Categories > Movies > Labyrinth > 3,564 Clappers Later

The Normal Life

by shadowlurker13 0 reviews

In which culture shock is dealt with and UST begins to build.

Category: Labyrinth - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Romance - Published: 2017-07-20 - 3464 words - Complete

Chapter 4 - The Normal Life (such as it is)

Jareth was involuntarily awoken the next morning at a quarter to six by light streaming in his face. He mumbled still half asleep “…if you don’t leave my quarters immediately you’re asking for a one-way trip to the Bog.”

“Sorry, you’re not king of the castle right now,” a female voice teased.

He reluctantly pried open his eyes to the unnaturally bright room, recognized Sarah, and finally remembered just where he was - on the floor between her living room and dining area on a makeshift bed of sorts.

“Is it Her Majesty’s normal habit to wake sleeping persons living under her roof before the sun arises or am I just lucky?”

“Sorry, Jareth, but I have to show you some things before I leave for work today.” From behind her back she produced a large, thick gray roll and quirked a smile. “This is duct tape and it is going to be your best friend for as long as you have to remain in human lodging. Not only can you technically ‘fix’ just about anything with it if you feel the need to be truly primitive - a lot of human males swear by this stuff, it’s so sad,” she laughed a little, “but I thought we might try it as a temporary solution for covering iron that you might come in contact with in the apartment. I can’t make the world safe but I can at least try in here. So…that’s your job today; wrap anything you might be touching that could potentially harm you - faucets, levers, doorknobs, hinges…you get the idea.” Geez, I feel like I’m baby-proofing my house. “Would you mind getting up for a minute?”

“Yes,” he said, turning over.

“Jareth, I don’t have time to argue with you and I have to make sure you know how the microwave works.”

“…very well,” Jareth sighed, stiffly getting up from the low bed. That’s the first thing that’s changing the moment I can morph objects again. With a snap of his fingers and a shower of glitter he was in a fresh wardrobe, burgundy and black today. Sarah hadn’t been expecting it and had to mentally admit the ability would be nice.

“I wish-”

Jareth’s gloved hand quickly clamped over her mouth, open panic in his eyes.

“Be very careful what you wish for, Sarah.” He slowly removed his hand, catching his breath. Sarah was genuinely taken by surprise at his sudden reaction but it made sense - a wish turned into the trial of her life; a wish made him lose everything.

“…it would be awfully nice sometimes, though. I wouldn’t have to get up so early…”

“I’ll look into it for you,” he stated matter-of-factly, crossing his arms, just a hint of a smile at one corner of his mouth.

“Really? You’re serious?”

“I said I would make myself an invaluable asset; I’m a Sidhe of my word. Now what was so important that you’re dragging me out of bed at this ungodly hour?” He followed her into the kitchen and she gestured to a small, boxish device on a countertop.

“There’s metal in the appliance but significantly less than any part of the stove - the parts you should touch are plastic and glass so at least that shouldn’t be a problem.” Thankfully her refrigerator was a cheap model so the handles were plastic. She opened the freezer and took out a frozen meal. “When you get hungry around lunch, pick one of these out and follow the instructions on the back of the box to the letter - it’s pretty simple. Use the number pad on the microwave to punch in the time and press start. It should stop beeping at you when you take it back out but be careful of the interior - that’s all metal. Breakfast around here is usually anything you can assemble. Oh, one more thing.” She went back into the living room and started quickly digging through a pile of magazines on the coffee table while Jareth looked on, curious about what she was up to - at least until she found the object of her query - a JC Penney catalogue. “You can wear pretty much whatever you want in here as long as you’re decent but you can’t wear that out there,” she pointed first to him and then to the front door. “Just flip through this, see if you can find anything you like. I get the feeling you can duplicate just about anything with that little trick you do.”

“Still so adamantly against fashion, are we?”

“Jareth, look, the last thing you want to do here is attract attention. It’s going to be hard enough trying to hide who you are and why you’re here without you parading around downtown in something that went out of the mainstream for my world over three centuries ago!”

Jareth lightly sighed. Different people, different customs. Just swallow your pride and do it; it wont kill you and she’s really going out on a limb to do this in the first place. Almost like she cares… “What brought on the sudden change-of-heart?”


His eyebrows knit in worry. “Why are you so concerned about me?”

Sarah sadly smiled at the familiar phrase - just what she’d put to Hoggle when she was trapped in the oubliette.

Compared to the freedom and power he’s no doubt gotten used to this must be like prison - he’s literally at my mercy and I’m being nice to him. She just shrugged.

“Inexperienced, distraught Goblin King - big, scary, alien world.” Just a wisp of sympathy crossed her features, like she knew the feeling. She abruptly broke the mood. “Anyway, if all goes well in conferences today they should let me go early - I ought to be back around three this afternoon and we can go shopping for kitchen knobs and handles. The one that’s been bugging me is the doors, though; about the only alternative to steel in that size is glass and none of those lock-”

“I’m sure it will be fine, Sarah. Thank you for going through the trouble for me.”

“Yeah, well I’ve got to run - you wouldn’t believe the traffic around here in the morning. Have fun and try not to get into too much trouble, okay? I’ll see you later!”

She grabbed her travel mug and briefcase, slinging it over her shoulder like a messenger bag, and ran out the front door, slamming it so hard that knickknacks on a nearby shelf rattled. Jareth laughed a little, shaking his head.

That girl has got to learn how to slow down or she’s going to run herself into an early grave. The sudden thought of Sarah dying was not a happy one but as long as she remained here, in this world, one day she would die and there would be nothing he could do to stop it. The thought of just taking her - even before she made that fatal wish - had occurred to him time and time again but it just wouldn’t’ve worked; she had to wish it herself to get there legally, he would be bringing the entire High Court down upon his head if he acted otherwise.

Maybe if all goes well here, someday, when her world is falling apart, she will call and I will never be so stupid as to let her go again. He looked back at the clock on the wall in the kitchen area - 5:53. There will be plenty of time to plan this out right, he thought as he gingerly flicked the switches that stopped the power to the lamps - the metal covers would have to go, he would remind her - and staggered back to the air mattress when an idea hit him - he could sleep in Sarah’s bed. Walking down the small, dark hallway with quick strides, he entered her room - the door was ajar, the bed made. I don’t even leave a scent if I don’t want to and I can make everything the way I found it again, he thought with a devious smirk. She’ll never know. Crossing the room and ripping off his boots he slipped under the covers, leaving the rest on as a sign of odd respect in spite of what he was doing. She’s lucky I was too tired to disrobe last night or that rude wakeup call could’ve been rather interesting. He usually slept in the nude. The sheets still smelled like her - lavender and rosemary and something else he couldn’t quite name. Sarah. He breathed in her pillow, savoring the scent, and closed his eyes.


Cup of java in hand, again, Sarah sat at the oblong glass conference table, listening to a rehash argument that should’ve been canned six months ago: what the company wanted them to do was, to the best of their knowledge - and their knowledge was the best, dammit, this was a government agency - impossible! Physically impossible. The vehicle in question would have to be vertically compact and as long as a city bus. Crazy! And yet they thought GELA was simply holding out information in favor of a higher bid.

Idiots, she thought, taking another sip of her coffee. We really do have better things to be doing than chasing our tails for these idiots who couldn’t even build a normal car if their lives depended on it - they’re just fashion designers for crying out loud! And they’re asking us for miracles. They don’t even care about the long-term outcome here - all they know is that ‘green’ sells so they’ll build a prairie wind schooner if they think it’ll bring in better profits. At least 3:00 was rapidly drawing nigh - 2:46. They can’t go on like this indefinitely; we’ll have to stop for lunch and then I’ll bail. I wonder what Jareth has been doing to pass the time. Please let him have stayed inside the apartment! At least I’ve got a lot of books - if nothing else he can at least read…I hope…oh nonsense, he can speak English, why couldn’t he read it? He must’ve learned English before there was an America from the accent. I mean, he’s been alive for at least, what, a couple hundred years? You don’t just twiddle your thumbs for that long! It might be interesting seeing just what all he does know, I hadn’t thought of that…

A tiny, harsh whisper broke her reverie. “Sarah!”

Oh! She looked over - it had been Irina to her right. The suits were gathering their debris off the table and shoveling it back into their black-leather briefcases - meeting adjourned.

“Are you feeling all right, Sarah? You were very quiet today,” Irina asked, concerned. In spite of how many years she had lived in the country, just a hint of her Russian accent remained.

Actually I’m imbedded in personal turmoil - I’ve just become the proud owner of a centuries-old fae monarch and I haven’t a clue as to what to do with him. “I’m just tired, that’s all. And besides, anything worth saying to these clowns has been said three months ago.”

“I know what you mean. We are all getting tired of this game but money talks. You arrived here early today - you have already been in for eight hours, yes? Go home; I’m sure the boss will understand.”

“Are you sure?”

“Positive. Leave me your notes. I’ll put them on your desk when we’re finished. Take a nap, get a man - you have not had a life in years!” she teased as Sarah started walking away.

“You sound like my stepmother!”

“That’s me - the evil Russian scientist,” she laughed. “See you tomorrow!”


Sarah turned the key and walked into her apartment almost biting her lip, having absolutely no idea what to expect. To her amazement, Jareth was seated at her computer, the user manual tossed carelessly to the side on the floor. There were a few books on the coffee table - old tomes from her college days; math and science. Dishes were still on the kitchen table along with the open catalogue. He addressed her without turning around.

“I only had a few occasions where the tape was necessary today; I presumed that you wouldn’t want your entire house wrapped if we were going to be replacing most of the fixtures anyway - oh, light boxes; we need those, too.”

“Light boxes?…oh, switch covers! Sure, I can do that.” She walked over to the computer and looked over his shoulder to see what he was doing. The entire screen was filled with text…not just any text, mind you, both of their names were mentioned repeatedly and it read like an epic soap opera. Fan fiction, oh brother. “Do you have any idea how ludicrous it is that you actually read the fan fiction people write about you?”

“I believe we have a right to know what’s being said about us. You wouldn’t believe some of the drivel these girls dream up. Take this one for instance; if she makes me out to be any more of a sap I’m seriously considering giving her a yeast infection.”



“You can’t just punish somebody because they’re a bad writer!”

“Why not?”

“…it just isn’t right!”

“Well this certainly isn’t either. She goes on quite a bit about you as well,” he stated quite placidly in the face of the reaction he was getting and panned up the screen a couple of paragraphs. Incensed but curious, Sarah started reading where Jareth pointed to on the screen with his finger. She suddenly felt as if all her teeth should be rotting out of her mouth it was so disgustingly saccharine, her character was just blathering on and on and on…

“……maybe just this once……”

Jareth made a slight nod of acknowledgment in her direction with a small smile on his lips. "Finally, something we agree on." Forming an obscure, arcane symbol with his hands, he carefully leveled his gaze and aim at the screen while Sarah curiously looked on, a bit nervous…
Meanwhile in an undisclosed location…
“Oh come on, not again!”
Jareth playfully sighed in relief as he lowered his hands to his lap, unfolding them. It was then that Sarah noticed with some dismay that he had been making a list, presumably of offending authors who had either already tasted Jareth’s peculiar ideas about punishment or would be soon. Sarah reached down and shut off the surge protector strip, effectively killing power to the entire machine.

“I believe that’s enough chaos and mayhem for one day.” Please don’t make me regret being nice to him.

“But I’m getting out of practice,” he pouted. It reminded Sarah of how many times Toby had pulled that face on her - trying to get out of being trouble by being cute.

He really is kind of like a kid, she suddenly thought. A big kid who’s always gotten his way. She wasn’t entirely sure what to do with that little piece of information but she resolved to stash it away for later examination. “We have to go shopping, remember oh Vengeful One?”

“Of course; shopping always comes before vengeance,” he said with a serious smile that made Sarah momentarily rest her face in her hand.

This one’s a real piece of work…moving on… “Did you find anything to wear in that catalogue?”

“Perhaps. Would this be suitable?” He walked to the center of the room and in another of his characteristic sprays of glitter his burgundy tunic and tight black trousers became a button-down dress shirt and slacks of the same colors, his long hair back in a tight low ponytail, eye markings gone. He still had on his black leather gloves and boots; the boots were discreetly hidden beneath the pant legs, though.

“Not bad,” she had to admit, “but you’re going to have to lose the gloves.” Sarah was surprised to see the sudden mixture of fear and pain in his expression as he uneasily looked away. “What’s the matter? Haven’t you ever let anybody see your hands? It’s nothing to be embarrassed of - we do it here all the time………it’s not that, is it?” She was suddenly uneasy herself. What’s he hiding?

The truth, no matter how brutal. “I am sorry Sarah, we shouldn’t keep secrets from one another. You have the right to know.” And with that the gloves vanished and he winced his eyes closed, bowing his head, ashamed, not wanting to see her reaction to his hideousness. He held out his hands, palm-side up. Sarah walked up to him cautiously to see what he thought was so awful. To her amazement the palms of his hands were actually several shades paler than the rest of his ivory skin; an unearthly, icy pallor one would swear was blue. It looked oddly similar to the way someone with a dark skin tone could have extremely light palms and soles of their feet, only in reverse since it couldn’t get any lighter. It wasn’t all that bad, really, just extremely out of the ordinary. Sarah carefully reached out and turned the left one over to see the other side and heard his sudden intake of air as she took his hand, unafraid, unabashed. The sensation of skin there was an extremely rare occurrence and therefore all the more powerful. His nails were nearly the same color with what appeared to be a pearlescent sheen. It looked so cold but his skin was still warm to the touch.

“It is a deformity among my own species, often a sign of bad bloodlines. I hide it to avoid controversy.”

“Bad bloodlines?”

He opened his eyes and regarded her cautiously. “…there aren’t many of us left from the royal house. Intermarriage and…”

oh……Desperate enough to marry close blood relatives, now that’s pretty hard up. …so that’s why he’s so vain, so insecure. And crazy - most pure-bred anything is. It’s starting to make sense now. She couldn’t deny that it made him look all that more exotic - the effect was almost attractive. She smiled - not a condescending ‘holy-shit-that’s-bad-I’m-so-sorry-goodbye’ smile like he was used to seeing when he was forced to show this to others but a genuine smile - she actually liked it! “It suits you,” she said quietly, looking over the other one.

For the first time in Jareth’s insanely long life it was meant not as an insult but as a compliment and it was incredibly freeing. He wanted to grab her and kiss her full on the mouth right then and there but he knew his impetuousness would not be welcomed in the same manner. He would wait, wait until she wanted to explore his lips as she had just explored his hands - his inner sanctum and one of his best-kept secrets - without a moment’s fear. She finally looked up at him. Even though he wasn’t saying a word the look in his eyes spoke volumes - gratitude, relief,…longing? The one eye was a pure crystal blue, almost angelic, while the other was oddly dilated and brown, almost bestial.

“Is there a story behind your eyes, too?”

He surrendered a short, quiet laugh. “Not one for tact, are we? I got this in a fight when I was young.”

Sarah rolled her eyes and nodded, looking away with a wry smile. “Now that one just sounds like you.”

“I preferred it suiting me,” he crooned, taking a step forward, closing the space between them, gently grasping the sides of her arms. I preferred you wanting me, he desperately wished that he could will to her right now.

She swallowed. His touch, his voice were so sensual, so warm...

“Doorknobs!” She suddenly exclaimed, turning out of his grasp and grabbing her purse off the coffee table. “Are you ready?” He momentarily closed his eyes and concentrated - his hand marks disappeared.

“Ready.” For anything.
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