He paced back and forth before the bed angrily. Sarah had pulled a chair to the opposite side of the bed and was holding one of Emily's hands. The girl had not stirred since the Dryn abandoned her. Why they had left one so close to being turned was a mystery to Jareth.
Sarah was convinced the girl could be saved. Even now, she was watching Jareth with pleading eyes. He turned to face her abruptly, his expression resigned.
"All right, I'll try. But," he raised a hand to forestall her joyful response, "I have no guarantee that it will work. I have only the barest understanding of what the wyvern did to you. Even if I can duplicate it, Emily is much further gone than you are."
Sarah nodded quietly. "Thank you," she replied simply. She let go of the girl's hand and moved away from the bed as Jareth withdrew a vial of the wyvern's blood. He'd retrieved it from the creature's broken body once he realized what Sarah was asking him to do.
"Hasn't there been enough sacrifice?" she'd pleaded with him.
Gently spilling the blood over the ragged bite marks on Emily's neck, Jareth stripped off his gloves. With a final glance at Sarah and deep breath, he laid his hands upon the girl.
As before, he was drawn inside a dream. He could see the power of the Dryn swirling around Emily's energy, threatening to drown it out forever. It was much, much larger than the darkness he'd seen in Sarah. Marshalling his anger, he reminded himself that this darkness that had threatened his beloved and that it now threatened this innocent child. His anger reacted to the wyvern's blood even without the wyvern to guide it. He channeled his magic into the darkness, struggling to overcome it as he had before.
The evil cloud absorbed everything he threw at it like a black hole without growing any smaller. In fact, it almost seemed to pull the power from him of its own accord, Jareth thought with alarm. He felt himself weakening and struggled to break away, but the darkness held him immobile.
Perhaps it was no use. He was simply not powerful enough to overcome the evil of the Dryn on his own.
It was swallowing him up along with Emily.
She nibbled her lower lip nervously as Jareth entered a magical trance. All of her hopes were resting on Emily. Jareth had explained to her what the wyvern had sacrificed, how it had purged the Dryn magic from her body and removed the mark, how it had died to save her from Alryn's grasp when Jareth failed. Everything was her fault, but if Emily could only be saved...
She gasped as Jareth slumped suddenly, his features pale and tense. Though still unconscious, he looked to be in pain. Without thinking, Sarah reached out to catch him as he fell across Emily. The moment she touched him, her skin began to tingle and she feltJareth's urgency.
"I love you," she whispered cradling his head in her hands. "I love you. Please be okay." As if he heard her words, Jareth relaxed and color returned to his face. Sarah stroked his hair, her hands tingling. She didn't understand what was happening, but it seemed to be helping.
A few moments later, Jareth opened his mismatched eyes and caught her hand in his own. He met her gaze and she saw her own emotions echoed in his eyes. He pulled himself back into a sitting position tiredly. He brushed Emily's blonde curls back from her neck. The skin was smooth and unblemished.
Sarah gasped. "You did it!"
"We did it," he corrected. At her astonished stare, he explained, "I didn't have the power on my own. But I felt you, your...love," the word seemed to catch in his throat, "and the evil of the Dryn couldn't stand against us both." He touched her face gently. "Thank you."
Sarah found herself blushing under his praise. "I just…knew you needed me," she murmured. She looked startled, "I knew."
Jareth frowned thoughtfully. "I noticed it as well…a side-effect of the wyvern's magic, perhaps."
She blinked at him. "You mean, you and Emily…?"
He chuckled, "I doubt it. I don't love her." Sarah found her blush deepening.
Jareth stood and lifted her to her feet, drawing her away from the bed. "She needs rest now more than anything. I believe she'll be back to her old self in no time." As they backed away, Emily's form shimmered and shrunk into her tiny goblin self. She curled into a ball with a content sound that reassured Sarah more than anything else.
Dizzy with relief, she allowed herself to be led from the room.
They buried the wyvern in the royal gardens. Emily stood solemnly beside Sarah as Jareth magically lowered the small coffin into the ground. Even the goblin girl understood the seriousness of the ocassion.
As the coffin vanished from sight, brilliant green grass and a rainbow of wildflowers grew up instantly over the grave. A small crystal statue of a wyvern marked the site. Jareth bowed his head, acknowleding the loss of one who had helped save that which was most precious to him.
Sarah felt tears prick her eyes and she shivered, turning to lead Emily back into the castle. Jareth caught her hand suddenly. Head still lowered, he indicated that Emily should go on ahead. The little goblin ran off happily and Sarah smiled to see her acting so normally.
Jareth stepped closer to her, his hand caressing her cheek. Gloved fingers brushed the tears gently from her eyes, trailing downwards to catch on the pendant he had given her. "The wyvern died nobly," he said quietly. "It will be honored forever in my kingdom."
Sarah nodded. "Yes. That would be fitting." She lifted her eyes to Jareth's and was caught by the strong emotion of his stare. Taking a step forward, she brushed her lips gently against his before resting her head on his chest. She felt his arms go around her tightly.
"It's over now," she murmured aloud. "We can be happy, right? It's what the wyvern would have wanted."
Jareth stiffened and she pulled away just in time to catch the strange expression on his face before his features smoothed suspiciously.
"What is it?"
"Nothing, nothing." His face was an inscrutable mask. Sarah frowned at him worriedly.
"It is not. Tell me!" At the urgency in her voice, he relented.
"Well...I don't think it would want that," he began. Sarah thought he looked slightly...embarrassed? "When I merged with the wyvern's mind to heal you, I saw that it was...intensely jealous. I believe you would say it saw me as...competition."
Sarah's lips twitched.
"It's not a laughing matter! At first I couldn't even get near you because the blasted creature..." He trailed off as he saw Sarah was grinning openly at him now. He folded his arms indignantly and glared at her. "I should toss you into the Bog," he muttered.
Sarah couldn't help laughing. "And have your bedchamber smell like that? Or perhaps you plan to sleep alone now?"
Jareth gave her a feral grin. "No, that would be a waste of your considerable talents."
With a self-satisfied smirk, Sarah leaned in to kiss him again. This time there was nothing light or innocent about it. Jareth returned her passionate embrace and she felt the nightmare of the last few days begin to slip away. They were together at last, no more dangers looming over them or battles separating them. It was enough.
As Jareth transported them to his chambers, their thoughts were one.
Yes, they echoed together, let that be enough.