Author: Kat Lee
Challenge/Prompt: fffc r17.13: Raven
Word Count: 953
Date Written: 10 July 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Henson, not the author, and are used without permission.
As he twirls her around on the dance floor, he feels himself becoming lost in the dark, limpid pools of her eyes. It would be so easy to stay here with her for all eternity. Living above ground seems a pathetic existence when compared to staying with her. Still, he knows he can not. He needs to escape this world, and there's only one way he can do it: through this girl and her brother.
It takes every ounce of Jareth's will to lift his eyes from hers, and when he does, her shining, raven black hair is what catches his gaze next. It seems almost to sparkle in the light of the ball room, and his gloved fingers curl in her hand and around her waist in his desire to touch her hair. The spiraling ornament in her hair seems to tease him further, glimmering in the light of the stars just beyond his ball room.
I move the stars for no one. There's so much he would do for this girl, if she would just ask him. He's always believed there was no end to what he was willing to do to escape this underground Hell of Goblins and other smelly creatures who are so far beneath him, but he drew the line at rewriting the universe. He would turn the world upside down, but he would not move the stars.
Not that he couldn't. Being King of this world gives him the power to do anything he chooses save one thing: He can not escape it or his responsibilities here without leaving another being cursed to become its King, and that being had to meet certain requirements. Sarah's baby brother was the first one he had found in a long time who did just that.
Why does it have to be her? he wonders not for the first time. Why does he have to be her brother? This girl isn't like the rest. She's not like the ones who have come before her or, should he fail to keep Toby in the labyrinth, the ones who will come after. She's not like any one he's known before; he could truly lose his heart this time.
A flicker of defiance in her eyes brings his gaze back to her eyes. She's beginning to remember, and he knows he has to stop her. He moves his hand from her slim waist to her face and lightly brushes the smooth skin of her cheek with his fingertips. He sweeps his fingers over her and feels her shudder beneath his touch, not from fear or revulsion but with need.
He sweeps his hand over her face and into the dark, satiny curls of her hair. Starlight pours from his fingertips and is left behind in a sparkling, silver stream in the locks of hair as he touches it. He's become too adept at lying, Jareth thinks, for he's lied even to himself. He will not just rewrite time. He will gladly rewrite the very universe, and as for the stars, he places them all in this one girl.
"Beautiful," he whispers. He would give her his heart, his soul, if only she will give him her brother. All it takes is one mortal to free him, and he can be free to live the life he chooses -- and the life he chooses is at her side.
But already, Sarah's pulling away from him. Already, he knows he's going to lose. Perhaps it is as it should be: the girl can not love him if he takes her brother, and yet he requires her brother in order to be free to love her. "Defeat me," he whispers where none but her subconscious can hear, "but never forget me for I will always love you."
With that, he lets her go. He lets her destroy his ball. He allows her to conquer his world and does not stop his subjects from truly helping her this time. He lets her go, and she reigns long after she's left his kingdom. She reigns, because she still has power over him, just like the power to draw him to her here tonight just beyond her bedroom window.
Jareth shifts his snowy white wings as he peers closer through the glass, his beak pressing against the smooth surface. Sarah is tossing and turning in her bed again, moaning his name. He can hear her heartbeat rising as the night wind rises outside her room. He wants to go to her -- aches to go to her, but he can not. She has all the power over him, and he is helpless to move against her wishes. He is helpless to go to her without an invitation.
He is helpless to do anything more than watch her as she moans his name, not a truth invitation leaving her lips as she is not conscious of speaking his name. He watches as she twists and turns and finally wakes, breathless and sweating. He sees her sit up, shaking, and look around her room where not a single shadow is moving. He sees her breath his name, still not a true invitation, and watches as she struggles to put the past, and her tears, behind her.
He would have done anything for her; he would still gladly do anything, if she would only truly call him again. But she does not call him, and so Jareth watches from afar but only a few feet of physical distance, never seen by her again, underneath the stars that glimmer above them and that once he put in her hair, a fitting tribute to the true Queen of his land, the Underground, and his heart.