TITLE: At Nightfall
AUTHOR: Susan / apckrfan
DISTRIBUTION: My site, my Yahoo Group, my ProBoard, my Network54, FanFiction.net and my LiveJournal. Anyone else, please just tell me where it's at.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any characters. They are owned by Jim Henson, George Lucas, Henson Associates, Lucasfilm, etc. No profit is made from this fic.
RATING: FRM (ever so slightly so)
SPOILERS: None, if you're familiar with the movie you're golden
SUMMARY: After solving the Labyrinth, Sarah has problems sleeping but only on some nights.
CHARACTERS/PAIRING: Sarah Williams & Jareth The Goblin King
DATE STARTED: June 2010
WORD COUNT: 2,114
FEEDBACK: Please, I can't write better without it.
NOTES: This is my first foray into Labyrinth fanfic. The movie has been a favorite of mine for years and I've passed that love along to my kids. For some reason lately I've been in a Goblin King mood and this fic is inspired by that mood.
"It's back," Irene Williams said.
"I'm not sure what you want me to do about it," Robert said in response. "It isn't hurting anything."
"Well, when you start having to clean up half-eaten mice in our yard perhaps you'll think differently."
He breathed deeply. It was a tradeoff to living rurally as they did. Wild creatures such as the owl that had been troubling his wife recently were par for the course. Robert knew that.
"When that starts I'll reexamine my stance."
"If it gets in the house. Hurts Toby in any way."
"It's not going to get in the house, Irene. We have screens on all of the windows."
She turned to look at him from where she stood by the kitchen sink. She was frightened of the owl, but he couldn't understand why. It certainly wasn't the first creature to pass through their yard and he doubted it would be the last. He supposed it was odd that the owl seemed to choose their house on a regular basis to stop and rest.
"I'm going to go check on Sarah," he said, knowing there was little he could say to ease his wife's mind. She'd have to come to terms with the creature on her own.
"She hardly touched her dinner," Irene said softly.
"You don't think I noticed that? She's been different, distant for a while now. I know she's not sleeping well."
"Have you gotten any calls from school?"
"No, none, and I'm sure I would if her schoolwork was suffering. I'd like to hope that perhaps she discovered one of her fantasies was just that and will come around soon enough, infatuated with something new."
It was an aspect of Sarah he didn't quite understand. She wasn't grounded in reality as he was, parts of her mother he imagined. The parts that he'd loved - and hated - the most.
Robert made his way up the stairs, stopping only briefly to check on a still-sleeping Toby. He drew the blanket up around his infant son. Really, he was getting to be more toddler than infant. The night was warm, but not that warm to let him go without a blanket. That taken care of, he made his way to his daughter's room.
He wasn't sure when parenting turned so trying and difficult. Used to be she was like Toby, there were easy fixes to whatever ailed her. Now, that wasn't the case. More often than not he hadn't a clue as to what troubled her let alone how he could rectify the issue. She mightn't realize it, but he'd move heaven and earth itself if he could. One day she would and hopefully then she'd confide in her father.
Until then he continued to let her know he cared in as best a way as he could. She saw him as pestering and invading her space, but that, too, one day would change and she'd realize it was love and concern that had him checking on her. Nothing more.
What was more, he trusted Sarah. There were times, like Irene, he wished she'd do something - anything - to violate that trust. Being late from time to time didn't do it. She was scatterbrained, head stuck in the clouds and grew forgetful of time and responsibilities, nothing more. Of course, he heard other fathers talk of their daughters Sarah's age and he thanked God that to this point he had escaped having to deal with boys and all that went with them.
He knew of one girl in Sarah's school who'd been sent away earlier this year. Pregnant. No one said it outright, of course, but the implication was there. Yes, there were so many things he was thankful he wasn't dealing with.
And yet, he didn't like the mood Sarah was in. A boyfriend might be just the thing to bring her out of whatever mood she'd been in lately.
He knocked lightly on her door, only to get no response. He opened the door unsure if she was even in there. She did that, left the house without telling them not realizing they worried.
"That owl again," he whispered as he saw the owl troubling Irene perched on a tree branch outside his daughter's window. If Robert didn't know better he'd swear the owl was watching over her while she slept. And sleeping she was. Soundly.
Robert bent over his daughter, drawing a blanket around her much as he had Toby moments ago. He kissed her cheek, smiling a little as she shifted in her sleep in response.
"Good night, Sarah," he whispered, glancing once more at the owl.
He had to admit it was a little disconcerting having the owl so close to their house. He wondered if it was indicative of a mouse problem, but he knew Irene would have made him aware of such a thing immediately. He closed the door behind him after one final glance at his daughter's sleeping form on her bed. No books were nearby, which meant she'd fallen asleep of her own accord tonight with no aid from something to help her settle in.
Jareth watched the human male talk to and touch his Sarah. He tolerated it as much as even in this form he rebelled at seeing another place a hand on his Sarah. And she was his. She might have found a way around it once before but he was not one to give up. Most especially on her. His woman. His mate.
He'd long ago given up hope of such a thing applying to him. He was destined to rule his kingdom alone with no one by his side to aid him. Guide him. And there were times over the years he knew a feminine touch would go a long way.
He'd tried. Sarah wasn't the first to attempt to solve the labyrinth. Some had gotten quite close, though none but her had solved it. She, of course, had gained help. Friends. Not all wishers were female, but those that were he'd hoped to find someone suitable enough to be queen to his king.
Never before had he found someone worthy.
She probably thought he made the offer he had to her to everyone. That she was one of several he'd teased with such a resolution.
Not so. Only one had been deserving of such an offer. No matter the roadblock he put up in an attempt to stop her she always found a way around it. She was a formidable opponent. Equal to him in a way no other had come close to before.
He didn't believe in such things as love. He'd lived alone far too long for such notions, but there was no doubt that something in her spoke to him. Dare he think it.
Her species had long ago stopped believing in such things. One woman for every man, a speaking and meshing of not just hearts and minds but souls. The soul was ever important if two were to complete the life of one another. He'd considered such nonsense a fantasy until meeting her. He'd known almost instantly she was that which he'd spent a lifetime searching for.
And she'd denied him! Left him! Refused all that he offered! His heart. His kingdom.
All right, perhaps he could have phrased things differently. Humans found the idea of slavery abhorrent. It wasn't as he'd intended it, though. Being a slave to his desires, his heart, and his mind wouldn't be a hardship. So he thought. He was not wrong! If only she'd asked him to clarify what he'd meant instead of taking his words literally as humans so often did.
He'd had plenty of time to rehash those cursed few moments, wondering, plotting what he would do and say differently when he got another chance. And he knew full well he'd get another chance. Now that he knew Sarah Williams existed he would not let her out of his sight for overlong.
The human male kissed her. Jareth felt this form falter instinctively at the sight of another kissing her. He forced the form to hold. It would not do for her father to realize the owl he seemed concerned with was more than met the eye.
And then he was gone, leaving his Sarah alone and sleeping contentedly. The father seemed pleased to see her in such a state. If only he knew that it was the owl's proximity to Sarah that allowed her this sleep.
Ever since the Labyrinth she'd slept fitfully. Jareth knew why, but was aware that she was not ready for that information. And so, knowing her kind needed sleep, he kept guard over her, watching from the tree outside her window while she slept, ensuring no foul thoughts plagued her so that she would dream only pleasant thoughts.
And if he at the same time planted his likeness in her dreams. There was no harm in that as he already starred in her dreams frequently.
Convinced the father was gone for the night, he dismounted from the tree and flew the short distance to her window. The window was closed but not latched. He'd found that to be the case more than once, almost as if she was inviting him in.
He'd one day talk to her about removing the mesh protective barrier that prevented him from gaining full entry to her room, but for now he was content to sit perched on her sill, watching her.
He knew when the seed he'd planted for tonight's dream had begun to take fruit. He saw the smile on her lips, beckoning him as she hugged her pillow, calling his name in an ever-so-faint voice that told him she was still asleep.
Of course, if he had his way, she'd be calling his name for entirely different reasons. Her dreams were tame, those of an innocent unfamiliar with what came after masked dances and stolen midnight kisses. She had no life experience to do more than fill in the blanks with that which she'd read and heard tell of by others.
He would love the opportunity to show her what came next. All of it. As slowly or quickly as she craved. He wanted to touch her. He still felt the burn in his hands from holding her all too briefly while they danced. If he'd needed any further proof that she was meant to be his that was it. No one's touch had been his undoing before. He could still feel how her heartbeat picked up speed, began to race as he guided her along the dance floor.
He'd thought then, in that moment, that perhaps she'd realized who she was, who she was meant to be. He'd thought wrong. Or liked to think the timing was just off, because he was seldom wrong.
So, he settled for her dreams, knowing somewhere in them, she was letting him guide her along the dance floor. That she was letting him lean in to kiss her lips, naturally the color of the finest rubies. That she was leaning toward him, all of that skin the dress left bare and exposed beckoning him to touch. And who was he to resist such an invitation?
A fingertip grazed her collarbone, ever so gently. And then her shoulder, tracing along the edge of her dress, dipping temptingly lower. He could feel the swell of her breast, her heart raced even more now as he skimmed the pale flesh there.
Aching for her, even in this form, he could picture her body's response to his touch. Wanting, needing more from him but unsure of how to ask for it. He'd see to it she didn't need to ask, needn't even beg. Unless she wished to.
Her neck, bared to him tauntingly so. He kissed her, groaning at the feel of her pulse point racing much as her heart was. He was doing that to her. And likewise she was to him as well. Never had he imagined a mere slip of a girl could be his undoing. Obviously, his mind had not dared to conjure up someone even remotely similar to Sarah.
"Sarah," he mused, overlapping her softly spoken "Jareth" from the darkness of her bedroom.
He knew what she wanted. She wanted him to lose this form and join her. Not yet. Tempting as it was, he knew she'd wake up and be afraid. He'd waited this long for her and had nothing but time on his hands. He would wait until she was ready for him in more than her sleep state.