Continuing Tales


A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 16 of 40

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Jareth paced the corridor that led to his chambers. He was certain that he had worn out the soles of his boots with his actions but that was the least of his concerns at this point. He dreaded and feared entering his own room and all because of a mortal woman! He had spent a good part of the last hour pacing in front of the washroom, waiting for her sheets to be cleaned and hung out to dry. His goblins had watched him curiously. The King didn't associate himself with the washroom. It just wasn't done. The goblins rushed about their task and took far more time then they should have while an anxious Goblin King watched their every movement.

So now here he was pacing like some sort of caged animal in the hallway. He feared a confrontation, one that might ruin the delicate relationship they barely had. She had accepted his help and had even surprised him with her request to eat with him. And he had ruined that time with her because of his inability to control his anger. She had only been curious. How could he expect her to know about the pendant?

He cast an angry glance at the metal object that was concealed beneath the black folds of his silk shirt. He reached for it and sighed deeply. It had long since stopped glowing and was now cold and metallic to the touch. With a deep, aching sigh, he damned the Seelie Court to hell.

* * *

Sarah glanced at the old gold clock above Jareth's mantle for what felt like the billionth time. The clock had made her uneasy upon her initial discovery of it. It had 13 hours and looked very much like the clock that she remembered from her first visit to the Labyrinth.

Jareth had been gone for well over two hours now and with each passing minute, Sarah grew more and more concerned. She had not understood his sudden anger. He was clearly upset about something, and she was certain that it had to do with the strange pendant that he wore around his neck. She realized that she had not meant to make him angry. The realization surprised her somewhat. Upon her arrival she found herself almost enjoying to bait him and anger him, but now..

She sighed wearily and pulled the soft dark blankets of Jareth's bed up to her chin. She could feel her strength slowly but surely returning to her, but the chills that shook her body informed her that she was still sick. That in turn meant that she could not see Lee. Sarah missed her friend terribly just as she missed Dartaynian.

She suddenly felt very alone. She sank into the soft mattress of the bed suddenly afraid of the room she was in. She wished that someone, anyone would come to her, even if that someone was the Goblin King.

* * *

Jareth continued to pace, his steps becoming heavy as his anger at himself made itself present.

"And what the hell are you doing out here?"

The voice startled him and his head flew up with a start. He nearly groaned. He had almost forgotten about Lee Matthews.

"I'm pacing." He spat. "What does it look like?"

"Well why are you pacing? Why aren't you with Sarah? Is she ok?" Jareth didn't answer. "Hello? Are you going to tell me how my best friend is or what?"

Jareth's only reply was a deep sigh.

Lee looked at him carefully for a moment. He looked frazzled. "Did something happen between you and Sarah?" She asked.

"Nothing happened." He snapped.

"Mmm hmmm. You two need your heads bashed together."

"I beg your pardon?"

"You and Sarah. I saw you, ya know. It's pretty obvious that you've got it for Sarah and you've got it bad."

"'Got it'?" Jareth looked thoroughly confused and he didn't like feeling that way, at all.

"The hearts for Sarah. I saw you taking care of her when she was sick." Jareth's eyes narrowed. "You can't fool me, Jareth. If you aren't in love with her, then you are falling for her."

"You're delusional." He spat quickly.

"Am I then? Is there any particular reason why you are pacing outside the door to your room when Sarah is inside?"

Jareth's eyes widened. "How did you.?"

"I heard you say that you were taking her to your room. It took a little bit of finding on my part but you pacing in front of the door did make my job easier."

"You eavesdropping little tramp."

"Hey! My best friend was violently ill, perhaps dying. Did you think that I wouldn't try to find out how she was doing? For god sakes, what is your problem?"

"My problem?" Jareth echoed.

"Yes your problem. Geez, are you deaf or something? I'm having to repeat myself an awful lot." Jareth opened his mouth to respond and give her a piece of his mind but Lee continued. "I see your dilema. You like Sarah, perhaps just like, not love, but Sarah likes Dartaynian. And you're trying to figure out how to get rid of him."

"I am doing no such thing!" Jareth yelled out. This woman was getting on his nerves. How dare she even suggest!

"Sssh! Keep your voice down. Do you want Sarah to hear us talking about this?"

"There is nothing further to talk about." Jareth told her.

"Look, I don't like Dartaynian either, ok? If Sarah should be with someone, it should be you. It's obvious to me that she's attracted to you and she's trying to hide it. I know that deep down inside, she likes you."

"Has.has she said that?" Jareth asked quietly.

Lee grinned at his interest. "No, but I can see it as plain as day. Just as I can see you are attracted to her. But then there is the problem of Dartaynian. IF you and Sarah were to want to get together you couldn't even attempt it with Fart around."


"Yeah, Dart, Fart, same thing." She shrugged. "Now stop interrupting."

"There is nothing further to interrupt because this conversation is over." Jareth reached for the handle to his chambers without a second thought as his anger blinded him. Lee smirked as she watched him just walk right in and close the door behind him.

"Well that was a nice little unexpected way to get him to see Sarah." Lee smiled and continued down the hall, grinning like the Cheshire cat the entire way.

Sarah gave a startled cry as Jareth came parading into the room. Jareth was equally surprised at finding Sarah wobbling unsteadily on her feet. She lost her balance and went tumbling forward. The ground came rushing at her, until a pair of strong hands grasped her and stopped her from smashing her face and the rest of her body on the stone floor.

Jareth pulled her up to a standing position, his hands still at her sides helping to balance her. "What in the name of the Underground did you think you were doing!?" he cried out at her. "You're in absolutely no condition to be walking about!" He continued on. Sarah gave no verbal response. She looked shyly away. "Well, what were you doing trying to walk?" He demanded harshly.

Sarah lowered her head. "I.I have to go to the bathroom." She whispered.

Jareth turned 10 shades of red. "Oh."

"You left and you didn't come back." she continued on softly.

Jareth swallowed, feeling horrible for leaving her alone. He should have realized that she would need him. She was still so weak. He was such a fool. He had let his fear, his anger take him away from her and she could have been hurt. He would never have forgiven himself had that happened. " still have to use the bathroom?" He asked quietly.

She slowly glanced up at him, noticing the blush that spread across his entire face. She nodded slowly.

"I will help you to the door." He told her. "Can you handle..the rest.on your own?"

She nodded. "I think so." She felt him tighten his grip on her and she expected him to help her walk to the door, but instead he lifted her into his arms and brought her directly to the bathroom. He placed her down carefully on the stone floor. It was cold to her bare feet.

She gripped the door frame and slowly began to walk into Jareth's large bathroom. She noticed that it was not much different than her own other than the dark décor. She glanced back to see Jareth standing in the doorway watching her intently. "It's ok.I'll be alright."

"You're certain?" She nodded and he slowly closed the door.

It was back to pacing the moment Jareth closed the door. Sarah could hear the sound of his boots clicking the floor. He paced and paced, the sound echoing through the otherwise quiet room. Seconds turned into minutes and Jareth began to grow nervous. The clicking ceased as he stopped outside the bathroom door.

"Sarah.Sarah?" He called again. "Are you all right in there?" The silence that met his ears was deafening. "Sarah!" He called out frantically. He panicked.

"I'm ok." came her meek reply. Jareth sighed and nearly fell against the door with relief.



"Would you help me?"

Jareth froze. What did she want him to help her with?

"I.I can't make it to the door." she continued, almost as if reading his thoughts.

He sighed. "May I open the door?"


He opened it slowly, unsure of what he might find on the other side. He sighed deeply when he saw Sarah trying to balance herself against the window sill. He didn't waste any time moving toward her but when he was directly in front of her, he stopped.

Sarah watched him. There was an air of defeat around him, one of vulnerability that she had never seen before. Her eyes finally met his and she was not prepared for what she saw. There was concern and pain in his eyes. She felt as if she might drown in the depths of emotions. Oh lord he was beautiful..

Slowly he reached for her and she fell into his arms, the last of her strength failing her.

"Easy." he whispered. He took her into his arms, lifted her from the ground and carried her slowly into the main part of the room. As he set her down carefully on the mattress he noticed her bare feet. "What kind of caretaker am I? I didn't even clothe your feet. You could have caught cold walking across this floor. It's as cold as ice.and I didn't even notice." He was clearly angry with himself and Sarah had never seen that before. He moved across the room to a large bureau and opened a drawer. Moments later he returned to the bed, a pair of stockings in his hands.

"They will be a few sizes too large, but they will do the task until I can return you to your own room." He carefully reached for her small feet and dressed them in an extra pair of his stockings.

Sarah smiled as she felt the warmth of the soft material against her cold feet. "They fit just fine." She smiled up at him, but his expression did not change. He was angry and upset and it was not with her, it was with himself.

He pulled the blankets of his large bed over her shivering form and moved away to stand in the window. Sarah watched him as he sighed deeply and lowered his head for a moment before glancing back out the window. She had never seen him so unnerved before or so vulnerable. What was wrong with him?

"Where have you been?" she asked quietly. She wished her voice wouldn't shake so much.

He sighed, his glance faraway as he stared out over his Labyrinth. "Those mindless goblins of mine took their time washing your bed clothes. They should be dressing the bed soon." His voice was quiet and lacked the power and arrogance it usually had. Silenced filled the room as neither of them knew what to say to the other.

"Sarah, you must be famished. You didn't have any soup. " His voice broke the silence like thunder. "The drink gave you some strength, but you've surely used that strength up by now. Let me have them prepare more."

Sarah was touched by his concern, but she shook her head. "That probably wouldn't be such a good idea. We've already seen what my handy work can do."

"Sarah, you must eat.." he pushed hating how his concern for her shone through so clearly in his voice.

"And how will I do that, Goblin King? Would you like me to spill soup all over your bed as well?" She snapped suddenly.

"Jareth.." He corrected softly.


"My name is Jareth. I'd prefer if you called me by name and not 'Goblin King'. You are nearly my equal, Sarah. Your defeat of me proved that." He lowered his head and closed his eyes in disbelief for admitting that aloud. What had come over him?

Sarah realized that this was the first time that Jareth had actually spoken of her defeat of him. She had no idea that he saw her as an equal; in fact, it surprised the hell out of her.

"I didn't mean to snap at you." She tried to apologize. "I.I just don't want to go and dump soup all over your bed too."

"Sarah, it was an accident. I should have realized that you were too weak. You need to eat." He moved from the window and cautiously sat beside her on the bed. "Perhaps we should try again, and this time I will assist." He suggested.

She was about to protest when her growling stomach answered for her. Jareth didn't wait for further approval. He pulled a crystal ball from thin air and let it glide away on a breeze. Sarah watched as it drifted out the window.

"What did you do that for?"

"A message for my cooks to prepare some soup."

"I hope it doesn't take them as long as it took the goblins to wash my sheets."

Jareth let out a throaty chuckle and Sarah found herself smiling for the first time in days. She had rarely heard Jareth laugh, but the sound was wonderful.

"I should hope not. They should have the cuttings from our previous meal, and they will be able to make something from that rather quickly." He told her and Sarah nodded.

They sat in silence, until nearly 15 minutes later there was a knock at the door. Jareth moved gracefully away from the bed and Sarah was glad to see him go. It had grown uncomfortable with him sitting so close to her.

He returned with a tray of soup and a glass with water. He placed both down on a nearby table and carefully moved to Sarah to help her sit up against the backboard of his bed.

Sarah felt herself lean towards him as he lifted her. His scent filled her and his touch.the barest of contact with him was enough to make her senses reel. She smiled shyly as he moved away. She was suddenly feeling very uncomfortable in his presence.

Jareth sat carefully beside her on the bed while cradling the bowl of soup in his leather encased hands. He ran the spoon through the soup and slowly and carefully brought it towards her waiting mouth. His hand shook and some of the soup dribbled down the sides of her lips. Using the spoon he carefully redirected the stray liquid.

Sarah watched him intently as he dipped the spoon into the bowl again and brought the spoon toward her mouth. This time the whole spoonful made it to her mouth without spilling.

He offered her spoonful after spoonful and she graciously accepted all that he offered. Once she had started eating, she realized just how hungry she actually was. Jareth continued to feed her until there was no more soup to offer.

When she was finished, Jareth set the bowl and spoon on the table and helped her drink the water he had brought for her. He glanced at Sarah after she had finished and noticed that she still had that sick look in her eyes. Jareth wished for anything but this. He would rather see her angry and bitter with him and well again than so sick and accepting of his presence.

Sarah had escaped death, but her struggle to survive had cost her dearly. She would be very weak for some time to come.

Without realizing it, Jareth lifted one gloved hand and stroked her face tenderly, his thumb smoothing over her cheek. As his gloved fingers gently touched her skin Sarah leaned into his touch. Jareth stilled his fingers and watched her. Her eyes were closed, her full lips slightly parted, her dark hair fell forward and framed her pale complexion. Even in sickness, she was so beautiful.. If only..

A knock at the door startled Jareth and he drew his hand away as if it had been burned. Sarah looked confused as she watched him pull away. Had she just moved into his touch? Why had she done that?

Jareth pulled away from Sarah, putting some distance between them both. He wondered who would dare bother them. It wouldn't be his goblins. They knew better. And the girl, Sarah's friend, she knew that Sarah was still not well.

"Enter." He bid coolly.

The door swung open and Jareth's eyes narrowed. Standing in the doorway was the lord of Tabor Castle, Dartaynian.

Jareth tried not to let the brightening in Sarah's eyes bother him, but the look in her eyes as they fell upon Dartaynian's form tore at his insides. Oh how he wished she would look at him like that.

"My dear! You don't know how difficult it was to find you! Your friend Lee was no help at all! I had to ask goblins where you had gone off to. I was so surprised to find that you were staying in Jareth's room. The goblins said that you were not well."

"That's an understatement, Dart. Where have you been?"

"Business carried me away for too long. I had no idea that you were ill or I would have come straight away." He moved into the room, not bothering to shut the door behind him as he entered.

Jareth snorted at his outright lie

Dartaynian ignored the sound. "Has Jareth taken good care of you or has the overgrown goblin left you to fend for yourself? I'll wring his neck if he's left you on your own."

"He has taken good care of me." Sarah announced truthfully.

"Well I'm here now. We shall take you to my castle and have you better in no time at all. We thank you for your kindness, Jareth, but I shall take over from here." Dart moved toward Sarah and Jareth stepped in front of him, blocking Dart's path to her.

"I'm afraid that I can't allow that." He said firmly. He had a dangerous glint in his mismatched eyes.

"Pardon me?" Dart asked.

"Sarah is not fit to travel. She is not yet well." Jareth tried to spell it out clearly.

"Nonsense, she looks fine!" Dart moved toward Sarah again and Jareth stood his full height with a menacing look on his face.

'If you actually took the time to look at her carefully you would notice her trembling. The fever has still not left her. She is not fit to travel and will not be for quite some time."

"I believe I should be the judge of that being her gentleman." Dart told Jareth, giving the Goblin King a rather nasty look.

Jareth nearly spat at the term. Gentleman indeed! "By my rights of hospitality, I can not allow an ill guest to leave. You know the rule as well as I do. I claim that Sarah is unfit to travel. She will remain under my care in my castle until I deem otherwise."

Dart's brows lowered over his eyes and he appeared angry, but the expression seemed to disappear just as quickly as it came. "Very well then. Who am I to argue over the well being of my beloved? My exhaustion from my previous business must be clouding my judgment. I do have more business to attend. I should go."

"But you've only just arrived." Sarah pointed out. The disappointment could not be missed in her voice.

"You'll be all right my dear while in Jareth's care. Besides, it would be difficult to leave my business at this time. It would be for the best if you stay here."

Jareth was taken back by Dart's sudden change in attitude. Something was amiss. Sarah nodded, lowering her head.

"Don't fret, darling. We shall be together very soon." Dart told her. Sarah tried her best to smile, but it only appeared as a sad grin.

Jareth followed Dartaynian to the door of the room and the two Fae met face to face.

"You just keep your hands to yourself, Goblin. I know very well that you had feelings for her once. For your sake you had better hope that those feelings have packed up and moved elsewhere." Dart turned and left without another word.


A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 16 of 40

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