Author: Kat Lee
Fandoms: Labyrinth/Lady and the Tramp
Character/Pairing: Jareth, Didymus/Peg
Challenge/Prompt: lands_of_magic: Blind Date (If you join, be sure to tell them Kat Lee of Team Winter sent YOU!)
Word Count: 1,451
Date Written: 25 July 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
“I should have seen this before now,” Jareth murmurs, watching as the Goblins he carefully selected for the task at hand work diligently at polishing his most loyal Knight’s armor. He tactfully ignores the way the one who is supposed to be working on his Knight’s hat is currently playing with the long, white feather protruding from it. It tickles the creature’s nose just so, making it sneeze so hard its head bucks backwards from the impact, and only one of Jareth’s Goblins would immediately return to running the feather back underneath its own nose. Jareth glowers but glances in Didymus’ immediate direction instead, still withholding his punishment for such stupidity as he does not wish to upset the one he has come to consider both Knight and friend.
“Seen what, Your Majesty?” Didymus asks, his furry ears leaning forward to catch Jareth’s regal voice.
That I am not the only one lonely, Jareth thinks, but instead of answering openly, he casts his gaze away again from the Knight and the Goblins surrounding him. An acceptable answer comes soon enough, and he purses his lips together for just a moment before supplying it aloud, “That a faithful companion such as yourself deserves to be better entertained than a mere game of Scrabble on occasion when the Kingdom has been so long without war.”
“When will we have another one, Your Majesty?”
“I know not, Didymus.” Jareth sighs, and then a bit of truth slips out, “I have grown rather tired of dealing with these mortal girls.”
“None of them can compare to her, Your Majesty. None smelled as sweet or fought as valiantly for their brothers.”
“No.” Jareth still does not look at him, but as the words of one of his oldest friends sinks in, he finds himself admitting, if only to himself, that none of the other girls’ denials had stung as deeply or as harshly either. Somehow, he had truly come to care for Sarah during his time teaching her, but she had never cared for him. None can love him. He knows that as much a part of his curse as is remaining underground with these filthy, wrecking, stupid . . .
“ENOUGH!” Jareth bellows suddenly. Didymus looks up calmly, his mouth open just a tad, as all the Goblins save one scatter before Jareth. He strides over, whips Didymus’ feathered hat out of the tiny hands of the Goblin who has continued to make itself sneeze with the hat’s feather, and kicks the creature in its skinny, green behind even as its sneeze turns into a piercing wail. Jareth’s upper lip curls in distaste as the Goblin goes flying through the air from his kick. “Subjects, indeed.”
“They are your subjects, Your Majesty. We all are. It is hardly their fault that they are lacking in certain areas.”
“Yes,” Jareth snaps, “like having an actual brain that works beyond body functions.” He sighs. “But this is your day, Sir Didymus, and I did not mean to spoil it.”
“You’ve hardly spoiled it, Your Majesty.” Sir Didymus smiles as he reaches up and takes his hat gently from Jareth’s fingers. “Now tell me truthfully, Sire. Do you think I will meet with her approval?”
Jareth smiles as he looks down at Sir Didymus. The other Goblins have done a fine job of polishing his boots and armor. “What is not to like, my faithful Knight? You are the only one in the Kingdom who dresses almost as well as myself.”
Smiling bashfully and lowering his head in respect, the little dog Knight basks in the honor bestowed upon him. “I have learned from the best,” he says.
His words break a true smile out upon his King’s face. “Indeed you have.” Jareth raises a hand and snaps two fingers. Trely, the one Goblin with whom he usually entrusts his own boots, hurries forward. Bowing so low to the ground her little face almost kisses the dirt, she offers up a bouquet of freshly picked roses and a heart shaped box.
“Sir! I can not possibly be giving her a ring -- “ Didymus starts yipping, staring at the box.
Knowing he is about to lose his fine control to a fit of barking, Jareth gently wraps his gloved fingers around Sir Didymus’ muzzle, effectively cutting off both his verbal protests and his yips. Gazing into his eyes, he tells him in a calm, low voice, “No one said anything about a ring.”
As Jareth’s hand slowly releases the dog Knight’s muzzle, Sir Didymus immediately asks, his furry brow creasing with confusion, “Then what is in the box?”
“Dog biscuits brought in from Paris, bits of moist steak, and, in the layer beneath, a gold dog collar encrusted with some of the finest diamonds in the land. I could have a matching one made for you, but -- “
“I will never wear another collar,” Sir Didymus growls softly, looking off into the distance and seeing another land, another place, another time, and another ruler, one who was never as kind or generous as Jareth. “You procured me my freedom, Your Majesty, and for that, I will forever be grateful and render all my services to you without hesitation. But I can not bear to touch another collar to my neck.”
“I know,” Jareth speaks softly, his voice just above a whisper. He reaches out as Sir Didymus’ dark eyes fill with tears, lifts his hat, and gently strokes his head in his favorite spot, just between his ears. “And I will never ask it of you. But,” he smiles, “Peg will like the collar.”
“And she will like me, Your Majesty?”
Jareth’s smile widens, this time touching his eyes and making them sparkle. “What’s not to like?” he asks again.
“Are you certain?” Didymus yips.
Jareth places the Knight’s cap back onto his head and ruffles the fur beneath it as he does so. “Quite,” he assures. He feels the Goblins scurrying around him again and looks up to see Hoggle approaching. “And here she comes now.”
Behind Hoggle walks a dog whose bright, yellow fur shimmers like soft gold. It covers one eye while the other peers out at the world around her. She pauses when she spots Jareth ahead of her and bows her head in respect. “You sent for me, Your Majesty?”
“Yes,” Jareth acknowledges, stepping in between the two dogs before she can see Sir Didymus. “I had need of my most skilled, and most beautiful, female, canine spy.”
“Flatterer,” she shoots at him with a twist of her furry buttocks, a wave of her bushy tail, and a toss of her proud head. “What do you need me to infiltrate this time?”
“Why, Peg, you cut me to the quick!” Jareth feigns hurt as he places a hand over his heart. Hoggle smirks but is smart enough not to laugh. “I said nothing about work, did I? I simply wanted you to meet one of my dearest and oldest friends, and perhaps show him a good time at your latest hang out -- in Las Vegas, isn’t it?”
“Yes . . . “ Peg says slowly, uncertain what to expect. Then Jareth steps out of the way between herself and his friend, and her mouth hangs open. It takes every bit of her control not to let her tongue hang out.
“My, my, my!” she finally breathes, sashaying closer. She shakes with promise from side to side as she walks directly up to Sir Didymus, sniffs him, and then rubs herself along him as she pads pass him. Her tail touches his armor, then brushes directly underneath his chin. “Walk my way, sugar,” she calls back, and Sir Didymus, suddenly feeling weaker in his knees than he ever has when faced with an enemy before, hurriedly obeys.
He has to hold on to his hat with one hand as he follows Peg around a corner in Jareth’s castle, but even before they disappear from their King’s sight, Sir Didymus still remembers his manners and loyalty enough to call back over his shoulder, “Thank you, Your Majesty!”
The sounds that follow as the two dogs disappear from his sight make Jareth smile.
“You’re not all bad,” Hoggle grouses at his knee.
“I suppose I’m not,” Jareth murmurs, but then immediately knees Hoggle in the back, “but ever let anyone else hear you say that, Hogwart, and I’ll make you royalty!”
“I know; I know!” Hoggle cries, throwing up his hands. “I’ll be the Prince of the Bog of Eternal Stench!”
Jareth smiles and winks. “And don’t you forget it!” His laughter echoes through the castle, letting the Goblins know it’s safe once more to run out of their hiding places and play again.