Categories > Movies > Labyrinth > 3,564 Clappers Later

One of Us, part 2

by shadowlurker13 0 reviews

the dreaded mother-in-law meeting, wedding, life

Category: Labyrinth - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Romance - Published: 2017-07-22 - 6773 words - Complete

Chapter 27 - One of us, part 2

Sarah had finally passed out from exhaustion in the wee hours of the morning and woke up around early afternoon, just in time to see Jareth materialize in the bedroom. He looked very spent himself but in spite of his present condition she had to admit he looked healthier than she could ever remember him looking; there was even a faint flush of light peach over his usually pallid complexion. Those first few moments were terribly awkward, neither quite sure what to say to the other after such an ordeal, but at last he climbed into bed with her and gentle kisses and reassuring caresses accomplished what words could not. Before he fell asleep himself, he informed her that they would have to visit the old High Queen on the morrow to ask for her blessing on their hand-fasting; he could postpone it no longer. It struck Sarah as both frightening and absurd that such favor or lack thereof could make such a difference in political stability but she soberly reminded herself that this was no democracy. This was still largely the old world - its best and its worst - and it would greatly behoove her to learn how things worked here. Once Jareth was down for the count she washed up, dressed and ate, and, after serious deliberation, formed a communication crystal and called Morgan, who came right over.

“You know it’s a bit late to be getting cold feet, dear,” she teased Sarah good-naturedly, taking a seat by her on the sofa in the castle library.

“He’s taking me to see the High Queen tomorrow.”

“Ah, the dreaded mother-in-law meeting,” she smiled, “and am I correct in assuming that your panic is due to the fact that as usual my brother has chosen not to bother with teaching you the proper protocol?”


Morgan was still smiling. “You did the right thing in calling me. You’ll never survive that interview without it. Our mother isn’t a hard woman but she is most definitely set in her ways and her opinions. There aren’t many left from her generation; she remembers the golden age of our race and insists on living as if it were still here. Now then, since the information you seek is valuable, I’m afraid I must insist.”

Sarah quickly recalled this woman’s ominous first offer of ‘paid assistance’ and swallowed her fear, pulling up her right sleeve to expose her wrist but Morgan pulled it back down, leaning in with a conspiratory smile, hardly able to contain herself.

“Alright, now how did it really go last night? I want details!”

Sarah told her the whole story, glad that there was at last someone she could talk to about it. Morgan was impressed not only by her brother’s performance and antics but also by Sarah’s nerve in retelling it; she only went a little pale when she spoke of him first latching on but she quickly recovered and she continued. She even confided in her how strange it felt being stranded between the two species - not quite sidhe but not entirely human. Taken by surprise at her frank openness and willingness to befriend her, Morgan was beginning to see what had drawn Jareth to this woman. True to her word, she spent the rest of the afternoon and part of the evening rounding out Sarah’s socio-political education, specifically the behavior and knowledge she would need to visit the High City and the Historical High Palace. By the time the former princess left, Sarah felt like if she was told anything else her head would explode but, oddly enough, she could easily bring any of it to mind.

The next day came all too quickly and with it came Jareth fretting over her appearance, changing her dress at least twenty times before coming up with ‘the most appropriate one’ - a dark burgundy affair, with many layers of a satin-like material and faerie-dross gems (gorgeous opalescent baubles that were technically worthless but valued for the look). He carefully suited up to match her. Sarah had never been so nervous in her life. Even the other night paled; she’d had no idea what was in store for her there and, consequentially, hadn’t really started worrying until she was told to defend herself! If this woman’s progeny were so antsy about pleasing her, what chance did an ape like she have?! She wasn’t even supposed to look her in the face for more than a passing glance!

“Everything will be just fine, love,” Jareth reassured her before they transported. “Just be your sweet, honest self. Oh, and do try not to gawk,” he added with a mischievous smile as she stepped behind her, holding the power staff in one hand, his other arm snaked around her waist. In a blast of light they were off and arrived mere seconds later. His warning was almost instantly forgotten as the High Palace came into view and Sarah had to work hard to keep her jaw from hitting the ground - the contrast between his mother’s abode and his own was like the difference between a pile of cement bricks and a gilded jewel box! It was easily seven times as large as the Goblin Castle and so lavishly ornate even on the outside that it was hard to believe that it had ever been a functioning fortress, let alone seen war.

‘With over a millennium of civil peace in the High City they’ve had nothing but time to spruce things up,’ he thought in her mind with a note of wry sarcasm.

They had appeared directly before the front gates and, upon recognizing Lord Ravensong, the guards bowed low and opened the immense bronze gate to admit them. Once inside they made a teleported leap past the courtyard lawn up the huge staircase to the ceremonial entrance. As he stepped to her side and she put her hand on his arm, Sarah glanced back over her shoulder to see many lords and ladies chatting, disappearing and reappearing elsewhere like so many bubbles on a river popping in and out of existence. She wondered if she would ever fully get used to it. Another pair of guards bowed and opened the front doors. With ominous echoes, they walked into the Great Hall.

The Hall was as spacious as an ancient temple, with a soaring marble ceiling and floor and emerald pillars every few yards for structural support; there were bronze sconces but only a few were lit. The full-house standing capacity of the place must’ve been in the thousands; the Hall was even wider than it was long, shrinking in the distance to the left and the right.

How many epochs of history has this place seen? Sarah wondered, trying not to look around too much. A pair of medieval-looking solid-gold thrones, glittering with precious stones, were visible at the far end of the chamber, roped off as if they were in a museum. Every ten yards there was an armed sentry in dark blue livery, lining the approach to the thrones.

'No one has been allowed to sit in those thrones since the overthrow of the Empire,' Jareth continued his discreet observations. 'The castle has been occupied from that day to this. The Guard of the Federation,' he glanced at one of them coolly and Sarah followed his gaze. It was returned with a haughty glare. She could feel other eyes watching them as they made their stately way through the cave-like Hall. 'This place is under eternal surveillance.'

'The Guard’s giving me the creeps! Can’t we just jump there like we jumped across the lawn?'

He covered her hand on his arm momentarily.

'Sorry, darling, it isn’t allowed in here. We’ll be there soon enough.'

As they approached the thrones he suddenly guided her to the right and down an adjacent corridor, up a very broad flight of stairs carpeted in thick green velvet to the second landing and down a cozier-looking corridor adorned with ancient tapestries and silks. Their trip appeared to terminate at a ten-foot-high arched door with an armed guard in front of it like the ones outside. Beautiful harp music had been coming from within but it stopped abruptly when they were only halfway down the hall, as if their presence was sensed, and when they got there the guard admitted them instantly with a formal announcement.

“The Lord Jareth Ravensong and his queen,” the guard tacked on with a note of disdain, closing the door behind them. It was a capacious but imminently comfortable-looking drawing room, bright and warm, with large bay windows all along one wall and quite a lot of furniture, as if it were used for social entertaining. Everything was in soft tones and gold was everywhere. And in the far right of the room, sitting rigidly straight with an aristocratic air on a bench looking out of one of those windows, was a woman in an immaculate rose-colored dress with long silver hair. Two lovely young women were seated at her feet, one holding a book and the other a small wooden harp. She had yet to even acknowledge the newcomers’ existence. Jareth broke the intolerable silence.


The woman who had once been the High Queen quietly sighed.

“Bridget, Moire, you may leave us.”

The two girls got up, pliéd low before her and quickly paced to the door, dropping a fast curtsy before the prince and venturing a curious glance at Sarah as they left. Upon hearing the door close the queen got up and began to leisurely pace to the center of the room. As she approached, it was all Sarah could do not to stare - everyone had failed to mention that the woman was nearly eight feet tall! She was quickly reminded of the old stories of how the sidhe used to be almost giants but eventually shrank with the shrinking of human belief in them but after meeting other sidhe of about her size she had thought nothing of it. Until now.

The ‘older generation’… Idunna Ravensong had the build of a goddess, lithe and perfectly proportioned to her immense size. Golden flames stained her brow and around her neck she wore a torque of solid silver, engraved with Celtic knots, that terminated in a moonstone that was as big in circumference as Sarah’s fist. She still bore a harshly-cut beauty, though now just a little faded and slightly creased, and her icy, taunting lip-smile was eerily recognizable. As soon as the queen reached them Sarah fell to her knees and kept her eyes glued to the floor as instructed, taking Jareth completely by surprise.

“Sarah, you don’t have to do this!” he frantically hissed through his teeth. His mother stopped right in front of Sarah and pulled back a bit to scrutinize the job her son had done of dressing her, then leaned forward slightly, momentarily brushing the top of Sarah’s head lightly with her long fingernails as she walked passed her, giving her goosebumps.

“At least she understands her place here,” the queen finally pronounced, “even if you do not.” Furious at his mother’s conduct he deliberately got down on his knees beside Sarah and held her hand, staring up at the queen with fire in his eye. “Get up this instant! This is unseemly behavior for a sidhe of your age and only compounds your insult!”

“All of this is unseemly behavior at this day and age!” he shot back. “I don’t care what you or anybody thinks - she is my equal and if that means kowtowing beside her for the rest of my life-”

His speech was cut short as the old queen magically hauled him to his feet by will alone! He looked shocked and surprised at her sudden burst of power. She was panting slightly from the exertion, her hand to her chest as she caught her breath, but the whisper of a devious smile stole across her face.

“You always were a rebel; I should’ve known it would come to something like this one day, but as long as you remain in my house you will obey protocol, is that quite understood?”

Jareth was quietly seething but his gaze had dropped to the floor.

“Very well.” Idunna began to circle them; if the situation were not so serious Sarah would’ve found it funny that his mother could still handle him like that! “Of course, you would’ve received a much warmer welcome if you had bothered to consult me before you bonded the girl to yourself.”

“She was aging! I had to-”

She put up a hand to quell the oncoming tirade. “But what is done is done,” she continued calmly. “My son tells me that you had a profession in the sciences while you lived upon Earth but he is incapable of explaining it to me to my satisfaction. Precisely, what is it that you are trained to do?”

Sarah suddenly froze being put on the spot like that - she felt like she was accounting for herself in the afterlife! After a false start she took a breath and got her voice back under control.

“I was a research scientist for my government, creating cleaner forms of generating energy.”

“‘Cleaner’ energy,” the queen reiterated, nonplussed.

“If I may elaborate, your majesty, in the absence of other forms of power, man has been generating his own electricity by burning wood, coal, and especially refined petroleum oil chiefly, in vast quantities. It has been with us on a widespread practical scale for a little over a century and we now use it for everything from mass manufacturing to various styles of transportation to many of the basic amenities in our homes. It has greatly advanced our society but at a terrible price. Our planet has become very polluted with the refuse from our industry, especially the atmosphere, to the point that it is beginning to change our global climate and weather patterns to say nothing of lost forests and water pollution. The problem was only being talked about for a long while with middling results. There are a few fairly new ways of creating electricity that have been invented at the end of the last earth century that are non-polluting, utilizing wind and radiation from the sun. Sadly, they are not in widespread use yet chiefly because of high startup costs for switching over to the new methods but we’re slowly building it up. I just completed work on a transportation vehicle that can run on sunlight alone.”

Idunna was still pacing around them and when she crossed in front again Sarah ventured one quick glance at her face. It looked like she was not entirely displeased and was mulling something over. She stopped in front of Jareth. That curious discreet little smile of hers had always worried him; it was a ripple on top of a huge hidden sea of cunning and, in her day, incredible power.

“Seeing that the damage is already done, I will grant my blessings on your formal union…on one condition.” She leaned down and cupped Sarah’s chin, gently bringing it up so she could look at her. He could’ve done worse. Fairly pretty as far as humans went. Yes, there was definitely a fine spark of intelligence in those green eyes of hers. And a secret yearning to be useful once more. Perfect. Her smile deepened.

“My youngest son Kavin is a great scientist and inventor in his own right. However, as you duly noted, with so much magic readily at hand I am sorry to say that physical science is a study sorely neglected and looked down upon by my people. It is not good to leave so many aspects of life up to chance, working against nature instead of with it. His education has been largely dependent upon the human world but it grows more and more dangerous to acquire the materials he needs to further it and many is the time that he has longed for a suitable assistant in his research. In short, I want you to work with him; I am not about to waste a brain such as yours and as long as you hold a position of authority here I want you contributing to the general welfare of our community. Do we have an accord?”

Surprised, Sarah glanced over at Jareth. He looked equal parts dubious and amused.

“Consider carefully, dear; Kavin has absolutely no sense of humor or personality whatsoever. He’s practically a machine. Her majesty’s fury might be preferable after all,” he said, glancing in turn at his mother with a look that was trying to maintain solemn and about to lose it. The old queen gave a clipped sigh of faux exasperated disappointment, quietly betraying her sentiment.

She really isn’t as hard as she seems, Sarah thought, registering the odd cat-and-mouse teasing as a psychotic familial trait. As long as we’re all on the same page, she inwardly collapsed. “I cannot promise that my area of knowledge is going to help him but I will do my best.”

Idunna looked satisfied and let go of her chin, only to offer her her thin, ice-pale hands in welcoming gesture. “I believe this means you are entitled to rise,” she said dryly, still smiling. Sarah took a breath and the old queen’s hands and was easily lifted to her feet by the large woman. She still had to look up at her, but not as far.

“So…do I need to keep calling you ‘your Majesty’ or it alright to call you ‘Mother’? Or your first name?”

The expression on her face had now settled into a old, familiar amusement. “‘Mother’ will suit me just fine…Sarah.” She looked over and saw Jareth pacing a few yards off, not entirely sure what to do with himself. “Of course you can still call me ‘your Majesty’ in public if you wish,” she said a bit louder so he could hear.

“Oh, for heaven’s sake Mother!”

That got a laugh. “You never could tell when you were being teased, either, could you?”

“Although, seriously, think about it,” Jareth added, “a whole family of ‘Your Majesties’? That would get rather dull, wouldn’t it, not to mention damnably confusing. How could anyone tell who was even being referred to?”

“Why, you, naturally,” she jabbed right back. They really were cut from the same cloth; Sarah had the feeling that if left alone together for a long enough period of time they would tear each other apart like Japanese fighting fish - except they hadn’t already. They were simply too much alike. The great sidhe laughed at his expression and motioned him over. She held her children close, bowing her head.


The handfasting ceremony was set for the next auspicious phase of the moon. Sarah knew something of the human variety from reading medieval fantasy novels in her youth but quickly discovered that her own was going to be more complicated, elaborate, and extravagant than anything she had ever seen in her life. Their ceremony itself was one of the last surviving rites that dated back to the beginnings of the Sidhe race (which was significantly older than mankind - that was freaky to think about!) and was rigorously kept intact. The fact that the event was a noble wedding made the proceedings even more lavish. As per usual, Jareth (who thought that one’s belief in the gods was a private matter) only gave Sarah the vaguest of ideas of what was going to happen and just enough of a rundown of the expected protocol that her participation wouldn’t be considered sacrilegious. Once again she went to Morgan for help and was very grateful that she had. The Sidhe woman even waived the proper exchange since the event was the next night.

“In exchange,” she smiled mischievously at her, “for help with my handfasting!”

The day they spent together was intense; she memorized all the vows and the proper responses and the order the thing would run in. The last part, however, even Morgan couldn’t tell her about - it was a sacred re-enactment and therefore taboo from normal conversation. Sarah was surprised to find Jareth at home when she returned in the evening; she saw lights in his office. Upon entering, she saw that he was reading from a large old-looking tome but as soon as he sensed her he made the book vanish and looked up with a smile, leaning back in his chair.

“Hello, love. Are we thoroughly indoctrinated now?”

“I can’t believe you’re so lackadaisical about this. I won’t be able to sleep tonight!”

He motioned for her to come over and she crossed the room and sat on his lap in a shared embrace. “It’s just a lot of pretentious nonsense mostly. All that really matters is that your heart is in the joining.”

“At any rate I’m surprised to see you here,” she said, pulling back, “I thought for sure I’d find a note on the bed that said Sylvanias was throwing you the mother of all bachelor parties,” she smiled, playing idly with his silky mane.

“What’s a bachelor party?” he asked, looking up at her in all seriousness. Her jaw dropped.

“You don’t - oh, get out of here, you have to know what a bachelor party is!”

“Not really. I never claimed to know everything about human traditions.”

“Well…” Sarah said, straddling him, “this is a little unconventional, but -” She closed her eyes and concentrated - the next minute she was in red full-body lingerie. She opened her eyes to find Jareth smiling at her wolfishly - "I’ll just have to give you one myself.”


The entire next day was spent in frantic preparation at the High Queen’s castle. Sarah barely saw Jareth at all - once they arrived they were immediately separated and herded off to different wings of the compound by no less than about twenty servants each. Sarah was almost embarrassed at the amount of work these women were doing for her! Two garments were crafted on the spot: an elaborate, deep crimson “wedding dress” and a forest green robe that almost looked Druidic - it was covered in symbols. Her entire body was glamoured to the point that she almost didn’t recognize herself in the full-length mirror when they finally let her look at the finished product with the red dress on.

I look like one of them - no - I look like a goddess, their goddess, she thought in amazement. She hadn’t been hungry or thirsty all day, either. Guess they’ve been taking care of that, too. As the sun went down, they brought in a human woman to style her hair - the normal way.

“They’re terrified of messing it up!” the servant confided once they were left alone together. When she was finished, the old queen came in herself and placed amulets in different parts of the dress.

“So nothing steals you away on the walk to the altar,” she said dryly with a smirk, kissing her forehead and covering her with a red veil that nearly came down to her feet. “Ready?”

“As ready as I’m ever going to be,” Sarah nervously laughed. Idunna strolled around her, making sure everything was right, stopping in front of her when she was finished, taking both of her hands.

“This is my first son married. Make him happy, make him proud. At least keep him in line - someone needs to, he doesn’t listen to me anymore!” she acidly laughed and Sarah had to laugh herself. “It’s time to join the party. Hang on.” The room disappeared in waves of heat - it wasn’t quite a floating sensation, but she couldn’t really describe it, lightheaded was more like it - and suddenly they were at the back of a glade that seemed to have seating for at least several hundred and it was packed.

Every last sidhe in the realm has to be here, Sarah thought. It was overwhelming. She slowly walked up the ‘aisle’, surrounded by ‘bridesmaids’ who had been made to look exactly like her; it felt like a weird trip, watching twelve more of herself following her every move in perfect unison. They made their way up to the stone altar, which was covered in half-melted candles, garlands of flowers and evergreen boughs at the foot of an enormous oak tree. They all spread out into a line.

It was then that she saw Jareth and almost felt the need to avert her eyes: he looked like a god, draped in leaves, crowned with oak, bare-chested with tiny rune-like sigils covering every last square inch of visible skin. They were glowing a bright green, as were his eyes. It was hard to believe that this was the same guy who she’d gotten to know over the past couple of years, the guy who liked to tickle-fight before they made love, and yet he advanced from the wings. And then she saw his wings - ethereal, completely outspread, sparkling gold in the sunset. This was as close to faerie prince as he was ever going to get. He even felt regal as he walked down the line of Sarahs, inspecting each of them carefully. He had to be able to identify which one was really her somehow by sundown in order to be allowed to marry her. The process was nerve-wracking even under normal circumstances but being human upped the ante even further. The sidhe women surrounding Sarah could mimic every last thing she could possibly think to do to stand out.

Even in his magically enhanced state, Jareth was having a hard time finding his bride. He had been warned of this but never in his life had he imagined that the other women would make it so damn hard! He suddenly had an idea and went back to the beginning of the line. Starting with the first one, he asked her a question which only the true Sarah would know; easy but not of the sidhe world. It was promptly answered - so promptly that she was instantly disqualified: talking about female protection in front of so many people would have made the real Sarah squirm. He shook his head no and the woman stepped back, shedding the glamour his eyes could not peel away. He successfully continued the process down to the sixth woman, who seemed more real. He questioned her again. Another correct response. He was about to do it again when she very discreetly kicked him hard in the shin. Hoping he was making the right choice he shook his head no and the woman stepped back. Blazing red hair replaced dark brown and she deviously smiled at him: it was his own sister Morgan!

I’ll get you for this, he thought, only making her smile bigger. Questions knocked out two more. Four to go. Sarah was getting rather nervous and consequentially her companions were being careful to feel nervous, too. “Not to worry, love. This will soon be over,” he said quietly, not looking at any of them. The next he asked to swing dance. She was surprised by the request but did it nevertheless but her movements weren’t convincingly jerky enough to be human. Three to go. Sarah was next. He seemed to be pondering his next move as he studied the three women in front of him. She saw the doubt in his eyes…and then the light bulb. He grabbed the woman at the end of the line and dipped her for a kiss. The other sidhe woman looked on with longing but this was about as much as Sarah was going to take with this nonsense and went to slap his face. He dropped the woman he had been about to kiss just in time to grab Sarah’s wrist - and held it high. “This one!” he proclaimed loudly with a triumphant smile.

And the crowd roared with cheering and applause. The bridesmaid who got dropped looked pissed but she picked herself up and joined the rest of the line who’d stepped back - and Jareth realized suddenly how close he had come to kissing Ariadne! He did a full-body shiver internally: he had very nearly chosen the woman the Federation had.

“You have got to be kidding,” Sarah said under her breath as he took her hands and led her to the altar and the high priest. “This is a sanctified ceremony? What in the world is wrong with the father just giving away the bride?!”

“I’ll explain later,” he said, doing his best not to smile as they faced the ancient sidhe who was presiding.


The remainder of the ceremony was almost urbane in comparison to the initial ordeal. The vows were somewhat complex, however, and to Sarah bits of it felt like overkill.

Yes, I promise to faithfully wash your tights without bleach and visit you every Saturday if you’re ever imprisoned. I will not leave you if you develop dental plaque, where’s that one?

The priest actually stopped reading aloud in the Sidhe tongue from the tome in his hands and glanced at Sarah, addressing her in a whisper. “I am made to understand human couples aboveground often invent their own vows. Would you care to add anything pertinent that I have overlooked, your Majesty?”

Sarah was suddenly rather glad she was wearing a red veil because that was the color she turned in embarrassment as she quickly shook her head no once. She kept forgetting that everyone could read her mind at close range! He continued. They were on to the ‘fear me, love me, do as I say’ part, and each knelt to the other in turn to say it, hands held. When Jareth did it, he discreetly produced a thin gold band with a marquise-cut moonstone in the center and slipped it on her ring finger as he said the vow. The priest noticed but kept on going as Jareth stood up - something humans called a ‘wedding ring’; harmless. They were at the crucial point in the ceremony, the part Morgan absolutely refused to tell her about. They were led behind the solid stone altar then left alone sitting on the grass. All-of-a-sudden Jareth didn’t look himself at all as his eyes blazed with the green, so bright Sarah almost couldn’t look. When he spoke, it was clearly not Jareth.

“A human and not my usual consort. You look like her but you cannot fully embody her or she would be here.”
Sarah’s eyes went wide and she almost couldn’t speak she was trembling so badly. When she did it all came out as a blurt.

“I…I’m sorry please don’t be angry with me I had no idea-”

“Shh, it is not your fault, child. They could not tell you. It is forbidden. I can see you have a good and true heart and you actually love the being I am currently inhabiting. So I am going to let you have him - you would die if we bonded in the Rite. No one will be the wiser, even he will not know I have been here. Strip off your dress.”

Sarah quickly obeyed, having no idea what was about to happen but having a fair idea of what would happen if she failed to comply. The other being had simply torn off Jareth’s attire, leaving on the oak crown. He appraised her briefly and smiled. Sarah had never felt so exposed in her life and yet was strangely unperturbed by his attention; it felt natural somehow.

“I will leave you to mate, then. Take as long as you wish; I always do. They will wait for you. Perhaps I shall see you again in the sidhe afterlife if you can follow him there. I am leaving him with the implanted suggestion to rut his brains out the moment I leave. Enjoy.” He smiled deeply and his eyes stopped glowing altogether.

And Jareth proceeded to desperately shag Sarah as he had never screwed anyone in his entire life right there behind the altar!

Once they were quite finished and had revived enough to get back up, she noticed that the green robes were stashed over at the base of the oak tree. She carefully crawled over and fetched them, handing Jareth his. All of his sigils had vanished and both of them looked normal again, albeit a bit disheveled. He suddenly grinned.

“Ready to go face the crowd that just heard all that?”

“Oh god, why did you have to make me think about that?!”

He just laughed. “I’ve been to a handful of these events in my day and they’re all the same. Don’t worry; it’s expected. We just passed muster is all,” he said, kissing her forehead and helping her to stand, both decently covered now. A deafening cheer erupted from the crowd as they came back into view again. The entire assembly did a mass transport back to the Historical High Palace and the riotous party that ensued (which gave Sylvanias’ infamous bashes a run for their money) lasted until dawn.

Speaking of Sylvanias, he wasn’t there. As the sole family member who had opposed this union on moral grounds (of all things) he had absented himself from the entire occasion and his dissention did not go unnoticed. Everyone had tried to get him to see the union in a more positive light from some angle or another but his judgment never wavered: he could not accept that Jareth had married so hideously below him when some of the best families of the Old Court had been at his disposal had he so desired. And instead Jareth was wasting himself on this hybrid creature he had snatched from another world. Shortly afterwards, Syl threw another of his parties and Jareth was invited - but not Sarah. Jareth summarily showed up with his wife and they were both shown the door in spite of protests from several other guests. Sylvanias wouldn’t even look at her. Jareth stepped back in and Sarah could hear the heated argument the two blonde men were having but she couldn’t understand a word. After about 20 minutes Jareth exited the building looking a bit dejected.

“He can be so hard-headed about certain things. Syl really isn’t a bad man. Please give him time.” It was a serious reminder that they had been accepted very cautiously in this society but acceptance wasn’t mandatory. Jareth’s older brother was obviously going to be the dark cloud to their silver lining.

Normal life ran rather smoothly - well, as smoothly as it can run with goblins underfoot. Jareth was right: they could be rather annoying, like a cross between small children and unbroken house pets, only with an infinite capacity for trouble. The trick was to keep them busy. There were signs posted in the Goblin City with Sarah’s likeness magically imprinted on them (as close as Jareth could get to a photograph), proclaiming her as queen. Sure, they had all attended the coronation ceremony but most goblins didn’t have the best memories in the world and he wanted to head off the rather embarrassing problem that they might keep asking who she was. It had taken a full century before they started remembering him automatically.

Sarah found Dåshe’s caricature of Jareth and thought the effort was so cute she asked to be introduced. It was quite the spectacle when the couple sat for their formal portrait: one of the foremost artists from the City of the Federation working alongside a tiny, dirty little goblin just a bit smaller than a domestic chameleon, scurrying about a large sheet of paper, laying down ink and other substances, including some pilfered rouge from Sarah’s vanity to put the finishing touches on her lovingly, painstakingly, crudely-drawn face. The portraits hung side-by-side in the Grand Hall.

Sarah was true to the word she had given the old high queen and worked regularly with Kavin. If the man had been human she would have suspected that he simply had a fairly severe form of Asperger’s Syndrome and told him as much once she’d gotten to know him better. Rather than being offended, he seemed intrigued by the idea that there were other beings as gifted and socially challenged as he was and, at her insistence, joined an internet forum for it under an assumed name. As for his work, Sarah had never been confronted with such genius and an insatiable appetite for knowledge and innovation in her life and there were nights that Jareth had to forcibly separate them just to get Sarah to go to bed. Her working knowledge of solar electricity was proving useful and they had several inventions in the works. It was challenging finding enough suitable materials for construction of the batteries, though. The junkyard goblins were working on it.

In her spare time, Sarah liked to frequent the human colony. She could no longer be as one of them but it was nice being able to visit with some of them; it was a way of keeping her feet on the ground, a solid connection to her past. She started social movements to add more to their lives and, among other projects, worked with Kavin to build things to make their work easier. Her pet project, though, was the amateur theatre that she both founded and built. Formal entertainment was almost unheard of in the colony with the exception of a few musicians of sorts, so it was very gratifying to be able to give their community a long-awaited artistic outlet. Some of the actors were quite good, actually, and as the productions got better and word got around, city sidhe started coming in disguise to some of the plays. Of course it was a dead-giveaway that you’d never met the peasant man or woman sitting next to you in the bleachers and that the only time these people ever appeared was to go to the playhouse but nobody said anything. It was one tiny step closer to equality. The monarchs of the Goblin Kingdom had permanently reserved front-row seats and attended as often as they could.

Sarah’s new physical body was working perfectly well. However, there was one rather unforeseen result of her bonding with Jareth. She awoke one morning and found in the mirror that she appeared to have a light bruise over part of her right eye. But it didn’t act like a bruise; it got bigger and more defined over the next few days and makeup just slid right off of it or vanished the moment it was dry. After two weeks it was finally apparent: she had developed an elemental symbol for air, not like Jareth’s but similarly colored. A plain lavender swath over one entire eye. His genetic material was stronger than hers and was winning out in her body, greatly enhancing the chances of conception (although they hadn‘t been deliberately trying yet.) Neither the physician nor the High Priest had ever seen anything like it but she seemed physically stable and there was the chance that she might actually be able to not only transport but transform! Oracles were consulted and the resulting answer was her totem form: the common falcon. There was certainly nothing common about metamorphosing for the first time and then learning how to fly! She learned as much as she dared at the feet of the High Priest; she could almost swear he was just a little proud of her. Still, he couldn’t help but wonder what had really happened that day behind the altar. Sarah - who had learned not only to read his thoughts but to guard her own - just smiled.

And every Tuesday night was Scrabble night with Sir Didymus and the boys.
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