What happens when Sarah has lost all memory of the Labyrinth & all of its inhabitants? More importantly, what happens when shes forced to remember? Will Jareth be forgiving or will it be the bog fo...
Sarah was lead down the halls by her two ladies in waiting. Her breathing was deep and heavy. She couldn't have been more frightened if she had been running the Labyrinth again. At least with the Labyrinth she would know what was coming, this trial could sentence her to anything. Jeaule and Erina stopped by a pair of giant golden double doors. Erina turned to her and gave her a big hug.
"Good luck Sarah." She hugged her new found friends and headed into the imposing room. The ceiling was easily twenty feet tall and the walls looked like they might have been made from solid ivory if she hadn't known better. There were black onyx carvings placed in recessed walls to her left and right. They seemed to be depictions of justice, if this was a courtroom it seemed it would be fitting.
When she looked upwards she nearly stopped walking all together just to take a moment to observe the brilliance of the collaged mural on the ceiling. It was all manner of mythical creatures, but she had learned that they might not be all that mythical after all. There were fauns and nymphs running merrily about in open fields next to unicorns and chimeras. It was an amazing work of art that she swore to come back and study some other day. That was, if she had another day after this trial.
Sarah finally took the time to look around her at all the people surrounding either side. It seemed that this was to be as public and high profile as a Michael Jackson trial. She stopped...well that was a nice compliment to give yourself.
'Yeah I am on the level of a child molester...a 'supposed' child molester, whatever.' Sarah personally could care less about that trial because she didn't have a true view on it one way or the other and even if she did...the one happening in about ten seconds was a little more important to her.
Before her was a half moon table, it reminded her of the how the Supreme Court of the United States was set up. Though, there seemed to be only three people in this high court. One was a somewhat dowdy older looking woman, older than Maesia for sure. She had the fiery red hair, but so did everyone else around here it seemed. Her eyes were a cool ocean blue though and her skin looked like the color of freshly poured cream.
The other two were a man and woman to either side of the woman with the cream complexion. The woman had that same fire like hair, but her eyes were a deep brown, almost black and her face seemed to be permanently flushed a deep rose color. Her face was full, but she was by no means chubby. She seemed almost fierce in her manner, like a general or something.
The man was round bellied and seemed that in any other occasion he might have been jolly and happy, but the look on his face now was serious and grave. He didn't have hair that made Sarah think she was looking at the sun. No, his hair was more of an earthy brown and his blue eyes twinkled with a merriment that, despite his cold demeanor, seemed to come from his very soul.
To her relief and horror, Jareth was sitting at a table to her left with his mother next him and Jeaule and Erina behind them. The contrasting twins gave her encouraging smiles and then went back to the unfeeling attitude that everyone else was holding.
Jareth seemed to be holding an inner battle with himself. One moment his expression would be that of a little boy on Christmas who had gotten everything on his list and the next he would seem like the little boy who had just been told Christmas was cancelled. It was very unnerving to watch so Sarah just looked straight ahead as the gavel was struck and the trial commenced.
"This trial is now in session." The dowdy woman in the center had a surprisingly crystal clear voice that held the same lilting Irish tone that everyone else in the Underground palace shared. "This is the trial of Sarah Williams. She is accused of sentencing Jareth, King of the Goblin City, to the Darkness knowingly." The woman pointed the gavel at Sarah. "You will have the chance to defend yourself, but it will most likely do you no good in this court seeing as the word of a human isn't trusted here."
Sarah stood, mouth agape. She couldn't believe the words that had just come from this woman's mouth. That woman had just basically called her and her entire race liars. If she hadn't been on trial here that woman would have gotten a piece of Sarah Williams "lying" tongue.
As it was she had to suck it up and do her best not to dig herself into a bigger hole with these people. The last thing she needed or wanted was to be sentenced to death in a land that she didn't even know because of a man she barely had spent any time with. It just didn't seem fair, but she wasn't exactly in Kansas anymore...that really would be a handy phrase for her now.
"The first thing I would like to respectfully request is to know the names of those condemning me." The three judges looked back and forth at one another. The man had a small grin on his face at her kind impertinence, but the woman to the left looked ready to go into a rage. Luckily, the woman in the middle looked unmoved and decided to answer her question.
"The man to my left is Dagda; he is the leader of my people. To my right is Morrigan who is the head of the Morrigan Mob as we call it." The two next to her nodded as they were introduced as the woman in the middle straightened her back even more, which Sarah thought impossible. "And I am Danu. I am the Mother Goddess. Satisfied?" Sarah was about fed up with their condescending attitude towards her.
"Now will you please try to defend yourself so we can get on with this?" Fury built up in Sarah like a flame fueled constantly by gasoline, but she had to fight it or be consumed by those flames. She took a deep breath and gathered her thoughts that she had been dealing with only a day now.
"When I came to the Underground the first time, I came to save my baby brother who had been taken by Jar...the Goblin King."
"But you wished him away!" Morrigan interrupted her. Sarah balled her fists and dug her nails into her skin to keep from spontaneously combusting, but kept her voice level and restrained.
"I had no thought in my head that any of this was real. I was simply acting out a book I had read."
"You said it with conviction though, you had wanted it to happen...did you not?" Sarah hated being confused.
"No, not really. I wanted to make myself feel better by venting my anger. I didn't think that something or someone I had always believed to be mythical would come into my parents' bedroom and turn my world upside down." She wasn't interrupted this time. This time they gathered into a huddle and were deliberating over that bit of her story. It seemed to take forever and her heart was pounding so hard it felt like it was going to come out of her chest.
She looked over at Jareth who had the strangest expression. He seemed to be smiling at her and frowning at the same time. It looked like pity, but she wasn't sure. It was hard to decipher him. A gavel clacking made her jump and look back up at the three carriers of doom.
"Ok, we understand your human ignorance in that situation, but you still said it and Jareth was bound by magic to come and fulfill your wish." Danu had a point there. She hadn't thought that Jareth had to do it, she had always automatically assumed the victims role. Oh she hated feeling guilty when she felt no need. "Please skip your journey as it is of no consequence to us. Just tell us what happened on that final meeting with you and the Goblin King." Sarah paused, thinking back to that last encounter with the Goblin King. As she played the scene in her head she was abashed to realize what he had actually offered to her.
"Well, he offered me things I couldn't fathom at the age I was. I couldn't understand the feelings that he felt or grasp the depth of what he offered me."
"Just how old were you?" Dagda seemed genuinely intrigued and moved by what she had said so far and she knew that he would be her greatest ally in this trial.
"I was only sixteen."
"That is old enough to have been married and had a child by then. How could you not have understood and grasped everything he was offering you?" She had known what he was offering, but she hadn't been old enough to take it or to really understand it.
"Humans don't get into marriage and kids that early anymore. We usually wait until we are in our early twenties on."
"How old are you now?" Again Dagda asked simple questions.
"I am twenty-two years old." His brows raised and he locked his hands behind his head.
"So would you accept all that he had offered you now?" She felt her jaw drop and her face flush.
"I-I...I want to be in love." Still that obnoxious smile stayed plastered on the man's face.
"Could you not love him?"
"I don't know, I haven't really spent any time with him and the time I did spend with him he was either confusing or he was the bad guy. We never really had great alone time." This got a wide smile from the man and surprisingly smirks from the two ladies sitting next to him.
"What if you got the chance now?"
"I don't know. He is still the same him. I was terrified of him before and now he has reason to hate me on top of everything. He was the enemy, the bad guy. I don't know if that is the real him or if that was just a faÃ§ade put on for my benefit, however that might have benefited me I don't know. So I can honestly tell you that I don't know what would have happened if I had gone through the Labyrinth at the age I am now as apposed to when I was sixteen." Her head was buzzing with all the new thoughts that flew into her head as her monologue flew on without interruption. "I mean perhaps if I had gone through the Labyrinth now instead of then I would have understood things a lot better. I have been thinking about this a lot since I have remembered it all."
"What do you mean by that?" Morrigan burst.
"I was taken to a doctor after I returned from the Underground and that doctor made me forget everything that happened here so long ago." All had narrowed eyes.
"Why?" It had been said by Danu, but it might as well have been any of them by the looks on all of their faces.
"Because my family thought I was going crazy. I was spouting off about things that, in my world, don't exist and I was saying they were real. They thought I had gone insane." Dagda looked sympathetic to her plight and Morrigan seemed just as upset over everything as usual, but Danu kept her composure and her opinion to herself. Sarah had to admire that this was why the three of them had been chosen, they balanced each other.
"That is most unfortunate and I do feel sorry that your family did that to you, but I have to only consider the dealings of this case so will you please continue on what you were saying before?" Sarah knew that her face looked blank, she had lost her train of thought and everyone knew it.
"Things you have been thinking about since you remembered your time in the Underground!" She heard someone yell out from the crowd of people around her.
"Oh yes, thank you." She said it to no one in particular, but she felt it right to say anyways. "Well, I was saying that I had been thinking about it and what I thought was this. If I had gone through it now I might have seen things a lot differently. I would have taken the way Jareth acted as more sexy than frightening." Sarah blushed as she said it and looked over at Jareth. He didn't look confusing now. In fact, he seemed to be glowing from that compliment. The grin on his face would have melted her if she wasn't already baring herself to the whole of the court.
"Also, I most likely would have accepted his offer and then tried to get him to send my brother back anyways."
"That would have been much more diplomatic and he most likely would have done it." Danu looked over at Jareth who nodded in agreement. Sarah wanted to cry. She was seeing everything so clear now when it had been fogged before.
"He only wanted me to be happy. He did everything I asked him to, except give me my brother back." And then it clicked in her head. "He kept my brother in order to keep me longer." She looked over at Jareth again. He looked like his heart had just been broken again....and she knew she had broken it both times.
Tears were streaming down her face as she realized all that she had given up all those years ago. His heart wanted to melt for her and go embrace her and make those tears stop, but it remained frozen and stiff. He couldn't...wouldn't let himself break like that. This was the girl who had shunned him and sent him to the Darkness. How could he get past that? Danu was speaking again and calling for order.
"Now child I have one final question for you and the answer to this one question will make or break everything that has gone on here in this courtroom." Sarah nodded through her tears ad fought to get them under control. It was harrowing watching her. "Did you know the consequences of your actions?"
"No, no a thousand times NO! If I had known what was going to happen to him I would have tried to figure out another way. He might have been my enemy at the time, but I still wouldn't have wanted him to suffer that!" His heart ripped as he watched her bare her soul to the court and herself. She hadn't known any of this would happen to her. All she had wanted was her baby brother back. Perhaps...no he couldn't think like that. Thinking like that would make him hurt again.
The judges were convening and with yet another smack of the gavel Danu called for order and told everyone in attendance that they were going to go into their deliberation room to determine exactly what to do with this situation. He wasn't sure what he wanted to happen.
'You want her to suffer as you suffered all those years in the Darkness. She can't go unpunished.'
'But she didn't know what she was doing when she condemned you to that place.' Jareth really hated that subconscious conversation that went on in his head lately. It was the angel and devil on his shoulder situation and he grimaced at the thought of it. That was such a human thing to have to suffer through.
'You know you can't forgive her...she gave up everything once and there is no reason she should get the chance to have it again.' That was so true. Why should he offer her something that she had already turned down once?
'Because you know you still love her.' How he wanted to stifle that angel on his shoulder. It would be so much easier if he could just silence that half of him forever. 'But why must it be me that is stifled? Why can it not be that voice telling you what you feel is wrong?' Because it's easier to hate.
"We have reached our decision." Danu and the other two judges returned from their room and their deciding conversation. He felt this mother lean over and sensed her warm breath near his ear.
"That was fast, I guess your human didn't do too well defending herself." If he didn't know better he would have thought that he saw his mother wipe a tear away. "It's too bad, because she moved most of us here." She straightened back into her chair and awaited Sarah's ruling with baited breath like most others in the room. Jareth's conscious was silent; perhaps they were sitting invisibly on his shoulder waiting for the judgment like everyone else.
"We have decided that while the girl didn't realize the consequences of her actions, she must still be punished for the act of treason which she committed. Her punishment will not be as severe as we had once thought. She proved herself an uncharacteristic example of her race and that impressed us enough to lessen her sentence." Danu cleared her throat and the whole audience took a deep breath at once, including Jareth. "The girl is sentenced to a censored version of training." By training...they meant the forced slavery that much Fae nobility was forced to endure.
Slavery in the Fae or the Gods courts was a demeaning thing. The slave was forced to be always naked and was constantly sexually and physically tormented by their master or anyone their master chose. It was a spirit breaker like no other, teaching the privileged that they were no better than those they ruled. Nobility went into the slavery and came out acting no higher than a scullery maid. It was a better fate than many in the courtroom thought the human would receive, one that most there wouldn't have blinked at, but to Sarah...it would be hell. Jareth grinned on the inside while his heart screamed, but he kept his face unreadable as he awaited Danu to tell what Sarah's censor would be.
"She will not be forced to be always naked, but she will have a master and he or she will choose when and where she will be punished. Her master or mistress will not be allowed to debase her in public. Sarah's censor is that whatever happens to her will only happen in the privacy of her master or mistresses rooms. Now to the choosing of a master or mistress." The room was abuzz now.
Everyone there desired Sarah as their very own to torment and tease as much as they wanted. Jareth didn't want anyone else to be able to touch her that way or hurt her that way. He thought of all the terrible things that people could do to their slaves...everything short of drawing blood or physically hurting them. That meant they could do anything sexual to her that they wanted and Jareth didn't want anyone else to touch her, but he also didn't want to be the one that had to do the punishing.
"Jareth?" Danu was trying to get his attention. He looked up at her and raised a brow to show her he heard her. "We were wondering if you would like the first choice of being her master. We thought you might have fun with being able to act out the punishment yourself." He looked at Sarah...she had that same pleading look on her face that he had during their last meeting. It steeled his heart.
"No, let someone else deal with her." He saw her face fall and practically heard her heart break. Good, now she knew how it felt to be denied. He stood up and walked out of the room, not even wanting to wait and see who got the pleasure of having Sarah at their beck and call. All he cared for at that moment was that he had won a battle...now her heart had been shattered too.
Sarah's heart felt numb as she watched Jareth walk out of the courtroom without so much as looking back at her. So he really didn't care anymore, she truly had lost her chance with him. The gavel clacked again as the courtroom had gone in an uproar of mirth at Jareth's turning his shot down. Now she would be given to one of them.
"Now, now everyone. I want order in this courtroom! I know who I am going to hand her over to so don't you all get excited. Lord Tur, please come forward and take this woman into your custody. Remember her restrictions and please follow them or I will be forced to reconvene this court for your trial."
A tall, stately man walked forward and bowed to Danu. He had a grace to him that was bred not learned and it awed Sarah, though she was frightened to her core at what he would be able to do to her. When he was close enough she saw his deep jade colored eyes stood out in stark contrast to peach tinted skin. His hair was neither red nor brown, but that coppery auburn color in between. He didn't seem like someone that would hurt her, but that only put Sarah more on a defensive.
When he reached her he looked her up and down and grinned, not in a malicious way, but an honest grin. He was very happy to have her as his beck and call girl she assumed. His hand was out in what seemed an instant. So he was a Fae too was he? As long as he didn't do that popping around the room thing she might be able to live with this situation. If only she had known what was in store for her, she never would have been so calm now.