Time After Time

BY : Jetredgirl
Category: G through L > Labyrinth
Dragon prints: 490
Disclaimer: I do not own or profit from Labyrinth or it's characters in any way. They belong to Henson & Co.

"Please...please don't go..."

He sighed as he turned back.

"I can't live within you, love. I have to go back to where I belong. You made your choice long ago."

"I didn't know...I didn't understand..." She reached out. " I swear I didn't..."

His mouth tightened, and he observed her sadly. "I know." He reached back and brushed his gloved fingers against hers. "Next time...next time perhaps."

Sarah Williams-Jones jolted awake. That same old dream fading away.

Her husband sat up behind her. "Are you okay Sar?"

She turned to look at him. for a second she expected to see flyaway blonde hair and odd blue eyes, but her vision cleared and Jerry's warm brown eyes came into view.

"Yeah. just a crazy dream."

He gave her the familiar lopsided grin she had fallen in love with back in college. "I hate those. I had a recurring dream for a long time after we met. This really strange man telling me you aren't for me. It stopped when we got married. Except once. After Jason was born. I saw the same strange guy standing by his crib staring at Jason. It scared the shit out of me. But all he did was touch the baby's cheek, turn to me and say "It is finished."

He put an arm around his wife. " I guess I was just worried you would leave me. Stupid right?"

Sarah's blood ran cold. but she couldn't show her husband her fears. "Uhhh yeah. Stupid."

He pulled her close and held her, urging her to go back to sleep, giving her comfort.

She pretended until she was sure he was asleep. Then stared at the ceiling and let the tears flow.

Jerry Jones was a good man. She loved her husband. She was a writer, he worked at her father's law firm. They had a good life. 3 kids, 2 dogs, a cat. A nice home, 2 cars, the children went to good schools, it was the ideal life she was supposed to have hoped for. Any ordinary girl would be thrilled.

This isn't a gift for an ordinary girl who takes care of a screaming baby...

Sarah got out of bed and made herself some peppermint tea.

What did he mean by next time?

She had to shake it off. So she did.

Sarah Williams got up the next day, went to work, dropped her kids off at school, and went on with her life. Once a year, she had that dream, but she decided she would ignore it. She had a family to care for.

As she got older, her children did too. They grew up, married, and had children. Her husband died younger than he should have, of a stroke.

Sarah Williams grew old, living far longer than she ever could have imagined her life would have been.

At 103, Sarah Williams died. Peacefully, in her sleep, surrounded by her surviving progeny on one cold New Years Eve.

But death was only the beginning of her story.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sarah Williamson was a strange girl.

At 28, she had been on her own for all her adult life. Her parents had died in a car accident when she was 17 on New Year's Eve by a drunk driver. The day before her 18th birthday. She could have went into foster care until the end of her senior year in high school, but chose not to. She had some money left for her and a car, so she got a small apartment and did it on her own. She was too strong and independent for that.

As an only child, she seemed to float through the world, waiting for something. She had very few belongings except for cherished keepsakes of her parents, and told people there was little need to be attached to objects. Life was flux, and she wanted to be ready for anything.

Her head was always in the clouds, and she said she talked to fairies. While she had a few good friends, many found her to be very strange, indeed.

She made wishes and believed they would come true. She spoke of owls and goblins. Her moss green eyes searched the night sky for the flutter of wings.

Sarah went to college, she worked hard and paid for it herself. She took nothing from no one. She didn't believe in debts. She saved up so she could travel, and had taken many trips abroad, staying in hostels and sleeping in train stations just so she could see the world.

"When I was 5," she told a friend one day, "I met an old man. He told me I looked exactly like his sister as a child. He told me he had dreamed he would see me again, and he was to tell me to make the right choice this time."

"I wonder what it meant." Her friend answered.

It was another New Years Eve that night. The anniversary of her parents' death. The next day was her birthday and her friend offered to take her out to lunch near the small office they both worked at since they would have the next day off. They finished eating and got a warm cup of tea afterwards.

Sarah shrugged. "I don't know. But I've always felt...I don't know, protected somehow. Watched, but not in a creepy way. In a way that I've always felt safe. Even after mom and dad died, I knew I would be okay somehow. That somewhere, someone was looking out for me."

"Oh Sarah," her friend laughed. "I love you, but you're a bit of a freak."

Sarah smiled. "Yeah maybe, but I feel like...there is somewhere else I'm supposed to be. I can't explain it. My mom always said I was an old soul, she would tell me how I would go on and on about fairies and mazes and castles and kings as soon as I could form sentences. That I said I would be a queen someday. I wish...I wish she would have been right. Sometimes I feel like a belong somewhere else, but I've been to lots of places, and they didn't feel right either."

"I think your mom, bless her soul, filled your head with nonsense." The friend replied. "You should make your new years resolution to stop getting caught up in all of that. Life is no fairy tale."

Sarah sipped her peppermint tea. She had a rush of feeling. A sense of deja vu at times, when she drank it. "Maybe. Listen, I'm going to walk down to that old antique book store I've never been to. I just noticed it a few days ago. Wanna come?"

"Nah." her friend shook her head. "I've got stuff to do and I promised the ex I'd have the kids, it's my year. What are you doing tonight?"

"Not much. I don't really celebrate for obvious reasons. I'll just stay in and read, get a good night's rest."

"Understood." Her friend said. "Well Happy Birthday tomorrow."

Sarah thanked her and they finished their drinks, left the Cafe and parted. Sarah wandered down to the store she had talked about earlier and pushed the door open. The bells by the door rang out through the quiet space. Sarah noticed how pretty the chimes sounded. Not unpleasant at all.

"Coming..." called a raspy voice. As Sarah watched a small, ancient looking woman came shuffling from the back. The bright eyes of the tiny woman framed by a heavily lined face shined merrily at her. "Hello! What a pretty young girl!"

Sarah couldn't help grinning back. She felt this...energy from the woman that lightened the whole atmosphere. She was in love with this place already. It felt...right somehow.

"Hi! Thanks! Wow this is a great place. Weird I never noticed it before. I'll just take a look around I suppose."

The crone nodded. "Please, feel free. No need to worry about not noticing earlier dearie, we find things, places, when we are ready. Perhaps, this time, you are."

Sarah found her turn of phrase odd, but who was she to judge?

Sarah moved to the bookshelves and read the spines. Most she recognized, though these looked to be much much older versions of so many of the books she had read throughout her life. She took out a leather bound version of The Iliad, practically drooling at the quality of it. It looked to hundreds of years old. The script was handwritten, not printed. It was a museum piece.

"How on earth did you come to have this?" Sarah questioned. Something like this had to have been stolen or trafficked from somewhere.

The elderly woman grinned. "The owner, he's...a friend of mine. It was passed down through his family. He is the one who asked to have it here to sell. Not my place to question why."

Sarah was skeptical, but she placed the book carefully back on the shelf. She knew she couldn't afford that anyway." Well, your shop is lovely, but I don't think I could buy anything here. These are practically priceless. "

She moved to leave when she felt a small hand on her arm. The woman had to have moved with impossible speed to be right next to her. "Wait. I understand your concern. These are far to pricey for a young woman of limited means. Please, just for coming in, I have a gift for you."

Sarah shook her head. "No, that's too much. I can't accept something like that."

"Oh pish. It's just a token, not expensive. Had it for years, nobody ever wanted it. Was donated long ago from the family of an old man who died. Here."

She held out a small red book. "Just a little fairy tale. Please, it will make an old lady happy."

Sarah took it gingerly and turned it over.

Labyrinth.

The book was warm, inviting. Familiar.

Sarah looked up." What's your name? "

" Agnes, dearie. It's Agnes." the lady replied, her large eyes hopeful.

" Alright. I would usually never take anything from anyone, but...my birthday is tomorrow, can I consider a present?" Sarah cradled the book to her chest.

This was her book. She knew it to her very bones.

Agnes giggled."Good, good. It belongs with you. Waiting for you it was, I know. Happy Birthday! Happy New Year!"

Out of nowhere she threw a handful of glittery confetti over both of them.

"Ummm, thanks." She smiled at the gesture as glitter rained down upon them and she dug in her pocket.. Here though." Sarah pressed a $10 bill into the lady's hand. "I have to give you something. I can't just take. I have to be fair."

"You wouldn't be you if you weren't. Now. This old lady needs to have a nap. Shoo with you, Sarah. I did my good deed. Everyone is happy now." She clicked her tongue and was back to her original slow shuffling walk.

"Thank you. This is...thank you again." Sarah held the book even closer.

They said their goodbyes and Sarah walked home. She liked to walk, and only took a cab or rode a bus if necessary.

When she let herself into her apartment, the red book was was still clutched in her hand.

She placed it on her table and shrugged off her heavy coat. She had purchased a bottle of inexpensive wine to toast her parents and the new year. She ordered a pizza and had planned on watching old reruns of some favorite comedies to keep herself from wallowing to much.

The pizza arrived and she made herself comfortable, switching the TV on and grabbing a slice. As she chewed she tried to concentrate on the show she was watching but her eyes kept wandering back to the book. When she finished her dinner, she washed her hands thoroughly and picked up the little tome as she went back to her sofa, then snuggled under her blanket and opened it.

The first thing she saw was a faded inscription.

For Sarah, my dear daughter. I found it in an old bookstore in the city, and it spoke to me. I knew you had to have it. Add it to your fairy tales collection. Love you baby girl. Happy Birthday! Love Mom.

"Wow, no wonder the lady at the store thought it belonged to me, since the last owner was named Sarah." She said aloud.

She turned to the first page and began to read.

A couple of hours later Sarah closed the book and sat it down.

It was wonderful. She loved it. And the girl in the book was Sarah too! She could see why this other girls mother had got it for her. It was incredible how she felt not only connected the character, but to this other girl. Smiling she picked it up, thinking she might like to read it again.

It opened to the inside back cover, and there she found one of those little "property of" stickers that had a name written in careful cursive below. It was hard to make out the old script at first but as she read, the writing became clearer, as if written at different times in the girl's life.

Property of Sarah ...

Through dang...told,

...ships un...ber...

You have no ... over...

But.. will al..ys l... you.

My Ja...th

Lessons you ta... me:

S.. your right words.

Fairies bite.

Don't take anythi... for granted.

Sometimes the way forward, is the way back.

What's s... is said.

Have .. basis for comparison.

Life isn't fair.(if it was, I would have known then, what I know now.)

Never give up.

Be grateful for the loyalty of a good friend.

Love is strength.

Patience really is a virtue.

Death is but one more adventure.

Believe until your last breath.

I should have taken the chance, and made the wish once more.

I wish...I wish...

Sarah's fingers traced the last words. It was written in shaky uncertain handwriting, like that of an old person. "I wish..." She whispered. There were obvious tear stains there, and her own eyes welled up.

Her skin pricked and goosebumps rose as a strange breeze swept through the room. She jumped up and looked around. "What the..." She wrapped her arms as a chill surrounded her. In a moment, it died down and the room settled.

Sarah believed in ghosts, fairies, and all those unseen beings and places. She always had. But feeling like it brushed up against her, maybe even responded, that was something unexpected. She had heard spirits can be attached to things, so she tried something.

"Hello?" She called out. "Is...someone there? Are you a ghost? It's okay, you can come here. Is it...Sarah? Is this your book?" She asked.

Nothing happened, and she decided to try again, using the original words that had caused the activity.

"I wish." She said. She repeated it louder. "I wish." The air in the room shifted and sparkled as she emphasized the words.

I need to wish for something. She thought. "I wish, that if Sarah is here, she would talk to me. If it isn't Sarah...well, come talk to me anyway. Let me see you."

She spun around hopefully and saw nothing, but there was an odd shadow in the mirror when her eyes hit it, and that made her jump. As she watched it faded away "Someone is here, I know it. Who are you?"

You may not want to know, once you do.

The voice was a whisper, a murmur that came with a touch at her ear. She wasn't even sure it wasn't just in her head.

It was most definitely male. So not Sarah.

Sarah crossed her arms. "Okay. Fine. I'm not afraid of you, you know. So how about this. I wish whomever is here, whomever is watching and listening, would appear to me right now."

It became so silent she could hear her heart beating, the blood rushing in her ears. She held her breath.

"Always so demanding of me, dearest Sarah, in any life." The voice spoke again. This time out loud and directly behind her.

Sarah flung herself around to face the source of the voice and at that moment was shocked and if she had to admit it, scared that there was someone just there in her home with no real warning.

He was leaning against the wall, foot up, hands folded neatly on his upheld knee. He made no move towards her, however. Just stayed in that spot, watching her. He wasn't much taller than her and was relaxed in his pose, yet managed to be intimidating in a way she couldn't pinpoint.

His head tilted to the side, and he smiled. "Hello Sarah."

"Who are you?" She asked. "How do you know my name?"

"That is a long story, love. And I'm not sure yet if you really want to know." He stepped away from the wall, but he still didn't come much closer. "You have nothing to fear from me. That I swear."

"You still haven't answered my question." Sarah demanded.

To her surprise, he laughed. She watched him walk closer until he was right in front of her. What surprised most, was the look in his eyes, on his face. He looked relieved to see her. There was no malice or menace at all. He searched her face, and looked as if he was happy at what he saw there.

"I am Jareth." He announced. "The Goblin King. Lord of the Labyrinth."

"Like in the book?" Sarah blurted. "I thought...I mean...it's not that I don't believe, mind you. I've always knew there was more, but..." She was at a loss as how to continue.

She felt tingly and strange. There was such intimate familiarity with him. And he was gorgeous. Whatever, whoever he was, This Goblin King, she could not deny his preternatural beauty. Obviously not fully human, but so much more. Blonde hair nearly to his waist and wildly poofed out, bright blue eyes with oddly uneven pupils, high cheekbones most models would kill for, the slight points of his ears, and pale skin.

He reached out and touched her cheek with one gloved finger. His expression changed to a strange sadness. "Still so incredibly beautiful." He said. "Sarah...precious."

Sarah jerked back from the sensation his touch caused. "We've never met before." She said.

The man's shoulders slumped. "No, I suppose we haven't. I had hoped...but...things never turn out the way they should for us. I should go." He turned and began to fade away.

"No!" Sarah's hand shot out and she was able to somehow grab a hold of his arm before he completely de-materialized. She couldn't put a finger on it, but she knew she couldn't just let him go. "Don't go. Please. Please stay."

He became solid again and looked at her. "Why would you want me to stay?"

"I don't know." She smiled. "I just know I do. Do you know why I want you stay? Because I really would like to know."

He looked down and saw the book. Gingerly he picked it up and turned it over and over. "This. This is why." He held it out and she took it, her fingers brushing his. "I haven't seen it since...well, in a long time. Nearly 100 years now, since I let her go."

She caressed the worn lettering on the front. "Was it Sarah's? Did you know her?" She asked.

"Shall we sit?" He gestured to the sofa.

Sarah nodded.

Jareth swept off his cape and it disappeared, then took a seat on the edge of the cushions. He couldn't bring himself to be comfortable. Not yet. The last time...it had been almost unbearable, the pain at the end. He had been so close.

He sensed something different here. He couldn't say if it meant something, and wouldn't get his hopes up. The one thing he noticed immediately, is that she hadn't wished anyone away this time.

"To answer your question, yes. I knew Sarah." He answered and smirked. "In one way or another."

"Oh." Sarah replied. "Do you...do you know me?" She had the strangest feeling as she asked. She knew the answer before she asked it. "Are Sarah and I related or something? We have the same name so, maybe she's an aunt I never met?"

"Would you like to hear a story?" He asked. "Sarah's story? Our story?"

"Yes please." She agreed readily.

He sat back and crossed one ankle of the other knee. "Then I will tell you."

Sarah turned and sat crossed legged on the couch next to him. She couldn't imagine why she trusted him, but somehow she did. She knew he would never hurt her. He hadn't even touched her without gloves.

He took a deep breath and began. "Once upon a time, there was a young girl with green eyes who came to live in a kingdom. Her mother had died, you see, and her father needed a better job..."

The story he told was of a boy and a girl. A prince and servant daughter, who grew up together and fell in love, but weren't allowed to be together.

It was a story of love, of revenge, a death, and a maze.

A King's dying curse that ended with a prince becoming damned to rule a cursed kingdom no one else wanted, and his beloved's spirit wandering from life to life as he searched the realms. It was the stuff of fairytales and dreams, of tragedy and hope.

"Eventually," The King concluded, "I did find her. The Labyrinth itself knew the sorrow of the king, and created a way. A book. The book was able to seek and locate her. But, neither the Labyrinth nor the book knew of the human concept of time, and it only gave me three chances. So the first time it found her, she was quite old, and sick. There was nothing to be done. The second time, she was too young. I tried, I really tried, but she didn't understand, and she fled from me, then married before I could have another chance. I had no place to take that from her. I was so close, but failed."

Sarah had leaned in closer. Understanding dawned. "Do you think...maybe, I am her again?"

His eyes said the words he couldn't. He believed she was.

"I can give you your memories, but it's a dangerous thing. You could go mad." He flicked his wrist and a crystal appeared. "I've saved them all."

She held out her hand. "Give me the crystal." She commanded.

As Jareth considered it, her words caused a long ago memory to surface.

Her, his last Sarah, in front of him, conquering him again.

"Give me the child.

Through dangers untold,

and hardships unnumbered..."

She was always brave. There was no doubt. In every life, she was the bravest soul he ever knew. When they were children, when they ran away together, when she died in his arms. When he met her again and she was so sick, she faced that death with grace as he watched from a distance. When he faced her in the next life, too young to keep, and over and over in that life, she proved herself, adversity only making her stronger.

He laid the crystal in her hand and held his breath.

Sarah jerked at the sensations that began. sparks of electricity moving up her arm. She went numb and didn't feel herself being cradled by the king as she pitched forward, her vision had dimmed and went black.

A boy hanging upside down in the tree. his blonde hair forming a halo as he grinned at her. He flipped to his feet and landed. "Who are you?" He asked.

"I'm Sarah. My father is the new stable keeper."

The boy bowed. " I am Jareth, The High Prince."

"Oh. Well, I guess we can't be friends then." She answered.

The Prince frowned. "Why not. I can be friends with anyone I want to. Yet, I don't really have any. Just servants, mostly."

"My father is a servant." She reminded him.

He shrugged. "You're not. So, let's be friends then."

She stretched out her hand, and he took it.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

An older, teen aged Jareth was lounging in the garden, cavorting with 2 visiting princesses.

She approached to give him back his jacket he had left in the stables the last time they had taken a ride together.

"Here." She practically threw it at him. "You forgot this."

He unwrapped his arms from around the girls and picked it up. "Oh yes, thank you. Would you care to join us for a glass of wine. It's the best in all the underground. I stole it from my father's stock." He grinned at her, obviously tipsy.

Sarah gave him a sour look. "No. I have to go."

She turned and fled.

He chased her and caught her just outside the garden. "What is wrong with you?"

She crossed her arms. "Not a thing. Go back to your drunken party."

"Ohhh.." He teased her. "Someone is jealous. I did offer you some."

"I have no desire to be party to your foolishness, Sire." She answered. "You want to act like some moronic courtier having women fawning over you and letting you do whatever you like to them. that's your problem. I will NOT be one of them."

"Come on now Sar." He grabbed her arm. "Don't be like that. You know you don't have to call me by any titles. Why are you always so judgmental anyway. Wishing it was you?" He pulled her against his body and kissed her.

Something fluttered in her chest, and she felt it flutter in his too. They both stilled, lips still pressed together. For one second...two..

She shoved him away and he fell straight into the pig's mud wallow.

As he sputtered and slipped trying to rise. she laughed. "How DARE you. That's where you belong, pig. Wallowing in mud and pig shit."

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

She was at a ball, serving food.

He approached her.

"A snack, Sire?" She curtseyed.

He said nothing but took the tray from her, and swung her into the dance. Onlookers gasped and whispered.

Sarah looked around nervously. "What are you doing?"

He smiled. "Dancing with the most beautiful girl in the room, as is my right. Now, shush and let me lead."

So they danced all the dances, and paid no mind to the gaping faces watching.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

He was adult now, grown. He had been sent away to school and to the army, coming home, he wanted to marry her, but it was not allowed. His future wife had been chosen. A demure, wispy princess that he found as interesting as a block of wood.

He held Sarah's hand as they ran. He swept her onto his horse and got on behind her, and they rode. Away from the kingdom, away from the guards, riding until they were far from anyone who would keep them apart.

They made camp under the stars, and there he took her, loving her, touching her, kissing every inch of her. They would find somewhere they could be together, marry, have a family. They had no need of kings and balls and castles. They only needed each other.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

They were found. For nearly a year they had lived in peace, undetected, near The Goblin Kingdom. No one went inside, there had been no king for as long as Jareth could remember. It was cursed.

Sarah was with child. She could feel the movements within. But they were not yet married. If anyone knew...

The men came in the night, tearing them from their small bed in the old cottage. Jareth's father was livid, and had his son bound to a tree.

Sarah ran. She got away and ran. The Labyrinth doors opened and she made it inside were she tripped and fell over an old tree branch. She wept and crawled down the path, and was overtaken by the guards.

In his rage, Jareth ripped through the bindings. His father stood in his way, but Jareth was younger, stronger. He got past the older man and ran to the opening where Sarah had gone.

He didn't care that he should not be there. He charged in through the great doors of the maze through the guards, and managed to dispense with most of them.

A unnameable magic began to fill him as his father came up behind him. He had no idea the very land was claiming him as its own. He would never be king of his father's lands.

She was bloody and broken on the ground, but her chest rose and fell and her eyes were open. He dropped to his knees beside her.

He cradled her as she looked up, her life fading away. "Sarah...please. Don't leave me."

"I am sorry my love, I have no choice." She said. Smiling sadly. "Please, don't forget me."

The last words she could hear were his. "I love you, I love you, Sarah...please.."

His father, the guards...they never left the maze alive.

He threw their bodies in the muck, but he carried her and buried her in a small grove, that eventually became a great forest. Where his father and his minions were thrown became a stinking bog.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

She was old, and tired. The cancer had practically eaten her alive. She lay in her deathbed.

There was a noise and she opened her eyes. She was still holding the red book she had found on her last outing to the park.

In the corner of her hospital room, was a man. "Who...who are you? Are you an angel from God?"

He shook his head sadly. "No love, I'm not. Just rest. Your family will be here soon. Then you may go. Goodbyes are so important. Don't leave without saying them."

"I won't." She answered. "Will I see you again?"

He smiled. "I hope so."

"Alright, well, goodbye then." She closed her eyes.

"Goodbye, Sarah." She heard his voice before she fell back to sleep.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

There was a great clap of thunder as the doors blew in.

"You're him. You're the Goblin King."

"I'd like my brother back if it's all the same."

"What's said is said."

"It's not that I don't appreciate what you are trying to do for me but...

"Sarah..don't defy me.."

"He's there, in my castle."

"Such a pity..."

"Come on feet." She said as she skipped down the hill.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

He stalked her, she pressed her back against the slimy bricks. "So, tell me Sarah, How are you enjoying my Labyrinth?"

She steeled herself against his intense stare. "It's a piece of cake." The way he said her name made her feel things she wasn't ready to explore.

There was a smirk, a knowing flare of fire in his eyes. A odd spark of pride.

"Perhaps you'll enjoy this little slice."

"Hoggle, run!"

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

She found him in the crowd of dancers, and watched as he approached her. He was delicate as he took her hands in his, and guided her into the dance.

She had a vague memory of him doing so before. Looking at her the same way, singing to her, telling her she was beautiful. For that minute, she let instinct take over.

She only knew him, and lost herself in his eyes.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

He emerged from the shadows of the broken room. For a moment, she wanted to hold him. His eyes were so sad. So tired.

"I have reordered time, turned the world upside down, and I've done it all for you!" He rasped. "I'm tired of living up to your expectations."

"You have no power over me!" She declared.

And the world fell down...

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sarah jerked awake. Her eyes felt gritty as she opened them, blinking slowly.

At first her vision was blurry. She could see several versions of the man whose lap her head was on. A boy, a teenager, a young man, a prince, a king, a villain, and a stranger. Her vision swam and she felt dizzy.

She closed her eyes again and breathed deeply.

I'm alive. I'm alive and I'm here and I'm not dead.

What a strange thought. Of course I'm not dead. If I was dead, I couldn't open my eyes.

Let's try this again.

She pushed her eyelids back up, and stared at his face until all the versions of him coalesced.

"How do you feel?" He asked.

"I don't know." She said as she sat up. She moved away from him.

She didn't know what to think. What to feel. The emotions swirling around inside, all the love, pain, loss and fear looking for a place to settle so she could process everything. The memories were jumbled together, faces of so many people from so many lives.

"Toby." One thing dawned on her. The old man in the park had been Toby.

"Your, I mean, her brother." Jareth said.

She shook her head. "No. He will always be my brother. I never had another. An only child now, and even before. If these memories are anything to go by. He's dead now, isn't he?"

"Yes." Jareth would not lie to her. "A long time. He died not long after you saw him in that park. He had a good life, Sarah. Even those last years after you died in his lifetime were good. Don't feel sorry for him. He is with those who are in the Summerlands. His spirit is safe, and content."

"I'm glad." Sarah answered. " Soooo...what happens now?"

"What do you want to happen?" Jareth was hesitant to know.

She shrugged. "I guess we get to know each other again. I mean, I might have the same spirit, but I'm not the same person, you know. You may decide you hate me."

He chuckled. "Oh I doubt that, but it does seem with every lifetime you have become more obstinate. You were always defiant. I will never forget the day you dunked me in the pig's wallow. There I was, covered in mud and shit, and all I could think was how beautiful you had suddenly become. Your green eyes flashing with anger, your skin flushed."

That brief memory that had passed through her mind during the moments Jareth had given her back her memories, replayed itself. She giggled. "You deserved it."

"That I did, love...that I did." They continued to laugh together but Sarah's face turned serious. "Why, how did you become Goblin King?"

"I killed my father when you died. I spilled family blood within the walls of the Labyrinth. I was cursed, but I was also saved. When The Goblin Kingdom claimed me as it's king, the authorities of my home kingdom had no claim to my life. They would have executed me otherwise. My sister's son became king when he came of age. To say he hates me is an understatement, but my kingship keeps me safe. no one dares cross The Labyrinth's will."

" Oh." She stood up, a bit shaky.

He rose and held her arm so she could steady herself. When she felt she could walk, she did." I need some tea."

"Peppermint?"

"How did you know?

He smiled at little." It was always your favorite. We grew it fresh. When we lived in our cottage, and you became with child, I would bring you some every morning."

His expression changed to one of distant sadness.

" I'm sorry." She reached out and grabbed his hand. Surprised that she too felt sad. She had an urge to run her other hand protectively over a nonexistent bump on her abdomen.

"You have nothing to be sorry for. I'll have some with you."

They went to her small kitchen and Sarah busied herself making tea and fetching a small tin of cookies.

So they sat, eating cookies and sipping tea, each nervous, avoiding each others' eyes.

" So what happens now? " Sarah asked suddenly. " Are you going to take me away? "

" Only when and if you wish it, Sarah. I would never take you against your will. I would just like you to give yourself a chance to know me again. I...I've...missed you. I'm tired of being alone. Can you give me a chance? Give *us* a chance? "

" I can. I think I've been waiting for you. I've always felt...I can't explain it. Some part of me always knew you were there. Have you been...?"

"Yes, since The Labyrinth alerted me to your presence. You were 18. It finally got the time line right. However, you were in mourning and determined to make your way. I thought it best to let you do that, and here we are. The Labyrinth agreed if it was meant to be, it would be. You found me."

"The shop..." Realization came to her.

"The Labyrinth's doing. It created it to test the waters. To see if you would find it. You did. You found me with your own instincts. I was never allowed to interfere."

Sarah got up and left the room. Jareth just sat and waited. Minutes later she came back with a small satchel and a ragged teddy bear.

" I'm ready now. I just had to get a few things. My mother's jewelry box, and the teddy bear my father bought me when I was born. It's so funny. He bought it in a thrift shop they were so poor, yet it's lasted all these years."

Jareth took the bear from her hand and stared at it a moment, then handed it back to her. "Lancelot. It was...yours. A long time ago."

"Oh there must be a story behind that. Will you tell me when we get home?"

He stood. "Home?" he whispered with more hope than he had ever felt since that night they ran away.

She nodded. "Take me home. I want to go home. I'm ready. It's been far too long."

So he took her home, and they never looked back.

The little red book disappeared, as it was no longer needed.

Fin.
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If you're lost you can look and you will find me

Time after time

If you fall I will catch you, I will be waiting

Time after time

Lyrics Written

by

Robert Hyman

Cyndi Lauper



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