Shen (maniacalshen) wrote,

Two Labyrinth Ficlets

I have two Labyrinth ficlets here, both quite accidentally inspired by drabble_las 's Round One, Challenge Two. (Seriously, I don't know how and when Labyrinth ate my brain, but it has.) As such, they're variations on a theme, but I think you'll find them quite different in tone.

Concrit appreciated; I'm just now dipping my toe in this fandom's waters.

Title: Trading Favors
Author: Shen
Rating: PG
Summary: Sarah is hiding something. What will Jareth think?
Word Count: 405
Trading Favors

The timing had been coincidence, really. Longing and the goblins' knowing encouragement had finally convinced Sarah to call on the Goblin King. And he, perhaps aware of the power he did indeed have over her, visited only on her terms.

This was fortunate when it came to hiding her illness. The weakness started coming shortly after his first gift of tulips; she carefully scheduled her increasingly frequent doctor's appointments to finish before their long walks. When an episode made her cancel plans to eat dinner at his castle, she made it up to him with a meal cooked by her hands. But a sudden fainting spell couldn't be planned for.

She awoke in an unfamiliar bedchamber and forced her protesting body to sit up, unable to stop a tiny whimper. To her side stood a handsomely-cut figure, his back toward her.

Flatly, he spoke, “Sarah, I know you're ill. Have known. I'm not as unobservant as you seem to think. But I must ask, why did you never see fit to tell me?”

“Jareth, I...” He turned toward her finally, and she winced to see that the heartache he'd hidden from his voice shone loud and clear in his face. She swallowed.

“Do you trust me so little as to be afraid of showing any weakness? Still? In something that's not even your fault?”

“I was scared,” she blurted. His eyes clouded then; his mouth hardened defensively. “Scared you would think that I was only using you for a wish, or something. When the truth is that I care for you. I'd want to see you even if I was healthy. If I wasn't...” He softened, looking about as contrite as he ever did.

“Dying?” he whispered, not unkindly. She nodded, looking away.

“And I care for you, despite your lack of faith in my judgment. Which is why, as ever, your wishes are my command.”

Shot through with hope, her eyes flew to his, and she asked, “You can help me?” The smallest smile played at his lips. Some of his old fire must be back, she figured, as she heard a bit of taunting in his tone then.

“Yes. But technically, precious, wishes must come with a comparable price.” There was dark promise in his expression, now a smirk. He held out a hand to draw her to his side.

She had a feeling she knew what he meant to ask in return.

Title: Exasperation
Author: Shen
Rating: PG
Summary: Jareth is such a nuisance.
Word Count: 267

Jareth appears to Sarah every few weeks. She thinks running a Goblin Kingdom must not be very labor-intensive, if he has the time to harass exasperated teenage girls as often as he does.

She almost jogs into him in the park. Practically falls out of her chair when his whisper – too close to her ear – suddenly interrupts her college applications. An owl landing on her bookbag causes a huge ruckus amongst her friends one day after school.

Oh yes, taunting his defeater with subtle digs and overt surprises must be his chief form of amusement. When he wasn't confusing her with small gifts, compliments, and dances. The cheat.

So, on a day when his lack of enthusiasm for their repartee leads to a lull, and he suddenly slumps over on their park bench, she doesn't know what to do. Eventually, unable to wish him back home and fearing how human doctors might harm a fae, she just puts his head on her lap and waits, stroking his hair. After a few minutes, his eyes flutter open.

“Thank god! Don't you scare me like that again! I thought you were dying.” The shrillness of her tone makes him wince.

He croaks, “It was a nap. I've a bit of... let's call it Seelie flu. Not dying, other than of embarrassment. But I didn't know you cared, pet.” Tiredly smirking, he makes a show of snuggling closer. It's a measure of her relief that she doesn't slap him.

“Well, duh. Who else is going to drive me up a glittery wall and keep me on my toes?”
Tags: fic, labyrinth

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