Continuing Tales

Of Cupid and Psyche

A Labyrinth Story
by Chibi-no-oneesan

Part 2 of 16

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It had been six years since the girl had wished her brother away, turning his world upside down. In those years, he had learned the truest definition of loneliness. He was surrounded by goblins who feared him, loved him, and did as he said, but now it meant absolutely nothing.

He had found there was no one to share his life with. His mother came to visit far more often than she had prior to the events of that evening, but he often found himself sequestered in his room or office or even the library. He knew his mother could feel his lingering discontent with his life. She would bring ladies with her during these visits, encouraging him to have affairs with them.

She didn't understand why they had no allure for him. These blonds and red-heads with their blue eyes, the most common eye color in the Underground meant nothing. These women twittered, lusted, wanted him. These women didn't have that defiance that made Sarah so appealing.

His mother did not know that he would often take on his owl form and fly to the Above, where he would sit outside her window, watching her brush her hair, talk to her friends, or read her brother a story. His mother didn't know that he often called in crystals when he was alone to stare at her face as she studied or slept. She didn't realize that the love he'd felt for her had never faded.

For the first year, Jareth had restrained himself. He hadn't looked in on her, telling himself she'd left him, said those words, making it impossible for him to do so. Then, on the anniversary of their meeting, he'd sat in his room, wondering how she was, if she'd found boys in her world who would give her everything she'd wanted, and before he'd realized what he'd done, he was staring into a crystal, at her face.

After that, he could not stop himself. Scarcely a day when by when he did not look upon her in the crystal. He watched her grow from a girl into a young woman, watched her brother turn from toddler to child. He watched childish tastes grow more sophisticated, watched her try relationship after relationship, all of them failing for reasons no one in her life there seemed to fathom.

He almost pitied the lads she attempted these romantic endeavors with. After all, if he, the immortal Goblin King, could not live up to the expectations of a mortal girl, how could these human boys hope to keep up with them? Jareth did notice – to his delight – that the girl seemed to pick these young men when they showed something in common with him. Several had a love of leather clothing, some bad-boys. To his curiosity, however, she also seemed to have a thing for the knights in shining armor.

However, none of these young mortals ever seemed to be able to withstand the nearly constant change of what she needed of them. The knights didn't have the dark edge that she longed for from the bad-boys, the flip-side being the darker ones didn't have the ability to occasionally be kind or chivalrous.

It pleased him, not due to his sometimes sadistic nature, but because it came as a relief that she'd never found what she'd wanted in her own realm. It had long been his belief and hope that someday she would willingly come back to him, back to the man who well and truly loved her and would have exhausted himself time and again in an attempt to live up to her steep expectations.

However, time continued to pass, and she never did as he expected. She moved from her grade school years into her advanced educations, attacking everything with the defiance and determination he'd always loved. Those green eyes always glittered with the fire of life as she dove into everything time and again.

Every day, she'd take her brother to the park, set him on her lap and read to him from various story books, sometimes growing so emotional at the tale she told that she'd shed a tear or two. The boy always would cup her face those times and kiss her cheeks, and the tears. Jareth knew from his continued viewing of them, the boy saw himself as her little prince.

Sometimes, while he was watching them, one or the other would feel his gaze and would glance into the direction of his owl form, or even would meet his gaze through the crystal. Those times always caused his heart to pound in excitement. Sarah's especially. When she caught him, she'd get a thoughtful expression on her face and a mysterious smile would turn up her lips.

Today was such a day.

She'd taken Toby to the park, along with a large story book which was tucked into her shoulder bag, and when he'd noticed her heading out, he took to his avian form, leaving the castle and flying to the above, perching in the tree she'd always sit under.

It wasn't long before Sarah and Toby arrived, getting snug under the tree, Sarah holding the book before her brother. "What story shall we share today, my good man?" She asked quietly. He knew well enough that she started all of their little sessions like so. "What do you want to hear?"

"Will you tell me one of the goblin stories again, Sarah?" The boy asked, looking enthusiastic at the prospect.

Had he been in his other form, his eyebrow would have jumped clear into his hairline at that question. Sarah was teaching Toby about the goblins? He wanted to smile, but having the face of an owl was not suited to such an expression.

"I suppose I could share with you a story of the goblins." She flipped to a page and smiled. "How about...I tell you how Gibbergeist defeated Borgis Kahn."

Jareth was settling to listen when a throb began at his temples. A summoning. Blasted rotten timing. He gave the pair a longing gaze for a moment before he took off out of the tree, the branch rustling loudly. Both woman and child jumped, startled, and he felt a piercing gaze upon him as he flew away. He would look in on her later, after he'd dealt with all of this.

He followed the summons, finding his mother at the entrance to his castle, two women behind her. He swore viciously. He'd been pulled away from Sarah for this?

He did a controlled dive to the ground, changing form as he landed, his black cloak swirling over his black silk shirt and wool breeches. "Mother, while I appreciate these visits, it would be equally appreciated if I received some manner of notification of your imminent arrival besides a sudden summons. They rather give me a headache."

He saw the surprise on his mother's face and felt a tad guilty at the distress she displayed. With a sigh, he took his mother's hands and kissed each. "Forgive me, mother. I am feeling a tad cross at the moment. Come in and be welcome." He said graciously. With a wave of his hand, the large doors to his castle opened and he offered his mother his arm.

The older woman took it, smiling graciously. "Jareth, these are Ladies Alura and Elvina, my companions for this visit..." He felt her giving him an appraising look and gave the other ladies an unimpressed once over.

They were both lovely creatures, to be sure. Alura had luscious strawberry blond curls and turquoise blue eyes under thick brown lashes. Her complexion was smooth, without flaw, typical fair skin from the Underground. Undoubtedly, she remained indoors whenever possible to avoid burning, much as other ladies of this realm chose to do. She was dressed in a lovely gown of emerald silk damask, and he could see her feet contained in delicate slippers of the same fabric. He could tell from looking at her she fully expected to dazzle him, even as she lowered her eyes in a curtsy before peering up at him through the veil of her lashes.

Elvina, on the other hand, had a stronger, more distinct face and bone structure. Her eyes were golden brown under her ink black lashes, and she had a wealth of straight black hair. She didn't bother with more than a simple curtsy before she lowered her gaze, not attempting to flirt, but trying to escape notice. She was dressed in a somber dress of navy blue, which did little to flatter her or her features. It was too delicate for her obvious strength.

Jareth looked towards his mother, seeing obvious hope in her eyes. He ground his teeth together. Her choice for him was obvious. It was equally obvious that Elvina had been brought along to make Alura more appealing. "A pleasure to meet you both." He said, keeping his voice even, not revealing any of the annoyance he presently felt with his mother. "I will see that suites near my mothers are opened and cleaned up for the two of you." He led his mother inside the castle, and into a drawing room. "Wait here for a moment, I was enjoying an afternoon flight and require a change into something more comfortable..."

He left the women in the room alone and stalked off to his own room, taking the long walk to calm himself. He had grown accustomed to his mother's attempt at match-making, but he didn't like it. Being accosted in his chambers several times during her week-long stays was hardly his idea of a good time. His chambers were private, his sanctuary away from woman and goblin. Over the past six years, he'd barred and locked everyone who was a part of his life from that room. Including his mother.

Once she'd come in to wake him and he'd lashed out with his fury and it had taken several hours for either of them to calm down. He'd sat her down and had a much needed talk with her about his privacy. She'd dared not enter since then.

With an aggravated sigh, he shoved open his door, slamming it behind him and putting a sealing spell over the whole of the room. He tossed the heavy mantle onto his large bed, which was covered in bedding of dark blues and golds. He threw open his wardrobe and pulled the silk shirt over his head, tossing it away from him. He stared into the depths and pulled out a wine red shirt of heavy velvet, one of the shirts he owned, followed by a black leather vest, pulling the laces tight. The small black wrist length gloves he'd worn earlier would be fine.

He glanced at himself in the mirror before stepping out. He was unsurprised to find his mother standing waiting in the hall. "Was it too much to ask you to wait in the drawing room with your companions?"

"My dear boy, you have been spurning the advances of every girl to set foot in this castle for years. When was the last time you took sexual relief from one of them? They'd be more than happy to accommodate a king!" Her voice was low and fiercely frustrated.

He straightened his vest, then lifted his gaze to look at the woman. "You want me to bed woman I care nothing for simply for physical relief? Trust in this, mother, they would relieve nothing. All they are looking at this as is a shoe in opportunity to become queen. With the possible exception of poor Elvina. Did you chose her because she was Alura's opposite? Really, woman, do you even consider the feelings of your poor companions?"

Morgaine looked startled, hurt. "I've only your own welfare in mind! Ever since...that night, you've been a shade of yourself! What has happened to you? Forget about the stupid mortal girl! She will eventually die and leave you alone, regardless!"

He stiffened, turning towards her. "My lady, you forget yourself." He said coolly. It took several minutes before he managed to regain his calm. "Come along, mother. My other guests no doubt await." He offered his arm in a gentlemanly manner, leading the older woman back to the drawing room. Before he himself entered, he took a soothing breath, hoping that he would have a moment alone tonight to gaze upon Sarah's face and cleanse him of the presence of these women before him now.


Morgaine paced her bedroom that evening, angered and frustrated by her son's actions and words that day. While not uncommon to make a permanent mate, it was unheard of among their ilk to remain celibate in waiting for a woman who may never turn to look their way. There was only one real explanation for something like this.

That mortal wretch must have bewitched her son.

Her maroon dressing robe moved around her with the wind she kicked up from her movements. With an angry flourish, she called in her mirror, and peered upon the surface. "Show me the girl." She snapped once again, peering at the surface of the mirror with undisguised malevolence.

The face she saw was not that of a girl any longer. Now, in her place, a young woman sat at a desk, writing in a large book, a faint smile around her lips. She looked up, and her lips moved as if answering a call. A moment later, a little blond boy ran up to her, throwing his arms around her neck and hugging her tightly. The girl laughingly tickled the boy, and pointed at the book.

They spoke for several more moments, before the boy went oddly still and then blue eyes looked at her, a piercing gaze coming through the mirror. She gasped in shock and cut off the communication.

The girl was still not cursed! In her rage, she threw a hard heavy object near her hand at the vanity mirror, which shattered upon contact. She paced faster, trying to calm herself before shouting a name at the mirror once again. "Mordred!"

The face appeared in her mirror less than a moment later, and she scarcely recognized her nephew. He looked weary beyond belief. She felt her anger fade, and clung to it for another moment. "What is the hold up, boy? This curse should have long since taken it's course! How is the King supposed to move on if he can't forget about a stupid little mortal chit?"

Mordred scowled up at her. "Lady Morgaine? While Sarah may be a rather uncommon name in the Underground, it is unfortunately and decidedly not uncommon here! Every two sodding families has a child by the name of Sarah, more than half of them have brown hair! Unless you can narrow down this a tad more than brown hair and green eyes, I'm afraid it could take a great deal longer!"

The woman scowled and huffed. It appeared she was going to have to pump her son for further information regarding the girl. That was fine. She would do what it took to have this little mortal problem dealt with.


Sarah Williams had always loved the park. She knew there were several parts of the woods surrounding the lush area which housed owls among other creatures. It had long since been a place of peace and solace. She'd brought her brother here, teaching him an appreciation for the quiet nature of the area, would settle down beneath the trees and tell him every story he knew, again and again, ingraining this knowledge into him.

Those stories, some from her own imagination, others told to her originally by her friends from the Underground, all recorded in a large storybook she'd purchased to record her own journey through the Labyrinth in. Over time, she'd filled the pages, six years worth of tales for her to pass on to her brother or the next generation of Williams.

Now and then, sitting in the park reading from that book, she'd feel as though she were being watched. Sometimes, she couldn't see who it was. Other times, she'd find a barn owl among the branches of a nearby tree, sitting and watching, listening to her tell the boy a story. It had always struck her as odd, since owls were primarily nocturnal creatures.

In her mind, she pretended that it was someone from some time ago who also took the form of such an animal. She pretended he was coming down to look upon her with the same longing she felt to see him once more. It was an unspoken desire. Some nights, she'd sit before her mirror from which her friends came to visit her, and she'd feel his name rise to her lips, waiting for the faintest utterance. She'd fantasize that she would hear his wings flutter against the window and the pane would open, and he'd look upon her as he had in her ballroom dream.

His song had been stuck in her head since he'd sung the words to her, staring down into her eyes. She could remember where his nearness had warmed her, how her palms had sweat.

She had never, in her life, been so captivated by another man. Every time she attempted a relationship, she'd prayed that she would find the one who could help her move past the memories of the man she'd discovered too late she had fallen in love with.

When she was a girl, her mother had once told her that when you're in love no one else will fill the void created when that person left. Her mother had run off with Jeremy shortly afterwards, and Sarah learned several years later that they'd been high school sweethearts, until he'd moved away at sixteen. Her mother had never gotten over him, and now they lived happily with a child of their own.

While it still hurt, Sarah knew it was in her best interests that her mother had left her with Robert. Neither of them truly understood her, but had she not gone to live there, she would have been the same spoiled mess she had been when she wished Toby away. After all, Karen had bought the book for her, an attempt at a peace offering, a hand reaching towards her. That book had triggered her adventure through the Labyrinth and all the growth which resulted from it.

Today, Sarah was in the park by herself, while Toby was away at school. She'd gotten a job working at a bookstore, working the later hours, which gave her loads of time to herself and time to spend with Toby. During those off hours, she often took long meandering walks in the park, wondering what would have happened had she taken that final offer. While it was undoubtedly just a ruse to make her forget her brother, to distract her from her mission, she still liked pretending that the Goblin King had actually meant those words.

It had hurt to refuse him, especially now. He was everything she could ever dream to want, the embodiment of a dark knight, both bad-boy and prince charming. She'd wanted nothing more than to take that offer. The offer of himself. She knew that she did not truly wish for him to be her slave, just his love would have been enough. Just the barest scraps of affection.

As she walked through the park, she saw a small crowd of people gathered around a man with dark hair pulled back in a tidy manner. She glanced in that direction and stood transfixed. He wore leather gloves and was flipping crystals around along his hands, entertaining women and children alike. Her feet began drawing her towards the crowd and she stood on the outside edge, watching those crystals dance.

Contact juggling had fascinated her since she'd first seen it, however, she'd never seen someone move with the dexterous grace Jareth had possessed. This however, was startlingly close. She lost herself in the movements, watching those crystals slide over leather, feeling tears coming to her eyes.

Discretely, she reached up, dashing those tears away. Smiling sadly, she continued watching until finally the crowd started to disperse, leaving spare change in the man's coffee can. She dug through her purse, searching for something with which to make a donation.

"My Lady, why ever are you crying?"

The voice was smooth, soft, with the same inflection of the Goblin King. She laughed, feeling a little shaky. "Oh, it's nothing. Someone...I liked used to do that." She explained away. There was no way she could explain the Goblin King to some mortal who took up contact juggling as a way to put bread on the table.

When she looked up, to offer him some money, she found him examining her closely. She fought the urge to back away a step, dropping the money in the can.

"Would you mind terribly if I asked you keep me company while I put these away?" He asked, that eerily familiar voice perplexed.

", not at all."

He began setting the crystals in a box. The box looked very old, and she thought it belonged in one of her stories. She smiled, dropping to her knees. "This box is fantastic..." She said quietly. "Where did you get it?"

He looked towards her, surprised. "Oh...The crystals and box belonged to my father. He was from a family of magicians, but I don't have as much of the gift as my cousin." He smiled faintly, offering his hand. "My name is Mordred."

Her eyebrows shot up. "Unusual name."

He chuckled faintly. "My family favors Arthurian mythology." He said vaguely.

Interest sharpened inside her. "I'd bet you know some fantastic stories. I'm something of a collector of them." She shook his hand, smiling brightly. "I'm Sarah."

His eyes widened and he looked surprised for a moment, but he recovered quickly enough. "I see." He lowered his head, looking uncomfortable for a long moment. He hurried along, putting his crystals away. One rolled out of the box in his haste and She reached for it, picking it up and offering it to him, eyes wide and innocent.

"Thank you." His eyes were wide with horror as he took it back. He stuffed the crystal into the box and straightened, moving away from her, bringing the box with him. "Oh, child, I am so sorry." He said, and then disappeared in a whirl of smoke and glitter.

Sarah felt her stomach drop out and she looked in worry down at her hand. Hugging herself, she stood in the park for a long moment, before she swore and broke into a mad dash to get home, to her mirror, and to someone who might be able to tell her what exactly just happened.

As she ran, she saw the world around her blurring, felt a pain growing in her temple. Her mind was ripping through the possibilities. The man disappeared much like Jareth often had during her time knowing him. Just glitter poofed right out of the park. Did that mean that Jareth had sent him with the crystal to harm her? Her world was going dark frighteningly fast. She was fortunate to reach her front door when there was still a pinhole of vision left.

She fumbled with her keys, checking their heft and shape to find the house key and she burst in, clamming the door shut behind her. She heard Karen call out, but was too worried about what was wrong with her to answer. She hurried up the stairs as fast as she dared, clinging to the railing so that she'd have something to hold onto while she moved.

Once at the top of the stairs, she felt along the wall for her room. The first door on the right was a broom closet, he second, a bathroom. Finally, her hand came in contact with her bedroom door and she threw it open, dashing inside and locking the door against intruders. She rushed towards the mirror, and blinked.

What was she doing?

She forced herself to think, tried to remember why she was in such a hurry, but nothing came to mind. She sank down into her chair, and felt her breaths growing ragged. "H...H...Hogwart?" She whispered.

"It's Hoggle." Came a testy voice. "As well ya know, Sarah."

She turned towards the voice, reaching towards it. "Hoggle...Hoggle..." She tried to put the name with a memory, but nothing came to her. "Oh, dammit, what's wrong with me?" She cried, dropping her head to her desk.

Two leathery hands turned her face up and she heard a startled gasp. "Oh Sarah, what's been done to ya?" The voice asked, sounding worried and frightened. "Your eyes, they've gone milky white!"

"I can't see!" She whispered. "I...can't see...I don't understand what's happening. Who...who are you?"

There was a long silence before those leather hands gripped her almost painfully tight. There was a moan of worry and she felt him ply open her right hand. "Oh, no...Oh, Sarah..." The person hugged her tightly and then released her. "I'll go find out what's happened. You...just rest. And be careful!"

She nodded, touched by the concern of this creature. "Alright."

Suddenly, she was alone again and she sat there, staring with unseeing eyes into her bedroom mirror, wondering what on earth was happening to her.

Of Cupid and Psyche

A Labyrinth Story
by Chibi-no-oneesan

Part 2 of 16

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