Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Toby, Sarah, implied Jareth/Sarah
Challenge/Prompt: 1_million_words Monday Flash Challenge: Seeking Someone Lost
Warning(s): Future Fic, Character Death, [Spoiler (click to open)]Suicide
Word Count: 932
Date Written: 11 May 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Henson, not the author, and are used without permission.
"She’ll be here,” Toby said for the third time to his worried friend. “She wouldn’t miss this for the world! You know how long she’s been planning this!”
“She has planned this meticulously,” his friend said, turning and surveying his reflection in one of the numerous mirrors dangling from the cathedral’s ceiling. He concentrated on fixing the collar of his fine, white suit as he murmured, “But I have often had the feeling that she was planning this wedding for someone other than us.”
Toby flashed him a cheeky grin. “Of course not! Who’s being paranoid now?”
The expectant groom looked back at him. “Your sister,” he admitted humbly, “is worth being paranoid over.”
“You’ve got me there,” Toby muttered and, turning his back on his friend, attempted to call her yet again. Still Sarah failed to answer. Still he worried silently while keeping a brave, smiling front to all who saw them. A shriek rang suddenly through the cathedral. Toby’s blood ran cold. He didn’t say another word; he just turned and ran straight to the bridal dressing chamber.
Stopping inside the open door, just pass his sister’s bride’s maid who he barely knew, Toby’s heart dropped. He nearly dropped along with it to the floor. Instead he leaned against the door and, with sobs racking him, took in his sister’s crumpled form on the floor. She had been dressed like a fairy tale Princess about to wed her Princess. Even now, the ivory white train curled around her slender body, but it was the other white things on the floor that captured Toby’s attention.
He stared at the scattered pills, shaking. There was movement behind him, and then his friend’s voice gasping and crying out in denial. Toby heard him hit the wall and slide to the floor, but he didn’t try to come pass Toby into the room. He didn’t try to go to the woman he claimed to love. Still trembling, Toby made the procession himself.
He sank onto his knees on the church’s floor and gathered his sister, his older sister who had always been so protective of him and who had always been there for him, into his shaking arms. She had been there for him when he had failed tests at school and when he’d gotten into trouble for succumbing to peer pressure. She had been there for him when their parents had divorced and again when he hadn’t liked his new stepfather. She had been the one who had stepped in between his stepfather’s fists and his own cowering form one night, and the one who had later held him as he’d cried after coming out to his mother and being horribly rejected. She had been the one, true steadfast friend he’d ever had.
And yet, when she had needed him the most, he hadn’t seen the signs. He had ignored all his doubts until this very morning, and now as he stared down at her, aghast, he realized at last how utterly too late it was. Sarah was gone, taken from them all far, far too soon by her own choosing, and yet . . . Yet he had not seen his sister smile so brightly since they had been children and she had told him stories of an ancient, underground land. She had become a world-famous author, telling those same stories she had told him on the dark, lonely nights of their childhood to thousands across the globe.
His sister had always believed in fairy tales. Toby thought, with another great, heaving sob, of the church and how she had had it decorated. Stepping through its double doors earlier today had felt almost like submerging himself into a fairy tale kingdom, but if there was any such thing as a fairy tale kingdom, surely its Princess lay, crumpled and defeated, upon the pristine, white floor.
Only she didn’t look defeated, Toby reflected sorrowfully, looking back at her bright, wide smile. For the first time in years, Sarah looked . . . happy. He sobbed and didn’t bother to hold back his tears. She looked genuinely happy! Only now, as he rocked her cold, hard body, did he realize how genuinely unhappy she had been for years. She had tried to make this union work. She had tried to make this life work, but neither had ever been the one she wanted.
Maybe, he thought, remembering his childhood suspicions, maybe the stories weren’t just stories after all. Maybe a Princess really had loved a Goblin Prince after all. Maybe their two separate worlds and completely different ideals had forced them to part. Maybe she had gone back to him at last. If Sarah’s smile was anything to judge by, she was happy at last.
Toby killed her chilled forehead and placed a chaste kiss on her pale, white skin. He laid his head against hers as she had done for him when they had been but children. “I hope you’re happy now, Sarah,” he whispered where only she could have heard him had she still been alive. He meant the words with all his heart as slowly, almost reverently, he slid her beautiful eyes closed at last.
Elsewhere, music played and Sarah danced amongst a throng of happy creatures, but she did take a moment to gaze up at her brother and love him again. “I am happy, Toby,” she whispered, hoping he would hear her words in his heart and understand. “Now you must go find your own happiness.” Her husband twirled her in his arms, and Sarah elated in being home, happy, and truly loved at last.