after.”

                “After what?” Sarah hissed, “I beat you! You have no claim to Toby nor me – you have no power over me.” This is a nightmare, she told herself, a final test!

                “This is not a test Sarah. You belong to me. You defeated me and won back your brother – but that does not change the fact that you belong to me.”

                “Sarah!” The handle to the door began to turn; the Goblin King held out his hand and time seemed to freeze. Outside even the branches were still, there was no rain pounding on the windows nor the sound of the wind whistling through the air. The door had opened but only partially, a thin strip of light spilled into the dark room. Despite her fear Sarah approached the window and pulled back the nets, she stared in amazement at the raindrops suspended in mid-air.

                “I don’t understand,” Sarah whispered turning to face the Goblin King. “I beat you.” His face was soft, tender and even a little sympathetic. There was no hidden malice behind his pale eyes, he held out his hand and Sarah half-expected to see another crystal. She was surprised when he tossed the object to her, almost dropping it as something wet and sticky hit her palm. Wiping the palm of her hand on her jeans she held the soft orb with her other hand and inspected what she held.

                “A peach?” She asked, a hint of sarcasm in her voice. She looked at it again and saw that someone had taken a bit out of it. Me, she realised feeling sick. I took a bite out of it.

                “Have you ever heard the myth of Persephone?” Numbly Sarah nodded.

                “But it is just that – a myth,” she whispered almost pleadingly.

                “Myths hold some truth to them, where else would they come from?” He was suddenly beside her, the leather of his gloves were cool against her suddenly hot face. She felt as if she were standing in a furnace, the room began to spin and she knew it wasn’t because of his magic. “The food of the Labyrinth is binding. You ate this peach and bound yourself to me.”

                “I didn’t know,” she whispered, “you planted this…drugged it!”

                “I knew I was in danger of losing you. It is true, I did put a spell on this peach hoping it would keep you inside the time limit. But I knew even if you did win the Labyrinth then you would still be mine.”

                “This isn’t fair!”

                “Sarah,” his voice was sharp, “I would have thought you would have outgrown such childishness. You knew the Labyrinth was not what it seemed – you should have known this peach was something more.” He pulled her close, gathering her beneath his cloak.

                “Toby,” she whispered looking back towards the cot.

                “Will be safe. I have no claim upon him.” He reassured her, but Sarah couldn’t help the hot tears spilling down her cheeks.

                “I can’t leave him –”

                “You have no choice Sarah.” His cloak was surprisingly soft and comforting. It was as if he had wrapped her up in a thick duvet, “I want what is mine.” Sarah felt herself tugged down into the warm darkness, she tried to free herself but after battling her way through the Labyrinth she was exhausted; both physically and mentally.

                “You have no power over me,” she mumbled sleepily as the Goblin King leant down to slip one hand behind her knees and scoop her up into his arms.

                “We will see,” his lips were soft and cool against her cheek.

Chapter Text


Author's notes: Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author.  The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.  No copyright infringement is intended.


Chapter Two

                Sarah burrowed deeper into the warmth which enveloped her, something soft brushed against her face making her nose twitch. Don’t open your eyes, she told herself firmly. Keep them closed and nothing can happen. She knew she was trying to fool herself, but she wasn’t ready to accept the inevitable. Not yet. Exhaustion continued to pull at her, the warmth of whatever she wrapped in was too welcoming and she longed to just sleep. Footsteps clipped against the floor and something cool brushed against Sarah’s cheek.

                “Sarah open your eyes.” The cold voice brooked no argument and wearily Sarah obeyed. She was in a luxurious yet sparsely furnished room. The walls and floor were a cold harsh stone, a large four-poster bed was against one wall with thick, dark velvet curtains draped around it. A fireplace roared closely next to Sarah and she twisted slightly to soak up more of its warmth. To her right was a curved wall with a window cut into it, there was no glass or anything to stop the elements from entering the stone room yet she felt no cold nor even a slight breeze. She looked down at what she was wrapped in and recognised it instantly as the Goblin King’s white feathery cloak. The inside seemed to be fur-lined and she couldn’t help herself from burrowing ever further into it.

                “Send me home.” Her voice was stubborn as she forced herself to meet the pale glinting eyes of the Goblin King. She couldn’t bring herself to think his name, let alone say it.

                “This is your home,” the reply was far from what she wanted to hear. “There is no point in arguing Sarah, I have every right to claim you.”

                “But you could have chosen not to.” Sarah climbed to her feet shakily, she was ravenous but she refused to show any of her discomfort. “You had every right – it does not mean you had to. So send me home.”

                “Enough!” The room seemed to tremble as the Goblin King’s voice echoed through it and Sarah took a step back suddenly frightened. “You have exhausted me,” he growled at her. “I tried to show you Sarah that I would have given you everything, from the moment you bit into that peach whether you got through my Labyrinth or not you were mine. I had hoped that if you ran out of time you would accept your fate – I would have let your brother go, just to appease you. But instead you had to fight me every step of the way; if you find your situation upsetting or unfair,” he said the word in a whining voice, “then it is your fault.” Sarah closed her eyes, he was right. Partly. This was her fault. If she had not been childish and so angry then none of this would have happened. Why had she made such a foolish wish?

                “I did not know you were real,” she whispered, “please…had I known I would never have made that wish.”

                “Hindsight is a cruel gift.” Jareth shrugged and clicked his fingers, the cloak around her shoulders disappeared leaving Sarah feeling suddenly exposed to the coldness in the air, despite the roaring fireplace. “Come, walk with me.” Seeing no point in arguing Sarah obeyed.

                “You really would have let Toby go?” Sarah asked as she followed him through a series of twisting corridors. She gave up trying to memorise the left and right turns they took, the castle itself seemed to be some sort of Labyrinth. She paused mid-step as she remembered the penultimate room where she had found Toby. The unending staircases which twisted upside down. Her body broke out in a cold sweat and she steadied herself against the wall; what if she got lost in the castle?

                “Sarah,” leather-gloved hands gently cupped her face, “look at me.” Shaking her head Sarah fought to keep her breathing study and to keep the panic at bay. “Sarah look at me,” The voice was soothing and Sarah found herself obeying, staring into pale grey eyes she took a deep breath. “You do not need to fear the Labyrinth now. Do as I say and I shall protect you.” The floor felt as if it was crumbling beneath her, tears stung her eyes as she fought back a scream. “Sarah you are not in the Labyrinth now, you are in my castle and it will not harm you. Not unless you displease me.” A castle cannot hurt you, she chided herself. It’s a building – an inanimate object. He’s right, you’re not taking the Labyrinth on now – you’re one of them. The thought eased her fear, but did not allay the sadness gripping at her belly.

                “I – I’m fine,” she stammered blinking rapidly to clear her vision. No longer was she in the maze of stairs, instead she was in a narrow corridor with the Goblin King only inches from her. Get a grip or he will break you! She scolded herself and forced herself to stand up straight as she resumed walking with him.

                “Yes, I would have let Toby return to his home. Truthfully I would have liked for him to remain here, to grow up as and learn the ways of the Fae; but he is human at the end of the day. He would not thrive here.”

                “I’m human,” Sarah pointed out but the Goblin King merely shrugged. She saw his pale eyes glance down at her and she rubbed her arms nervously. “Why did you trash the hallway?” She asked in an attempt to break the silence, “you could have woken Toby –”

                “I told you then he would not wake until it was over. I would not frighten a child Sarah, I ‘trashed’ the hallway so that your father would not think you had simply abandoned your brother.”

                “Instead they will think something terrible has happened,” Sarah pointed out. “Please –”

                “What’s done is done Sarah. Every action has a consequence, this is one of the consequences of your foolish wish.” Desperately Sarah bit down on her tongue, she did not want to argue with him – she was too tired.

                “Are you going to turn me into a goblin?” She asked instead, “That’s what happens in the story – you steal children and turn them into goblins.”

                “In the story Sarah, this is reality. Nor do I steal children, you asked for me to take Toby so I took him.” A strong hand grasped her upper arm halting Sarah in her tracks. “Not all children are turned in to goblins. If I see a child has a good heart then they are given a second chance, they go to live with the Fae and learn our ways. I am not entirely cruel.” The hand gripping her arm slackened a little and the Goblin King’s face softened slightly. “I am not going to turn you into a goblin, that was never my intention nor shall it change. It would be a shame to waste such beauty, I am looking forward to have something pleasant to look upon each day.” Blushing Sarah turned her head, but the Goblin King seemed to take this as an invite to caress her hair and brush it away from her face. “I have not quite decided what to do with you yet, I had thought to make you my queen –”

                “I am fifteen,” Sarah protested.

                “What does age have to do with anything?” He asked in reply, “girls in your world once married as young as twelve – royal princesses were married before they had barely taken their first steps.”

                “A thousand years ago perhaps, but not now.” Sarah weakly protested.

                “As I said I have not decided upon your role in my kingdom,” he shrugged. “For now you will serve me, obediently.” Like Hell, Sarah thought her eyes blazing with anger. “The quality of your life depends on your behaviour – please me and you shall be rewarded, displease me and…well…” The threat hung in the air.

                “Jareth –”

                “Your majesty,” he quickly corrected her but Sarah only scowled at him. If she was trapped here then she would use his name, by avoiding it she was sure he only claimed some form of power over her. He has no power over me, she vowed to herself – but how true was that?

                “I am exhausted, it was late when you first brought me here and other than the…” Her throat closed as she thought of the drugged peach, “I have not slept properly in over a day.”

                “Nor have you eaten.”

                “I am not hungry,” she quickly lied. Truthfully she felt ravenous, like her lack of sleep she had not eaten since the peach. Nor would she eat while he kept her prisoner. Perhaps if she went on a hunger strike he would release her back home. She could only hope. “Please I just want to sleep…”

                “Very well,” a narrow and twisting staircase seemed to appear from nowhere and Sarah stared at it apprehensively. “After you,” there was a cruel and mocking smile tugging Jareth’s sensuous mouth upwards; swallowing a lump of fear Sarah forced herself to walk up the staircase. Was she about to regret saying she was tired? At the top of the staircase she was confronted with a dull and heavy looking wooden door. She noticed there was no handle, and her apprehension only grew. She felt the heat from Jareth’s body as he stopped with barely an inch of space between them. The door creaked open as he gave her a gentle push forwards. The room was completely bare, it was circular and small – she could barely stretch her arms out to the side without her fingertips brushing against the rough stone. There was no bed, carpet or even a window. “Remember Sarah, please me and you shall be rewarded. Until then…” She turned to stare at him in horror.

                “This is a dungeon!” She protested, “I will freeze!”

                “Perhaps you should pray that I never have cause to show you the dungeons.” He seemed amused by her outrage and horror. “But I would not want you to freeze,” he held out his hand which suddenly gripped the cloak she had been wrapped up in earlier. Defeated Sarah reached out to accept the cloak, what good would refusing it do?

                “Thank you,” she murmured wrapping it around herself. As Jareth closed the door she was plunged into a stifling darkness. Sitting on the floor she moved so that she could curl up into a tight ball, trying to keep as much of herself covered as possible beneath the cloak. I will find a way home, she silently vowed. I will not let him break me, he has no power over me. Repeating the words to herself she fell into a light and fitful sleep.

Chapter Text


Author's notes: Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author.  The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.  No copyright infringement is intended.


Chapter Three

                Tossing and turning throughout the night Sarah slept fitfully, if she slept at all. When she could take it no more she sat up and huddled against the wall beneath the thick cloak, her mind plotting on how she could escape the Labyrinth. But try as she might she could think of no way home, there was surely some type of magic in place to cross between worlds and she didn’t have a magical bone in her body. How could she be in this position because of a peach? She thought back to what Jareth had told her, that because she had accepted food from the Labyrinth she was bound to it; comparing her to Persephone. The myth! She suddenly thought excitedly, she was only bound to the Underworld for half a year…

                “Jareth!” She called into the darkness rising to her feet. “Jareth!” Her only answer was the stifling silence, she crossed her arms for and rolled her eyes as she waited for some response. She was sure he would be keeping some form of watch over her. You have got to be kidding me, she thought shaking her head and sighing. “Your majesty,” she said sarcastically and rolled her eyes as Jareth appeared. A soft glow seemed to radiate from him and she arched an eyebrow at his state of undress; he wore a soft pair of tanned leggings and a loose shirt undone. “You took your time.”          

                “I was asleep,” he shrugged, “if you prefer I could return in what I normally sleep in –”

                “I would rather you did not.” Sarah replied simply, but despite the coolness of her tone she was unable to help the warmth flushing her cheeks. “I want to talk to you.”

                “I gathered,” Jareth’s tone dripped with frozen sarcasm. Sarah was sure it would send his subjects fleeing in terror but it only heightened her sense of determination; she was not going to be bullied by this man. “I have the feeling this conversation will be a long one.” A door appeared behind him, with a flick of his wrist the door flew open and Jareth held out his hand for Sarah to take. Coolly she slipped past him and out the door, heading down the spiral staircase.

                “It should not be a long one if you listen to reason.” Sarah insisted, “But I suppose you are so used to getting your own way all the time it most likely will be a long time.”

                “You could not have waited until morning?” Jareth led her down several winding corridors and staircases, down to his surprisingly warm throne room.

                “Probably,” Sarah shrugged smiling innocently. “Jareth –”

                “Sarah I have already told you what to address me as –”

                “Yes, but –”

                “Nor will I tolerate interruptions! You are my subject now, I expect obedience.” Good luck, Sarah thought bitterly but kept the retort to herself.

                “Forgive me, your majesty.” Throwing her a scathing look Jareth tossed her some sort of throw from his throne and gracefully sat down. He crossed one slender leg over the other and leant back in his chair, waiting expectantly for Sarah to speak. Wrapping herself in the throw she plonked down on the floor and sat on the edge of the circular hole in the ground; her legs dangling over the edge. “I was thinking on what you said – about the peach and the myth of Persephone.”

                “Sarah have you really interrupted my sleep to speak of myths and legends?” The annoyance in his voice was clear but Sarah only shrugged nonchalantly.

                “Yes – because if this is like the myth then I can go home.” Jareth opened his mouth but she quickly continued. “There are so many variations of the myth on what Persephone ate; three out of six pomegranate seeds, six seeds…but they all had the same connotation. She didn’t eat everything that was offered to her, she only had to remain in the Underworld for half of the year.” She felt a flicker of triumph; surely she had him now? She was sure if she could trick him into releasing her home she could evade him…somehow.           

                “No.”

                “No?” Sarah repeated the word dumbly, as if it was one she had never heard before rather than every day of her life. “What do you mean no? I did not eat the whole peach –”

                “That does not matter Sarah, you still ate it – you accepted it. Just because you did not finish it has no relevance here. The myth of Persephone is just that, a myth. What may have been true for her is not so for you, you are bound to my kingdom for eternity.” The triumph and glee in Jareth’s pale eyes was sickening, rising to her feet Sarah flung the throw at him with as much vehemence as she could muster. “Sarah where are you going?”

                “To that cell you call a room,” she replied storming off. Tears stung her eyes painfully but she refused to let them fall.

                “You do not even know where that is.” Jareth taunted her, spinning on her heels Sarah glared at him.

                “I found my way through the Labyrinth to your Goblin City – that in itself was meant to be impossible, no? Defeating you was unthinkable? Yet I have done both. Your silly castle is not going to defeat me, majesty.” Not trusting herself to speak further Sarah stormed from the chaotic throne room and wandered aimlessly about. When a staircase appeared by her side she knew Jareth was taking some form of pity on her, but she was too exhausted to care. The feathery cloak was crumpled on the floor, curling up beneath it once more Sarah closed her eyes and refused to let the tears fall as sleep pulled her into its tight embrace.

 

***

 

                A clumsy knocking on the door woke Sarah up several hours later. Groaning she stretched, wincing as her joints cracked in protest from sleeping in such a cramped position. How long would he force her to sleep like this? There could be worse places to sleep, she consoled herself. She knew what would be at the top of that list. Arranging her soft features into an angry scowl Sarah pulled open the door, prepared to snap at Jareth. She was surprised to find herself staring in to thin air however.

                “Oi!” A gruff voice startled her from her confusion, “down ‘ere!” Sarah obeyed the voice, surprised to find a goblin no higher than her shin staring up at her. “’Is majesty says ye’re to join ‘im fer breakfas’,” Sarah followed the goblin seeing no point in arguing with it. Every so often the goblin would pause at turnings, as if it was deliberating which way to go. If they don’t even know how to find their way around here, how am I going to learn? She thought biting back an impatient sigh. Eventually the goblin brought her to a small intimate dining chamber; a platter of fruit, toasted bread, eggs and other breakfast foods were centrepiece on the dining table. Jareth was filling a plate of bacon and eggs, dressed in grey tights and leather boots, a flowing white shirt with ruffles at the open neck and lace beneath a tight fitting black waistcoat. “Yer majes –”

                “You can go now,” Jareth coldly dismissed the goblin as she set the plate on the table and turned to face them. Sarah looked down to see the small goblin stumbling from the room in a hurry.

                “You did not have to be so rude, a thank you would not go amiss.” Sarah scolded him, tossing her hair back and raising her chin as she met his gaze stubbornly.

                “I am a king Sarah, I do not thank those beneath me.” He reached over to pluck a piece of fruit from the platter. “Breakfast.” He tossed something at her and Sarah reached out to grab it, it was soft and fuzzy in the palm of her hand and she knew what it would be before she even looked down at it.

                “Very funny,” she sighed looking down at the pale peach lying in her palm. “But I am not hungry.” She threw the peach back at him.

                “Oh come now Sarah, where is your sense of humour?”

                “Perhaps I left it with your manners.” She shrugged, “I’m not hungry Jareth.”

                “Your majesty.” He corrected her with a flash of anger.

                “Jareth.” Sarah shot back feeling suddenly childish, were they really going to argue over a name? She could see he was thinking along the same lines and the two stood there sizing each other up.

                “You need to eat,” Jareth finally broke the silence and gestured to the small banquet on the table. But Sarah only shrugged in reply, a peach had caused all this trouble – got only knew what eggs would do. “Sarah you have not eaten in over a day –”

                “I’m not hungry.” She repeated firmly.

                “Fine, if you insist on acting like a child then carry on. Leech,” she winced at the thundering voice and a goblin scampered into the room. “Take Sarah down to the dressmaker, then put her to work. You can start cleaning the latrines.” Sarah shrugged as if she couldn’t care less and turned to follow the goblin from the room. The dressmaker was a plump three-foot goblin clothed in a dress made from different scraps of fabrics, she cried out in distress when she saw she was to dress Sarah.

                “We ain’ go’ clothes for such a scrawny build,” she poked and prodded Sarah’s arms, legs and stomach making her gasp in pain.

                “I don’t need anything fancy,” she tried to placate the goblin. “I’m cleaning latrines for the day – whatever you give me will just get dirty.” Her nose wrinkled at the thought, but she was not going to let Jareth see how much she loathed the thought of cleaning latrines. She didn’t mind tidying or cleaning, she found it soothing – but toilets were different. And she had no doubt these latrines would send her fleeing to the Bog of Eternal Stench. Just get on with it, she told herself. After much grumbling the goblin managed to dig out a simple black sleeveless dress and a grey undergrown with flowing sleeves.

                “I’ll ‘ave to make ye more clothes,” the goblin was grumbling less now and seemed almost pleased at having a task at hand. She pulled a knotted cord and whipped it around Sarah’s hips, waist and breasts. She ran the cord along the length of her arms, shoulders and legs but didn’t seem to note any of the measurements down. “These’ll ‘ave to do fer now,” she indicated the dress and shirt thrown carelessly on the floor. “I’ll ‘ave more brough’ to yer rooms tonight.” Sarah didn’t correct her in that she just had a room, if it could be called that.

                “Thank you,” she smiled but the goblin just scowled at her. “D – Do you think you could make something similar to this? Just one?” She indicated the outfit she was wearing, she was not going to argue too much on the style of clothes but it would be nice to have something she was familiar with. The goblin peered curiously at Sarah’s waistcoat, jeans and shirt before finally nodding.

                “Ye’ll have to see the shoemaker fer shoes – I ain’ go’ nothin’ like tha’,” she gestured to Sarah’s footwear but the girl only shrugged. She wasn’t too bothered on shoes, her own were comfortable enough. She ducked behind a curtain and quickly dressed in the fresh clothes, she saw no point in arguing about clothes. She wanted something clean, she could not wear the same thing every day.

                The latrines were somehow worse than she had expected, unable to help herself Sarah retched and covered her nose. The goblin who had brought her there just laughed at her reaction before scampering away; breathing through her mouth Sarah determinedly set to work. She pulled her hair clips from her hair and an elastic hairband from her wrist. She wound her hair into a tight bun, pinning it into place. The sleeves on her shirt were so loose she decided it would be best to roll them up. She wasted no time in setting to work, even before she had started she was thankful she had not eaten anything. Every so often she would have to pause so she could retch helplessly. There were several buckets filled with hot soapy water, brooms, brushes and sponges dotted around. Each time the water was too filthy to use it would disappear and replenish with fresh water, Sarah wasn’t sure if this was Jareth’s handiwork or some form of magic from the Labyrinth. Either way she was grateful. She had just finished sluicing clean water over the floor when she heard the soft clipping of boots against the stone floor.

                “Your missed a spot,” Sarah held up a filth ridden sponge disdainfully and glared at Jareth before dropping it into a bucket and washing her hands in another.

                “I need a shower,” her nose wrinkled in disgust and she turned to survey her handiwork; paranoid that she had indeed missed a spot.

                “A what?”

                “Shower,” Sarah pronounced the word slowly as if speaking to a child not much older than Toby. “A wash. I still feel as if I can smell some of the Bog clinging to my skin – or worse after today.” Jareth was still looking confused and Sarah shook her head in annoyance. “I need to wash Jareth – to bathe!”

                “I understand bathing,” he snapped, “but a shower?”

                “It doesn’t matter,” Sarah sighed, “I can explain another time – is there somewhere I can bathe now?”

                “Very well,” Jareth held his hand over Sarah’s eyes, she recoiled backwards slightly but he removed his hand almost instantly. No longer were they standing in the latrine, instead they were outside in the frigid night air. The castle towered above them, it was lit up menacingly with the glow of the moonlight. Slightly to her right she heard rushing water and she turned to see a waterfall streaming down one side of the castle and creating a river streaming in to the darkness. “You have fifteen minutes – I will return promptly.” The laughter in his eyes was clear and Sarah bit back a scathing reply.

                “For the record that is a shower, or like one anyway – you stand under it.” With as much dignity as she could muster she turned and stomped off in the direction of the waterfall. A quick glance over her shoulder revealed that Jareth had departed, she could only hope he would respect her privacy – for at least fifteen minutes anyway. Hurriedly she kicked off her shoes and stripped herself off her clothes before stepping under the torrent of water. She cried out as the ice-cold water slammed into her, knocking her to her knees and almost sending her streaming along with the current. She managed to find a shallow spot beneath the waterfall where she could stand and dunk her head under to douse her hair and try to free it from as much grit as she could. With no soap she had to make do with only the freezing water, but it was something at least. Knowing that Jareth was an excellent timekeeper she made sure not to dawdle, luckily the water was unwelcoming making her departure that bit easier. She dressed hurriedly, wincing as her clothes seemed to cling to her sopping skin. Teeth chattering she had only finished dressing when Jareth returned, his expression clearly one of disappointment.

                “You have done well, I have never seen the latrines so clean.”

                “T – Thank y – y – you,” her sarcasm was lost beneath the chattering of her teeth.

                “Perhaps that could be your duty here.” Sarah shrugged nonchalantly as she continued to stand in the frigid air, shivering uncontrollably. Had the whole day really passed? “Will you join me for dinner?” His voice was suddenly kind, but Sarah didn’t hesitate in shaking her head. “Sarah –”

                “I will not eat while you keep me here.”

                “It will not change anything Sarah, you are bound here by the laws of the Labyrinth. You ate the peach of your own free will –”

                “I did not know,” Sarah shouted, “and you were the one who brought me back here. Of your own free will.” She repeated his words with vehemence, no longer shivering from the cold but rather a burning anger.

                “No,” Jareth said quietly. “I brought you back because I had to Sarah. You ate peach and bound yourself to my kingdom, I am bound to the laws just as my citizens are. I have to enforce these laws, there are consequences.” He held out an outstretched arm, offering her a thick cloak which she accepted. “Sarah despite what you think, you are not a prisoner here. I am treating you as I would treat any of my citizens – better in fact.” She believed that, she knew he would not speak to the goblins as he did with her. But it did not make her feel any better.

                “I don’t belong here,” she insisted but Jareth only shook his head mournfully.

                “One day you will discover that you do. Please Sarah, dine with me?” She could see his invitation was genuine, but still she could not bring herself to accept.

                “Thank you but no,” she said firmly, “I’m exhausted…I would just rather go to bed.” In the blink of an eye she found herself standing in the small circular room, although there were no torches on the wall there was a soft pale light. The room was no longer empty, on the floor was a straw filled mattress which she gratefully collapsed on. Pulling Jareth’s cloak over herself she fell in to a deep, exhausted and dreamless sleep.

 

***

 

                “Sarah,” a rough-feeling hand shook her shoulder gently, “Sarah ye need to ge’ up.” Mumbling Sarah turned over and pulled the cloak over her head, trying to brush the hand aside. “Sarah please,” the voice pleaded and her ears pricked at the familiar tone. “Sarah…it’s me, Hoggle.”

                “Hoggle?” She murmured sleepily opening one eye and peering out from beneath the cloak. She could see the dwarf’s familiar face, his large eyes hidden beneath white bushy brows filled with concern. “Hoggle!” Suddenly feeling wide awake Sarah flung her arms around him and hugged him tightly. “What are you doing here?”

                “The King – Jareth, he’s worried about ye, and so am I. Sarah ‘ave ye really not eaten since ye arrived?” Sarah shrugged carelessly. She had been in Jareth’s kingdom for almost a week now, somehow managing to stay out of his way for much of it. She saw him at the beginning of each day when he would try to persuade her to break her fast with him, when she refused he would resignedly send her to work. She had spent much of her time scrubbing floors and cleaning various rooms in the gigantic castle. “Ye don’ look well.” Hoggle persisted when Sarah remained silent.

                “Did you know that if I ate the peach I would be trapped here?”

                “No, never!” Hoggle sobbed vehemently shaking his head and stepping back. “I never knew wha’ tha’ peach would do – Jareth gave i’ to me, I was scared!”        

                “Hoggle it’s alright, I forgive you.” She consoled him gently as she forced herself to sit up properly.

                “Sarah starvin’ yeself won’t ge’ ye sen’ back.” Sarah moved up so that Hoggle could sit beside her on the straw mattress beside her.

                “Jareth said I won’t starve to death,” she could not help the slight bitterness in her voice. She had half-hoped that she could at least free herself that way. “But I don’t trust him Hoggle, what if eating more food just means I am stuck here?”

                “I remember me mam telling me a story when I was a babe,” Hoggle said in an almost dreamy voice. “She said one day a beautiful young fae would come to the kingdom, she would have the power to thaw the hear’ of the Goblin King.” Sarah snorted and blushed as Hoggle looked offended.

                “I’m sorry Hoggle, I’m sure it was a lovely story that your mother told me – but it isn’t me if that’s what you’re thinking.”

                “How do you know? Ye’re beautiful –”

                “Not like the Fae,” Sarah blushed and smiled at Hoggle. “Nor am I Fae, I’m human – remember?” Hoggle looked at her curiously.

                “Can ye be sure? Jareth is certainly taken with ye’re no’ the firs’ to come to the Labyrinth but ye are the firs’ to ge’ through the gates of the Goblin City. Many don’ even make it halfway through; a human couldn’ do wha’ ye did Sarah.”

                “Both my parents are human Hoggle; we’re all ordinary people. No magic, no trickery…” She paused as she thought this last part; her mother was an actress. She made her living through trickery; deceiving people into believing she was something she was not. That’s just her career – don’t think too much into this. Sarah scolded herself, she was not about to be taken in by fairy tales. She was so deep in thought that she didn’t see Jareth appear in the doorway, looking down at the two friends with a mixture of disdain. “Hogwart –”

                “Hoggle,” Sarah corrected him automatically, “and do you mind? We’re having a private conversation.”

                “This is my castle Sarah,” Jareth warned her. “Are you going to join me for breakfast?” His eyes blazed as he looked down at the dwarf. Sarah looked down at Hoggle, he was trembling but met her gaze hopefully. She took his rough hand and squeezed it comfortingly.

                “No,”

 

Chapter Text


Author's notes: Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author.  The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.  No copyright infringement is intended.


Chapter Four

                Jareth shook his head in exasperation and turned to leave Sarah alone. The girl was beginning to wear on his nerves; she was infuriating! He should have known she would be trouble from the moment he had begun watching her, but something had drawn her to him. Too old to become a goblin, too young for me to keep. He thought not for the first time; how many times had the thought occurred to him while she had made her way through the Labyrinth? But he was sure she was the girl, the one. And she was not human, she may think she was – but there was Fae blood deep within her somewhere. Perhaps he should tell her, if he could convince her she was part-Fae then perhaps she would accept her fate and succumb to him. Or she will grow in to her powers and fight me more than she already does. He thought with a sigh as he helped himself to an apple and bit down into the crisp fruit. He was beginning to worry about her, she had somehow gotten it into her head that accepting food would do her further damage. Did she truly not realise she was already bound here? That she was indeed trapped forever. I am offering to make her queen – yet she would rather scrub latrines. Jareth thought irritably, he summoned the same mirror he had shown Sarah her reflection in and studied his own. He was still handsome, perhaps he was beginning to age; there were small lines at the edge of his eyes, perhaps a slight frown creasing his forehead, but that was surely to be expected after living a few millennia? His hair was still a magnificent icy blonde, his body was still lithe. So why did she refuse him? Perhaps if I say I will allow her to return home then she will eat? He sat back in his chair, a cruel smile tugging at his lips. She was bound to the Labyrinth, she would never be able to escape, but she could of course cross over for a short period of time. If he allowed her. And why should he not? Taking another bite of his apple he began to laugh.

                Once he had finished breaking his fast Jareth summoned a crystal to spy upon Sarah. She was lying back down, his cloak tucked around her shoulders, her lips moving as she spoke to the dwarf. It was sickening, she put more of her faith in a dwarf than her own king. She does not see me as her king, not yet. Jareth thought with disdain; these modern girls were too independent for his liking. It made a refreshing change from the simpering damsels, but it grew just as tiresome after a while. He admired Sarah’s independence, her strong will and her stubbornness. It did provide him with a bit of a challenge, but it was also exhausting. Somehow he had to bend her to his will, yet make her believe she was maintaining her own independence. It is just as well we have an eternity together. He thought picking up a second piece of fruit, he smiled as he realised he held a peach in his hand; small and supple. He bit into the tender flesh, savouring the juice that trickled in his mouth.

                Finishing the peach Jareth rose to his feet and made his way to the tower where Sarah slept. He had left the door open so that light could trickle in, soon he would give her a window – perhaps he should begin to make the room bigger. He had spent each night watching her toss and turn in her sleep, and he knew she dreamt of her time in the Labyrinth. It would not do good for her to grow fearful and go into a form of post-traumatic stress.

                “Out,” he pointed at the dwarf with a scowl on his handsome face.

                “No,” Sarah whispered, “please Hoggle, stay with me.”

                “I can’ Sarah,” the dwarf replied with a pained expression. “Can I visit her again soon, yer majesty?” Jareth leant against the door, cradling his chin in one hand as he pretended to ponder the request. He had no intentions of refusing the dwarf’s request, it would not be good for Sarah to be cooped up by herself all the time. She was hardly going to accept his own company every day, and perhaps if he allowed her to see her friends she would begin to trust him.

                “Yes,” he finally nodded and saw Sarah sit up weakly as she looked at him in disbelief. “Tonight, return to the castle and bring those other two…creatures,” his lip curled in disdain as he thought of the fox and the large beast she had befriended during her journey. “If Sarah consents to dine with me tonight, then she can see you all.” He saw her lie back down, her eyes closed to stem the flow of tears. Hoggle nodded sadly and departed, pausing at the door to cast a final look at Sarah before Jareth shoved him out with the heel of his boot. Luckily Sarah’s eyes were closed so she missed the assault on her friend. Without waiting for an invitation he sat beside her on the straw filled mattress, stretching his long legs in front of him. It took every ounce of willpower he had to not slip beneath the cloak, to pull her close. She is too young, he reminded himself. He could wait a few years; he had waited this long. “Sarah you must eat…what will it take for you to see reason? What do you think will happen?” He brushed a strand of hair away from her face, he was shocked to see the green of her eyes had turned dull and gave her an empty expression.

                “I won’t get to go home.” She croaked, “I’ll be stuck here forever.”

                “Sarah I give you my word you will not be ‘stuck’ here. You are bound to the Labyrinth yes, but…” He paused dramatically, “I believe the dwarf told you of a fairy tale which is commonly regaled here in the Labyrinth?” She nodded weakly, “what if I told you it was less of a fairy tale and more of a…prophecy?” He could see her interest was piqued. “There was a reason I wanted to keep you in the Labyrinth Sarah.”

                “I am not Fae,” she repeated in exhaustion.

                “Can you be sure? Have you traced your family tree? And do you not think there is something in your mother’s flight? Her career choice, even her very appearance…does there not seem something Fae about her?”

                “Jareth what does this have to do with me eating?” She sighed after a few minutes.

                “Come and walk with me, take a day off from the cleaning.” Jareth pulled the cloak away from her shoulders, his eyes for a split second pausing on her thin nightgown. “Dress warmly,” he gestured to the neatly folded clothes which suddenly appeared beside her bed. “I will wait outside while you dress.” He closed the door behind him but left it slightly ajar so that she could find her way out. While he waited for her, he began to plot in his head, smiling as he realised how he could finally convince her to eat something. When Sarah emerged he was momentarily stunned; she was clad in a fitted pale green dress, it was fitted around her waist but the skirt flowed loosely. It was made of a mixture of satin and velvet lending it a sleek shine. The sleeves were draped and hung loosely to her waist as she pushed a lock of hair away from her face. She wore an emerald green cloak lined with a sleek black fur and clasped at her throat. He had finally had some new footwear arranged for her, and could see the toes of a pair of sleek leather boots poking out from beneath her full-length skirt. “You look radiant,” he bowed and kissed her hand with a gallant gesture.

                “Hmm,” Sarah shrugged and looked away embarrassed. Jareth offered his arm and was glad when she took it without argument. “Jareth I am not Fae,” she sighed as he took them outside into the grounds of the castle and through a small yet beautiful garden. Winter was beginning to embrace the Labyrinth, frost glimmered on the grass making it appear each blade was made of tiny diamonds.

                “Sarah you cannot be sure, and the food here is infused with Fae magic. If you are Fae then it will help you grow into your powers.”

                “And if I am not?”

                “Then no harm comes to you. You are already bound to the Labyrinth, but if you are Fae then you may be able to leave. For short periods,” Jareth added as he saw the hope flare in her eyes.

                “What makes you think I am Fae?”

                “Pride,” Jareth shrugged, “no ordinary girl could defeat me. There must be something magical in your blood.” Jareth slowed his pace as he sensed Sarah struggling to keep up with him, despite her hand tucked into the crook of his arm. “Sarah you are exhausted, I have already told you that you shall not starve yourself to death. All that will happen is you will be driven to the brink of insanity, now unless you want me to force feed you I would seriously consider my offer. Dine with me tonight, with your friends, and eat something. If we discover you are Fae then I shall help you to learn how to cross worlds for short periods of time; if you still wish to cross them that is.” Jareth brought her hand to his lips once more; partly because he enjoyed the softness of her skin upon his lips but also to hide the deceitful smile playing on his lips.

 

***

 

                Jareth had ordered the larger dining chamber to be prepared for the dinner that evening. Sitting at the large round table now he stared in disgust at the bright orange beast to Sarah’s left greedily shovelling food into his mouth. Picking up his goblet Jareth took a sip of wine and tried to not roll his eyes. Sarah was deep in discussion with the fox and dwarf but every so often would turn to smile almost indulgently upon the beast. Will she ever look at me with such tenderness? Jareth asked himself but quickly pushed the thought from his mind, he did not want to be compared to some beast. Perhaps he should not have invited the sickening creature. He turned his attention to Sarah’s plate, while the rest of the party had eaten their food her own remained untouched.

                “Sarah,” Jareth stood up and walked over to her. Resting a hand on her shoulder he knelt down so that their eyes were level. “You must eat something.” She looked away guiltily, had she really thought she could deceive him into thinking she had been eating? “The food is safe, both your friends and I have eaten from the same platter – have any of them been harmed?”

                “You know it is not that which frightens me.” She murmured apparently unable to meet his gaze. The air in the room suddenly grew tense, the beast had stopped shovelling food and sat there with his mouth agape. Sarah giggled at the comical appearance but stopped abruptly when she saw Jareth’s disgust. He turned his attention to her plate and speared a piece of meat with her fork, holding it out for her to take.

                “You must learn to trust me,” he chided her gently. “Allow me to help you.” He watched as Sarah’s eyes flicked towards her friends, seeking either their approval or disapproval.

                “Do you truly think I could be Fae?” She asked them, ignoring the offered fork.

                “It is possible my lady,” the fox agreed and Hoggle nodded slowly.

                “Sarah think upon it – would I really offer to make you my queen if you were simply human?”

                “You have not really offered to make me your queen – and that would indicate I have a choice. Besides I have just been cleaning toilets and scrubbing floors.”

                “Because you have been foolish and constantly challenge me.” Jareth shrugged and took hold of her hand with his free one. Squeezing it gently he concentrated all of his energy into appearing earnest and caring. “I meant what I said in the Labyrinth; just fear me and love me and I will be your slave.”

                “You promise you will help me learn to cross between worlds?”

                “Of course,” Jareth’s voice was solemn, “all I ask is that you eat.” Sarah bit her lip, clearly torn between her heart and her head.

                “Sarah you have nothing to lose,” Hoggle tried to reason with her. “If ye are jus’ human then ye can’ leave anyway. But if ye are part-Fae…you have hope.” Jareth wanted to point out that she could not escape the Labyrinth forever, but decided his silence would serve him better. He watched slightly amused as Sarah squeezed her eyes tightly shut, as if she could not bear to witness what she was about to do. Leaning forwards she opened her mouth and accepted the small morsel of food from Jareth, chewing it slowly he could tell it took every ounce of her strength to swallow the piece of food. When she opened her eyes her face was slightly flushed with embarrassment.

                “I expected something to happen,” she shrugged and Jareth smiled warmly at her.

                “It will take time to tell if you are Fae or not. If you are then over time the food will infuse you with your power.”

                “How long will it take?” Sarah asked taking the fork from him and slowly taking a second bite of food.

                “It may vary,” he shrugged sitting back in his own chair. “Five hundred years, perhaps longer. But when you begin to show signs of Fae heritage we shall begin your lessons.” He bit back a cruel smile as her fork clattered on to the plate.

                “Five hundred years?” She cried, “you said you would help me return home!”

                “And I shall,” Jareth looked confused at her outrage. “I have not said I would not…”

                “Everyone I love will be dead by then,” Sarah whispered but Jareth only shrugged in response.

                “I gave you my word Sarah, if you are Fae then I shall help you learn to cross worlds. If you still wish to do so.” The coldness of his smile turned the air ice-cold and Sarah glared at him.             

                “You tricked me.” She hissed moving to rise but Jareth raised his hand to keep her pinned in place.

                “I did no such thing Sarah. Everything I have said is true; if you are Fae I will help you learn your powers. I cannot help it if it will take time for you to come in to your powers, in the eyes of a Fae fifteen is exceptionally young – barely even a toddler.”

                “But my family –”

                “I am sorry for your loss, but there is nothing I can do.” Sarah glared at him bitterly but he could see the determined spark returning to her green eyes. Sitting back in his seat Jareth raised his goblet and toasted her mockingly.

Chapter Text


Author's notes: Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author.  The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.  No copyright infringement is intended.


Chapter Five

                As Jareth sipped on his wine Sarah looked down at her plate. She wanted to push it away, to refuse to eat and continue to starve herself. But what was the point?

                “My lady,” Sir Diddymus looked at her imploringly and Hoggle tentatively reached out to rest his plump hand over hers. She forced herself to smile at her friends and took another mouthful of food; the first morsel had tasted delicious, now it was like ash in her mouth. The beginning of the meal had started pleasantly enough, but Sarah could not bring herself to enter into conversation. Throughout the meal she had drunk neither wine nor the water that Jareth had thoughtfully poured for her, now she picked up the goblet of wine and stared into the crimson liquid. She could feel Jareth’s eyes watching her intently, burning a hole into her skin. Tearing her eyes away from the deep liquid she looked up at Jareth and looked at him blankly. “To the Goblin King,” she raised her goblet in a silent toast but as she lowered it to drink she only wet her lips with the liquid. Still clasping the goblet she stood up and slowly walked around to Jareth’s side of the table, holding out her hand for him she stared into his pale eyes. “To the next five hundred years.” As Jareth’s leather-clad hand clasped her own with surprising gentleness she turned her goblet upside down; spilling the contents into the lap of his snow white tights. “May you never have a moment’s peace.” Ignoring Jareth’s furious yells she turned and walked calmly from the dining room.

 

***

 

                Sarah walked along the dark tunnel, she knew the floor was a pale dusty dirt colour from memory and the walls were damp and slimy from God only knew what. Every so often she would pause and try to force her eyes to adjust to the stifling darkness but it was no good. Sighing she walked on, her hands outstretched and her fingers brushing against the disgusting texture of the walls.

                “Don’t go that way!” A small blue worm appeared at her feet, shaking its miniscule head violently. “NEVER go that way!” Sarah turned to go in the opposite direction but found her path suddenly barricaded by a stone wall.

                “B – But this is the only way!” She turned to look down at the worm but he had disappeared.

                “Things are not always what they seem!” His cheerful voice echoed through the tunnel. “Don’t go that way!” Sarah closed her eyes and took a deep breath, she would find a way out. She pushed herself away from the stone wall and continued the way the worm had warned her against, what choice did she have? A high pitched squealing noise made her ears twitch and she gasped cupping her hand against her right ear. The squealing grew persistent, it sounded like metal scratching upon metal.

                “So you think my Labyrinth is a piece of cake? Well how about this little slice?”

                Sarah looked up at the sound of Jareth’s voice but he was nowhere to be seen. Fear gripped her stomach as she realised where the screeching noise was coming from. She turned to look behind her, the stone wall was no longer there instead there was nothing but the darkness. She turned to run, but the screeching only grew closer. Through the darkness she could see the silvery glint of metal blades twirling about menacingly, she turned on her heel but no matter where she looked the Cleaner was heading straight for her.

                “Hoggle!” Sarah cried, “Hoggle HELP!” She screamed as the blade of the cleaner caught the sleeve of her dress –

 

                “HOGGLE!” Sarah bolted upright from her bed and held out her arms in the darkness. She screamed as her palms met nothing but stone. The sound of the cleaner’s blades were still fresh in her mind, she knew it was impossible but she could not shake herself from the dream. Light, she thought in a panic, I need light! Her chest grew tight as she began to hyperventilate, as she drew in a shuddering breath a faint light began to flicker and spark from her fingertips. Startled Sarah fell backwards on to the mattress and looked at her hands. Small electric sparks continued to shoot from her fingertips, forcing herself to draw in deep breaths Sarah pushed the nightmare from her mind and instead focused on the light. Within a few minutes she had managed to create a small ball of light which flickered and pulsated. Wiping her eyes with the sleeve of her nightdress she sniffed and tried to piece together what was happening.

                She often dreamed of the oubliette and her close encounter with the Cleaner. Never before had it gotten so close to her. She looked down at her sleeve, convinced it would be torn and bloodied but she was relieved to see it in one piece and completely unscathed.

                “W – What is this?” She whispered looking at the pulsating ball of light slightly fearfully.

                “Magic.” Jareth’s voice was cool and Sarah looked up surprised to see him lounging against the wall of her small circular chamber. “Do you not see what this means Sarah?”

                “That after almost three years you still do not know how to knock?” Sarah swallowed the fear still creeping through her stomach as she frowned at Jareth. The ball of light flickered out plunging them into a suffocating darkness, she gripped the edge of her mattress as claustrophobia began to wash over her. After almost three years her relationship with Jareth had not improved, if anything things had grown worse between them. Sarah had remained stubborn and Jareth cold; despite the encouragement from her friends to try and build bridges with Jareth she had not been able too.

                “This is proof Sarah,” Jareth held out his hand and summoned several crystal balls which floated around the small chamber and filled it with a soft silvery light.

                “Of what exactly?” She wished her room were slightly bigger, it was awkward having nowhere to go to put distance between them. All she could do was sit on her straw filled mattress; but at least she had a proper duvet now rather than his feathery cloak.

                “You are Fae, or part-Fae at least. The Labyrinth’s magic is beginning to fuse with your blood, a bond has been created –”

                “Trapping me here even more,” Sarah grumbled bitterly.

                “Sarah you are not a prisoner here,” Jareth snapped impatiently.

                “How can you say that? All I want is to go home -”

                “Sarah do you not see? You are home! You are part-Fae, the Labyrinth is as much your home as Earth.” Sarah paused to think upon this.

                “My family are back home –”

                “Sarah you will soon be turning eighteen,” Jareth knelt beside her and took her hand. “Had you remained on Earth you would be graduating and moving to college – would that not then be your home? You would not stay living under your father’s roof forever. You would have moved out permanently at some point, perhaps moved to a different city – a different country even.”  Sarah bit her lip as she thought his words over.

                “This isn’t the same, it isn’t fa-”

                “Sarah please do not say it isn’t fair,” Jareth warned her gently. “Have you never thought that perhaps this is your fate? What makes you so sure that you do not belong here? You have friends,” Sarah caught the flicker of disgust in his eyes and the way his lip curled in disdain at the mention of her friends. “You did not like your step-mother, you were angry at your father for divorcing your mother. And your mother…well…what woman walks out on her own child? You were not happy with your old life –”

                “When have I ever been happy here?” Sarah asked bluntly.

                “When have you given yourself a chance to be happy here?” The two remained silent and Sarah felt a twinge of fear as she saw something she had tried to ignore for so long in Jareth’s eyes. “Sarah please, let me teach you to use your powers. It will take a long time to learn to cross between worlds – perhaps centuries. But if you truly wish to live between two worlds, I will not stop you. All I ask is that you give your life in the Labyrinth a true chance.” Sarah closed her eyes as she mulled over his words. She had never forgotten Hoggle’s story about the young woman who would thaw the heart of the Goblin King. It still made her scoff to think that she could be that very woman. She looked at Jareth’s icy cold eyes, they were tender yet she did not trust them. He had made a career out of being manipulative; how many people had lost their lives due to his trickery?

                “How can I be happy scrubbing latrines for the rest of my life?” She stood up wanting to put space between herself and Jareth. She was surprised to see that she was no longer in her nightdress but rather in an elegant golden gown that moved fluidly as if made from water. The sleeves were draped and the train, several feet long, pooled around her feet. She felt something on top of her head and she reached up to feel a cool circlet.

                “You know I have always intended for you to be my queen.” His hands encircled her waist, pulling her close. Sarah had not been so close to him, not since that fateful dance. His lips were barely inches from her own and part of her yearned to just give in to him and become his queen. No, she thought stepping back, not like this.

                “Teach me to use my powers, fully.” She said shaking her head and handing him the small golden circlet. “No deceit, nor holding me back to manipulate me. If I can trust you then perhaps one day I will accept and become your queen…but I will not marry a man I cannot trust.”

                “I have never deceived you –”

                “You drugged a peach and had me eat it knowing that it would either cost me Toby’s freedom or my own – both in fact. If I had not woken up from that dream we would have both been trapped here. I will give life here a chance Jareth, when I can trust you. And you can start by showing me how to communicate with my family – to at least say goodbye to them.” She looked at him with a stubborn determination. She believed him when he said she was part-Fae, she could feel the change within her. Her fingertips crackled and it took every ounce of self-control she possessed to not test her abilities here and now. She would not let Jareth hold her back, but she decided that while she would take lessons from him she would try to teach herself. If she could keep the extent of her powers hidden from Jareth then perhaps she could prepare herself for any tricks he threw at her.

Chapter Text


Author's notes: Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author.  The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.  No copyright infringement is intended.


Chapter Six

                Dressed in a pair of fresh jeans, puffed-sleeve peasant blouse and waistcoat Sarah met Jareth beside the gates of the Goblin City. She felt slightly apprehensive of leaving the castle walls for the first time in almost three years, she had been in the castle gardens but had not stepped foot in the Goblin City nor the Labyrinth beyond. Jareth looked her outfit up and down slightly scornfully but Sarah shrugged; she was comfortable in this. The goblin dressmaker had made her several similar outfits in cream, grey and black. She was not going to go out in the Labyrinth in long skirts which would only hinder her mobility.

                “Why do we have to do this in the Labyrinth?” Sarah asked swallowed a lump of fear and shoving her hands into the pockets of her jeans. She did not want Jareth to see that she was indeed slightly fearful, she had beaten the Labyrinth but it haunted her dreams and she had no wish to return to it.

                “Because I would rather not have my castle destroyed by an inexperienced child.” Jareth shrugged coldly, “are you frightened Sarah?”

                “Of course not,” she flinched as Jareth’s gloved hand brushed against her cheek and turned her to face him gently.

                “You are not competing in the Labyrinth now, you are a citizen here. No harm shall come to you.”

                “I’m not frightened,” but Jareth only smiled at her as if she were a child caught lying. As they walked past the gate Sarah shivered from the chill in the air, the frost crunched under their feet and Sarah almost slipped over as they walked down a small slope. Jareth reached out and caught her arm, pulling her close. “Shouldn’t I read some books on this first?” Sarah asked nervously as she looked down at her still crackling fingertips.

                “Magic is not something you can learn from a book Sarah, it is something you have to practice. That is why we are doing out here where the only things you will damage are the trees and the ground – nothing that cannot be regrown.” Sarah felt nerves grip her stomach, she had never for a second thought she had any magical ability. Jareth led her to a small clearing and draped a cloak on the flat surface of a rock.

                “You seem to have grasped light fairly easily.”

                “Not really,” Sarah insisted, “I don’t know how I did that…I was just....” She trailed off not wanting to admit to the nightmares she had each night. Surely only children were frightened by their nightmares; she was not a child. Jareth was studying her silently and she looked down at the glittering grass, did he know?

                “Light comes easily enough,” he said gently. “This is the first time you have shown any signs of magic? You are not hiding anything from me?”

                “No,” Sarah answered honestly. “Why should I? You said you would teach me to cross worlds, why would I delay my return home?” A shadow flickered across Jareth’s eyes and he turned to fling out his right hand, a solid oak tree was suddenly uprooted and thrown backwards creating a path of devastation in its wake. Sarah’s eyes widened and she looked at Jareth nervously, his nostrils were flaring but he seemed to regain his composure as he flicked his wrist and restored the forest to its former glory.

                “I will keep my word and help you cross worlds but you must understand it will not be something you learn easily. It takes centuries to learn Sarah. Nor will you be able to leave the Labyrinth, you are bound here.”

                “I know –”

                “Then when will you understand that you will not be returning to your family?” Jareth walked around her in a circle, “This is your home Sarah, I am the only family you need.” He was suddenly in front of her, barely an inch between their bodies. His hand cupped her chin, his eyes focused intently on her lips. For a split second Sarah was sure he was about to kiss her.

                “I can’t help it,” she said her eyes trying to look anywhere but at his own eyes and mouth. She could feel her own cheeks flushed with warmth but her feet seemed unable to move backwards, to put space between them. “I miss them.”

                “And for that I am sorry, but all actions have consequences.” Mercifully he stepped backwards and Sarah felt as if she could breathe once more, turning so that he stood beside her Jareth gestured to the restored oak tree. “Move it.”

                “That?” Sarah asked in shock, how was she meant to move it? Don’t, a voice in her mind warned her. Don’t show him what you can do. Sarah didn’t point out to the voice that she wouldn’t be able to move the tree anyway. “How?” Jareth gently took her hands and held them out palm upwards, she could see crackles of electricity flickering to and fro.

                “Imagine you are throwing your power at the tree,” Jareth stroked her palms gently, he moved so he stood behind her and brought her arm back with him. “If it helps close your eyes and imagine knocking the tree down,” Sarah nodded and did as he said. But she didn’t picture knocking the tree back, as she flung her arm forwards she understand what he meant her to do. She could throw her power at the tree, if she put her will into it she could send the tree toppling over. But she didn’t pull her will into the power, she didn’t want the tree to fall, she didn’t want Jareth to know she could do it. “Keep trying,” Jareth’s voice was encouraging and she obeyed him but only half. She continued to throw her power at the tree, but it would only fizzle and burn out before it so much as touched the bark. She managed to bring a sheen of sweat to her forehead, but the exhaustion she felt was real. “Perhaps you should rest.” Jareth led her to the rock where he had lain his cloak and produced a flask filled with water. Gratefully Sarah took a deep drink and held it out for Jareth to take, he looked at the flask hesitantly before shaking his head. “Do you think you are up to trying again?” Sarah nodded and shakily stood up, she decided now to at least move the tree a little in hopes that Jareth would believe she was at least trying. She couldn’t explain why but she knew she had to hold herself back, that this power was the only source of protection she had against Jareth.

                After dinner Sarah returned to her room with Jareth, expecting to fling herself on to the straw filled mattress she was surprised to see her room had changed slightly. The room had almost tripled in size, one of the walls was no longer circular but rather flat so that furniture could be propped against it. A large queen sized draped in velvets and furs had replaced the straw-filled mattress, an oak wardrobe with intricate carvings held her clothes and there was now a window. Sarah opened her mouth to express her gratitude, but when she turned to face Jareth she found he was no longer there. Exhausted she collapsed onto the pile of blankets and was instantly asleep.

 

***

 

                After her first week of lessons Sarah had begun to grasp her powers. She practiced each night before going to sleep and woke up early before dawn so she could continue to practice. She was so exhausted the nightmares had stopped, she no longer woke up in the middle of the night convinced that the Cleaner was only an inch away from her. She barely had time to think of home. It never occurred to her that Jareth was watching her, that he knew she was hiding the full extent of her powers, nor did it occur to her that she should be focusing more on the Labyrinth’s laws and Jareth’s plans for the future.

Chapter Text


Author's notes: Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author.  The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.  No copyright infringement is intended.


Chapter Seven

                Sitting at his desk Jareth stared into a crystal and watched Sarah as she continued to practice her magic deep into the night. Running a hand through his blonde hair Jareth resisted the urge to go to her room and catch Sarah out; did she truly think that he was unaware of what she was up to? It will not matter in a week, he tried to soothe himself as he turned to look down at the papers scattered around his desk.  

                “Hoggle!” He bellowed changing the image in the crystal from Sarah to that of the dwarf. “Fetch Sarah and bring her to my chambers, now.”

                “W – Won’t she be a – asleep yer majes’y?” The dwarf stammered sleepily not realising that Sarah was fully awake.

                “Then wake her,” Jareth threw the crystal against the wall where it burst into thousands of tiny droplets of water. On his desk was a platter of peaches, elegantly arranged. Jareth stared at them determined to make sure that Sarah was not only bound to him but to his Labyrinth. Picking up a peach he waved his hand so that the rest disappeared; tonight he would begin the marriage ceremony. It was a simple enough, if they shared a bite of food and a drink from the same goblet then they would be bound by the Labyrinth’s laws as husband and wife. What better food to bind her to him than the very that her bound her to his world? Gently he settled the peach on his desk and opened the door at the timid knocking. Sarah was trying her best to look bleary-eyed and half-asleep. Jareth closed the door in the dwarf’s face and led Sarah over to a settee.

                “Jareth it’s early, what couldn’t wait until later?” She asked resting her arms on the back of the settee and propping her chin on them so she could look up at him.

                “Next week you turn eighteen, I would like to throw you a ball in celebration of the occasion.” Sarah pulled a face and Jareth picked up the peach tossing it in the air thoughtfully.

                “Why?”

                “Because I am sure the Fae would like a chance to formally meet the woman who will become their queen,” Sarah remained silent for only a moment.

                “If I was to become queen would that not mean I’d have to marry…you?” She asked slowly as if she was trying to choose her words carefully. Jareth tried his best not to be offended, was the idea of marriage to him truly that repulsive? Jareth was vain, he knew he was incredibly handsome and despite his age had managed to keep his body lithe. He knew that Sarah was attracted to him, so why would she not want to marry him?

                “That would be the general idea yes Sarah,” he finally managed to answer. “This can hardly be a surprise to you – I believe my feelings have been more than clear.” Sarah looked at him in disbelief and arched an eyebrow.

                “You have had me scrubbing toilets and sleeping in a room where I can barely stretch for three years. It hardly screams romance,” she pointed out but Jareth only shrugged. Had she still not learnt that things were different here? How did things work in her world? “Jareth I cannot trust you, how can I be your wife?” Her words struck a chord and Jareth was momentarily stunned. Was trust really such a big deal? He looked down at her, her eyes were soft and he could see that while she was faking having just woken up her exhaustion was real. You are a fine one to talk about trust, he thought slightly bitterly. Was she not hiding her power from him? Did she truly think she could keep secrets from her? Holding out his hand Jareth helped Sarah to her feet and led her towards his desk, gesturing at the papers on his desk he studied her as she leant forwards to look at the plans. He could see that she was shivering slightly and he wrapped his arm around her shoulders, but her body was far from cold; she was enticingly from warm.

                “Sarah?”

                “Must it be a masked ball?” She asked gesturing to the sketches of masked revellers. “The last ball…” She closed her eyes and Jareth could see she was remembering the previous events.

                “It is a tradition, but of course if you would prefer I am sure I could make other arrangements.” Jareth turned and pulled Sarah away from the desk. “Sarah all I want is for you to trust me – becoming my queen will not stop you crossing worlds; but I cannot stress enough that you cannot leave the Labyrinth forever. You will have to return. I do not even understand why you would possibly want to leave – I am offering everything you could ever dream off.”

                “Except my family.”

                “I could bring them here.” Sarah shook her head vehemently.

                “No. I would not want them to endure this world,” Jareth frowned but Sarah refused to back down. “Jareth you have hardly made me welcome here –”

                “You have not helped yourself. You persist in acting like a child, you have argued with me at every possible opportunity. Do you not realise how lenient I have been for you Sarah? I am a king, there are consequences to defying me.” He held up the peach for her to take but she only looked at it suspiciously. “This is just a peach Sarah, all I ask is for you to trust me.” He took a bite from it to demonstrate that this would not send her into a hallucination. “No dancing, unless of course you would like to dance.” Sarah took the peach hesitantly; her eyes flicked up to meet his and for a moment he thought she would refuse it. Squeezing her eyes tightly shut she took a bite from the peach and quickly swallowed it. He watched as her body tensed as if preparing to fall and when she opened her eyes she looked around in confusion. “See,” Jareth took the peach back for a second bite feeling the first tricklings of guilt in his subconscious. It was a strange feeling, one he was not accustomed too. “Trust me Sarah, I ask for so little.” He could see the doubt in her eyes, the shadow of fear that betrayed she would never quite trust him.

Chapter Text


Author's notes: Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author.  The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.  No copyright infringement is intended.


Chapter Eight

                His hands were enticingly warm and gentle against the bare skin of her shoulders. Sarah looked down at the pale hands clasping her shoulders before turning to look up at the pale eyes of the Goblin King. “No gloves?”

                “There should be no boundaries between a king and his queen,” Jareth’s fingertips skimmed down her arms, back up and grazed across her throat.

                “I am not your queen,” Sarah pointed out but put up no resistance as Jareth laced his right fingers with hers and slipped his left hand on the slender curve of her hips. She looked down at what she was wearing; a floor length ball gown with a full skirt and a fitted corset. It reminded her of the ball gown from her hallucination, yet the style was less childish and more sophisticated. As Jareth pulled her close in time to the music she rested her head against the sapphire studded jacket he wore.

                “Not yet, you are only halfway there.”

                “Halfway?” Sarah’s voice was dreamy and distant, she knew that she was dreaming but this was unlike any other dream she had, had in the Labyrinth. There was no threatening menace, it was calm and oddly surreal. She felt Jareth rest his head against her own, his lips softly brushing the side of her head as they swayed in time to the music. “How can I be halfway?” She murmured turning her face up to his, his lips were suddenly close and she found herself staring at them wistfully. They looked soft, full and welcoming. Her eyes fluttered closed as Jareth trailed soft butterfly-light kisses along her eyelids, nose and cheeks. She tried to turn her face, to meet his lips with her own, but he always managed to evade her.

                “Not yet,” he teased dipping his head to kiss her neck, his lips tickling the sensitive skin. “Drink first,” Sarah looked up to see him sipping from a golden goblet, he held out it out for her to take and she did so without question and raised it to her lips.

                “Don’t go that way!” She looked down at confusion, across the shimmering golden floor was the familiar blue worm. “NEVER go that way!” Sarah screamed as Jareth’s polished black boot hovered over the worm before landing with a sickening splat.

                “Drink!” Jareth’s eyes had turned to ice but Sarah but she was no longer holding the goblet, she had dropped it to the ground and it spilled out a thick blue slush which stained the hem of her dress.

 

***

 

“My Lady you shall look radiant,” Sarah smiled at Sir Didymus in the mirror’s reflection. Both he and Hoggle were sitting on the edge of her bed; Hoggle looked dumbstruck and his eyes kept opening wider and wider as he took in the sight of Sarah in her ball gown. On the floor sat Ludo who nodded enthusiastically and Ambrosius who was curled up and fast asleep. Sarah studied herself critically in the mirror, there was something which made her uneasy about the dress. There was something familiar about the full skirt and fitted corset, the way it shimmered in the candlelight; the diamonds twinkling. It filled her with a sense of déjà vu, but not a good one.

                The ball was only two nights away and she was filled with a sense of dread; she could not shake the feeling that Jareth was plotting something. Something niggled at the back of her mind, but no matter how hard Sarah tried to grasp at the niggling sensation she just couldn’t pull it forwards and release it.

                “Never has a queen so beautiful sat upon the throne.” Sir Didymus continued and Sarah realised that she had not been listening to him. Forcing a smile she turned away from the mirror and scratched him behind his ear.

                “I am not a queen Sir Didymus,” she reminded him gently. “Nor will I ever be,”

                “Sarah…” Hoggle’s voice was sad and he looked at her with his bulbous eyes. “Perhaps it is your fate,” Sarah sat beside him and looked down at her bare feet poking beneath the dress. She studied the pure white silk fabric and shuddered. It was similar to the gown from her hallucination but it was also extremely reminiscent of a wedding gown.

                “No,” she shook her head but her voice was uncertain.

                “Your family would have moved on by now…would i’ not cause more upset if yer were to suddenly appear again? How could you explain your disappearance?”

                “I –”

                “My Lady we may not be blood but we are your family. We need you…do you not know what a difference you could make here? You have not seen the change you have brought in his majesty – he has more patience now.” Tears blurred Sarah’s eyes and she buried her face in to her hands. How could she explain to them both that she did not belong in the Labyrinth? “Once you begin crossing worlds what would you do in your old world?” Sir Didymus’s question caught Sarah off-guard, what would she do? Someone save me! Someone take me away from this awful place! Had those not been her words before wishing Toby away? I was a child! She reminded herself, but she had been fifteen. She was eighteen in two days’ time, had she really grown up so much in three years? Rubbing her eyes she stood up and picked up an apple from a fruit bowl and a small knife, using the knife she cut herself a slice of the apple and chewed on it thoughtfully, making sure to hold the apple away from her dress to avoid staining it. As she cut a second slice she saw Hoggle eye it up hungrily and she tossed him the rest of the apple, looking at him in surprise as he dropped it to the ground. “My Lady!” Sir Didymus cried indignantly.

                “What?” She asked chewing her own slice and setting the knife down, “I’m sorry Hoggle I – I thought you were hungry.”

                “Ye can’ share food,” Hoggle looked at her in surprise. “Sarah have ye bothered to learn anything of the Labyrinth’s laws?”

                “Of...” Sarah trailed off and blushed; no. she hadn’t. She had been too busy scrubbing toilets, cleaning walls and whatever other mundane tasks Jareth assigned her. Until her Fae heritage had made itself known she’d had no interest in learning the laws of the Labyrinth. She still did not care; she only wanted to master her powers so she could return home.

                “Sharing food and drink in the Labyrinth is a binding ceremony.” Sarah frowned as the niggling sensation returned, “the sharing of food and drinks is intimate. Ye don’ do i’ ligh’ly.”

                “NEVER go that way!”

                Sarah looked down at her dress and recoiled in horror, with a cry she reached behind herself and shrugged free from the garment, kicking it across the room. She didn’t care that she was dressed only in her undergarments until she caught Hoggle’s bulging eyes. Hurriedly she wrapped a dressing robe around herself.

                “If I share food with you I am bound to you?” She asked Hoggle, “as if we were married?”

                “Not just food – you have to share a drink as well…” Hoggle shrugged, “bu’ we ain’ never –”

                “No…” Sarah shook her head. She had not shared anything with Hoggle, but she had with Jareth. “You are only halfway there.” Jareth’s voice crept in to her mind and she rubbed her forehead wearily. Trust him, she scoffed at herself, you stupid fool! She berated herself. How could she have not seen what he was planning? A ball to celebrate my birthday, she thought rolling her eyes. He would have offered me a goblet to drink from and I would have stupidly done so. A knock at her door snapped her from her thoughts and she looked up to see Jareth striding into her room. His eyes rested on the balled up dress kicked carelessly aside and Sarah fought to find an excuse to keep him happy.

                “I…there was a roach.” She shuddered dramatically and gestured for her friends to leave as she picked the gown off the floor. She held it at arm’s length as if checking that there were no more creepy crawlies roaming the pure white fabric. Jareth plucked the dress from her and it disappeared in a shimmering light.

                “Unfortunately living in a castle such as this they are an annoyance,” he sighed and gestured to her robe. “I was going to invite you to dine with me, should I give you a moment?”

                “Yes…please,” Sarah nodded half-dazed, she still could not accept her utter idiocy. She did not loiter in dressing but threw on the first dress she could find, a simple gown lilac in colour with bell sleeves and a deep purple sash belted around her waist. Somehow she managed to remain calm throughout their dinner, she was careful not to accept anything from Jareth’s plate and discreetly watched him to ensure he did not take a sip from her goblet before he passed it to her. Was this how she would live for the rest of her time in the Labyrinth? No, she told herself. He will do it at the ball, it is not a birthday celebration but his idea of a wedding. The thought made her queasy, but she felt better that at least now she could prepare herself. He would expect her to drink from a goblet unsuspectingly, she could easily counter that. If he offered her the first drink then she would simply drain the contents, if he drank first then she would pretend to drink and not let the liquid touch her lips. She hoped it would not be the latter, he would surely be suspicious if she did that.

                “Sarah are you feeling well?” She looked up to see Jareth watching her, his eyes full of concern. Sarah opened her mouth to reply but was cut off by a strange echoing.

                “I wish the goblins would take you away you little brat!” In the blink of an eye Jareth had disappeared, leaving the small dining room filled with a deathly silence.

Chapter Text


Author's notes: Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author.  The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.  No copyright infringement is intended.


Chapter Nine

                Sarah remained at the dining table for a few seconds; in the two years she had lived in the castle she had never heard someone wish a child away. She had never given it much thought, strange considering that was how she was in her predicament. Pushing her chair back she left the dining room to seek out Jareth’s throne room, it did not take her long to find and she guessed he wanted her there. The castle itself was just as confusing as the Labyrinth, what was a left turn one day would be a dead end the next. The throne room was empty of all life when she reached it, not even a stray chicken clucked along the floor. In the middle of the floor was a hole filled with blankets, cushions, plates and crumbs. Plonking herself down on the floor Sarah dangled her legs over the edge. She picked at a piece of straw on the floor and tore it in to thin strands.

                Jareth appeared standing beside her, he had changed from the white shirt and grey tights he’d worn at dinner into a more elaborate outfit. It was similar to the one he had worn when she’d first met him, although it seemed to hold more menace. A black cloak with a high collar, leather trousers and boots, a black shirt and waistcoat. Cradled in his arms, wrapped up beneath the cloak, was a small child barely a month old. Sarah looked up to see him gesturing for her to take the child but she shook her head, she could not face holding something so innocent. Had she really put Toby through this? This child had not had a chance at life, yet it would face life as a goblin. How could she have done that to her brother? A claw-shaped cot appeared beside Jareth’s throne and he gently settled the child on the bundle of blankets.

                “Toby would not have become a goblin, I would have struck a bargain for you.” Jareth tried to soothe her as he sat beside her, grimacing at the state of the floor. Sarah shuddered, he made it sound so sordid bargaining one life for another – but then was it anything else?

                “What about this child? Jareth it can barely be older than a month…how could anyone wish it away?”

                “Her mother is a child, younger than you were. She chose not to come to the Labyrinth.” Sarah shuddered at the thought.

                “Then what happens to the child?”

                “I must wait thirteen hours – she may change her mind. Although the time will be against her.”

                “You wanted here, I found your throne room too easily; why?” Jareth stood up and held out his hand for Sarah to take, grudgingly she took it and let him help her to her feet. She followed him to the window and leant her palms against the cold stone. Below she could see the Goblin City and beyond its walls the twisting Labyrinth.

                “I want you to understand what it means to be Queen.” Jareth finally broke the silence, “Sarah would you truly be happy going back to your mundane life?”

                “Yes,” Sarah cried but knew it was partly a lie. “Jareth I just want to see my family again – they must be so worried.”

                “Sarah, look.” She looked up to see Jareth holding one of his crystals, she forced herself to look at the images within. She saw Toby running towards her father, his arms outstretched and a ball clasped in his hands. He was taller and had grown, no longer a baby but a toddler. Sarah felt her throat constrict as her father picked up Toby and swung him about, just as he had done with her when she was three. She recognised her step-mother in a pair of smart black trousers and dark coat, in her arms was a small bundle. Seizing the crystal Sarah hurled it out the window and turned her back on Jareth.

                “You are showing me lies,” Sarah whispered; she had no doubt that her father and step-mother had another child. But that didn’t mean they did not miss Sarah; she knew her father at least cared for her.

                “Sarah remember the night you came to the Labyrinth? I destroyed their hallway – they believe you are dead. Do you think it is that simple for you to return?”

                “They think I a dead…if you send me home –”

                “When will you understand you cannot return Sarah? Not in this lifetime!” His raised voice disturbed the child and Sarah hurried over, hesitantly she looked down and picked up the child, rubbing her back and cooing to her gently. Tears of her own slipped down her cheeks and she rested her cheek against the squalling baby’s head. “Sarah I am not doing this to be cruel, you are bound to the Labyrinth. You can cross worlds but for short periods only, even I cannot leave this world for long periods of time. Do you think I have enjoyed millennia’s on my own? With only goblins for company?” Jareth reached out to stroke her hair but Sarah moved back from him. “Sarah please, understand that your destiny is here by my side, as the Goblin Queen.” The child quietened in her arms and began to snore softly, Jareth gestured for her to sit on the throne but Sarah shook her head. She had never sat on his throne, with all the trickery in the Labyrinth she was too afraid to do so; if sharing food and drink with him would marry what on earth would sitting on his throne do? “You are part-Fae Sarah, you have always been destined for this world.”

                “Just stop,” Sarah sighed. “Jareth why should I believe anything you say to me? All you have ever done is lie and deceive me…why should I believe you when you say this is my fate?” She wanted to yell at him but the sleeping babe in her arms kept her voice at bay. “If you will not let me go home then at least let me speak to my father…let me say goodbye.” She could see the pain in Jareth’s eyes and she felt her heart clench painfully. “What have you done?” She asked dreading the worst, he held out another crystal and she found herself too frightened to look at it. Steeling herself she looked into the small orb; her father was alone this time walking along a gravel path looking sombre. He wore a long dark winter’s coat, and a deep grey scarf. In his hands were a bunch of cellophane-wrapped flowers, roses as white as snow. Sarah’s mind begged her to turn away but she couldn’t force her eyes to obey the command. Her mouth was suddenly dry, her body hot and her stomach rolling sickeningly. Tears blurred her eyes blocking her vision, but she had seen enough already.