Hello, everyone! So this is a story that's been cooking in my head for a while. I'm sure there are plenty of other stories like this one out there (maybe anyway) but this is my take on it. It's inspired by Cinderella, only it's set in modern times, not the 16th century. I can't write Sarah's dialogue as too fancy like how those days were, it's just too cheesy to me. No dark Jareth, sorry KBates (haha). Also... this is kind of an alternate universe Labyrinth fanfiction story so to speak. The Labyrinth won't play a vital role in this story at all, but Sarah is still Sarah and Jareth is still Jareth. Kind of. You'll see. haha. I have no idea how long I intend to make this story, so we'll see as it moves forwards. Any suggestions or comments you want to provide me go for it :) I hope you enjoy this one!

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Labyrinth, nor am I making any profit off of these stories. They are merely for entertainment, and any characters mentioned are owned by Jim Henson, et. al.

"My life started out like any one else's- filled with love, laughter, and happiness. I had the most amazing parents in the world, both of whom loved me unconditionally and I was the epicenter of their world. My father was a respected attorney and owned a large portion of land in the suburbs of New York, while my mother was an acclaimed actress for Broadway. She and my father couldn't have been more in love, and life couldn't have been more perfect.

Everything changed though with my mother's death. I was just nine years old when she passed away from pneumonia, and my broken hearted father didn't know what to do. I was devastated of course, and he tried his best, I knew that. But he was left to raise a daughter on his own, and somewhere along the way he got a little lost, leaving me to fend for myself on some days; I had to learn to cook, clean, and get to school on my own when the occasion called for it. His love for me never went unnoticed though, and I tried not to be so hard on him, despite my worries, concerns, and occasionally, bitterness.

But then something wonderful happened; he met a woman three years later at a social event. Irene seemed like the perfect step-mother: she had two lovely daughters of her own, Isabella and Sophia, both who were my age. Irene was caring, fun, and seemingly had so much love to offer both my father and I. Even though Isabella and Sophia were often in their own little world, I was just happy that my father had found love again and I not only could I have a mother once more, but I would get two sisters out of it too.

My hopes for a perfect family were amplified after my father married Irene shortly after meeting her, possibly from wanting me to have a mother figure in my life again, and a year later they conceived a child. My brother Tobias, most commonly referred to as Toby, was the apple of their eyes after his birth, and I couldn't have been happier with the addition to our blended family. But everything was not as it seemed.

I was fourteen when Isabella and Sophia went off to stay with their father for a year to study abroad in Europe. My father tried persuading Irene and the girls to include me, but I got the sad and strange feeling that I didn't totally fit in with them, nor was I accepted among them. This was obvious once we reached the age of adolescence, and I began noticing how my step-sisters would make snide comments about my body changing faster than theirs, and how I looked like a scarlet at only fourteen years old. Irene didn't do much to stop them either. In fact, it was almost as if she was egging them on and I was baffled at her sudden change towards me. What had I done wrong?

After Irene and the girls reluctantly agreed to have me come on the trip with them, I politely declined and told them I wanted to just stay home and focus on my studies in the states. That earned me some snickering from my spoiled and bratty step-sisters, and from Irene who just couldn't fathom why a young girl didn't want to travel. She chastised me all the time for not showing interest in boys as well, but I was simply not interested in them or the likes of The Backstreet Boys, Ricky Martin, and NSYNC like most girls in the 90's were. Rather, I spent my time obsessing over David Bowie, Depeche Mode, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin albums. Music that actually meant something.

I poured myself into reading and writing as well, from poetry to short stories. It was cathartic and a way to express myself, since I was unable to within the family that I had grown to strongly dislike, except for my dad. My father was constantly preoccupied with work though, and making sure Irene was happy since the woman had expensive taste, and Irene, well- she only cared about Toby and the well-being of her daughters who were off at boarding school. Needless to say, I treated poor Toby with disdain, for he was a constant reminder of the life I didn't wish for. It also didn't help that Irene constantly made me watch him while she was off gallivanting for her social affairs.

My father was either completely oblivious to how Irene treated me with contempt, or he ignored it, for he didn't wish to lose what he had supposedly gained. I kept my mouth shut and tried not to let Irene's snarky comments and behavior get to me. Instead, I took it with a grain of salt and tried focusing on my relationship with my dad. He and I were still really close, and I could tell Irene was doing anything to squash that relationship. I guess she kind of succeeded because when I was fifteen my world came crashing down again.

He died in a car accident, and I was completely lost and grief-stricken. My step sisters remained in Europe for the funeral, and much to mine and Irene's dismay, she was stuck with me for several more months until they returned. She wasted no time in moving us to the city with my father's money, and opened up her own cleaning business, evening forcing me to be an employee so I could pay for my own college fund someday. Apparently, there wasn't enough money from my father's fortune to support me since she had three other children to take care of.

Her behavior towards me only got worse as I got older. I'm twenty one now and have been demeaned by the likes of her, my step-sisters, and the countless people they surround themselves with. Somehow, Toby and I have managed a close relationship, despite my negative feelings for him when I was a teenager. He's the only living thing left that reminds me of my father, and for him, I changed my attitude towards Toby. I go to NYU on a partial scholarship, I'll be graduating in a few months, and yes, I still live with Irene and the twat-twins."

I took a deep breath as I finished explaining all of this to the school counselor, and closed my eyes briefly, trying to settle in the chaise I had been laying down on for the last twenty minutes. As my eyes shut, all I could picture was my mom and dad when I was just a little girl and how we'd lay outside on the grass, trying to come up with animals that the clouds resembled. I couldn't help but smile to myself, and I tried not to cry from the wounds splitting open due to the lengthy description of my life for the past twelve years.

There was only one other person who knew my backstory in great detail, and it was my best friend, Anthony. He had been with me every step of the way since I moved to the city, and since he was unable to convince me to move out of Psycho House, he persuaded me to talk to an unbiased third party to see what their perspective was on everything. I gulped, choking back tears, and exhaled, sitting up.

"So, what do you think?" I asked the counselor, trying my best to look cool and reserved.

Doctor Rosa looked at me intently, her fingers rubbing along her upper lip. I stared back, taking in her appearance. She was a rather attractive woman for being at least fifty years old. She was in terrific shape, and the black, knee length dress she wore accentuated her curves. Her brown hair was cut in a bob, and she had killer accessories.

"First of all, I'm very sorry to hear about the passing of both of your parents, Sarah," she told me. "That is hard on any young child growing up, and I'm honestly pleased to hear you haven't lashed out like some kids would after losing their parents. I would like to know though…Has Irene ever physically abused you?"

I shook my head, pursing my lips and looked to the floor. "No. No, she never abused me physically. But she definitely always talks down to me, and well. Demeans me all the time. But she's never hit me."

The doctor tapped her pen on the notebook, studying me. "I see. I know you said she'd belittle you by egging your step-sisters on when they made fun of you, but could you give me some examples of things she's said to you, personally?"

I looked up to the ceiling, trying to think of which story would be best suited for this. There were too many times when Irene would make subtle yet snide comments, but I thought of one that had hurt me deeply when she said it.

"There was one time in high school, right before Senior Prom where she told me no one had asked or wanted me because I wasn't very pretty or very bright, and that her daughters were the epitome of perfection and beauty. If you saw them, you might agree. They are pretty, so naturally they were put in modeling years ago, though they haven't been too successful. Anyway, it's just things like that. She'd always compare Isabella and Sophia to me, she's never shown me love, or even respect. I just don't understand why she hates me so much."

Doctor Rosa closed her notebook, and gave me a serious expression. "Sarah- I hope you know and see your own worth. Not only are you extremely beautiful, but you're very bright, despite what your step-mother says. I've seen your school record, and you've managed to take on a full load, focus on two degrees, and maintain a near 4.0 GPA. Additionally, you're heavily involved in the writing club and you tutor others."

"I also work at a coffee shop," I added. "Oh, and at the cleaning business still."

"My point is- you're an exceptional and strong, young woman. Have you taken into consideration that your step mother is…jealous of you?"

"Jealous?" I questioned. "How do you mean?"

"Well, it isn't uncommon for mothers of any kind to feel threatened by their daughters. Unfortunately I've seen it many times, and it all stems from their own insecurities. Perhaps your step-mother felt like second fiddle."

"Second fiddle?" I repeated.

"Yes, she wanted to be number one in your father's life, but his love for you usurped that, and perhaps that's why she and your father had Toby so soon; to take the attention away from you. And you say your step sisters are pretty? Again- Irene is probably threatened of your own looks and appeal, so she tries to keep you down in the dumps that way you don't surpass your sisters'."

I scrunched my eyebrows and bit my lip; I had never thought of it that way before. I guess it made sense, but that would be tooting my own horn, and I didn't deserve to give myself that much credit.

"I appreciate your opinion," I told Doctor Rosa, "But that can't be true. I'm nothing special. I don't wear fancy clothes, I don't have the hot and popular boyfriend, I'm lucky enough to call one person my best friend, and I haven't had the courage to move out of the household I despise so much."

Doctor Rosa gave me a comforting smile before she spoke again. "May I ask you another question?"

I sighed, feeling overwhelmed with this 'session.' I was going to kill Anthony. "Yeah, sure."

"Why do you live at home still, in an environment that isn't healthy for you? Is it financial related?"

I nodded my head slowly, and raised my eyebrows. "Yep. It's practically impossible to afford living on your own in a decent area in New York City on minimum wage, even with two part time jobs. And it isn't like I can afford to just take off and go to another state. I have in state tuition, and that alone is expensive."

Sighing, I continued. "Plus, most of the money I earn goes towards my tuition, since I only have a partial scholarship. The money that's leftover is put away so that when I graduate, I can make do for a few months until I find a full time job at a publishing firm. I'm interning at a pretty popular one right before graduation, but it's non-paid. So you can see my dilemma. As long as I work at Irene's cleaning business, I don't need to pay rent, so I guess that's the least she could do."

The good Doctor looked at me with sympathy, and I wanted to slap it right off her face. I didn't need anyone's pity for my situation. Sure it sucked, but it could be worse. At least, that's what I told myself.

"If there's any advice I can offer you Sarah," she began, "It's to remain strong then. It seems like you have your mind made up about what you plan on doing with your life, but…you're still so young and I hate to see anyone who has so much to offer stuck in this position. Don't let Irene bring you down; don't let her diminish your self-esteem and spirit. I hate to admit this, but it seems like she's done a good job at doing it thus far, which is disappointing. You said you're nothing special and that isn't true. If your parents were alive today I'm sure they would have done everything in their power to ensure you felt treasured and beautiful in all aspects. I'm a mother myself, and let me tell you- you are special, Sarah. Don't let anyone, anyone, step all over you. You're worth more than that."

I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes again at Doctor Rosa's words. I hadn't heard anyone besides Anthony tell me that in a long time. And he was gay, so it isn't like he says it romantically. Nonetheless, I appreciated her kind words, even if she felt compelled to say them, and gave her a grateful smile. I stood up to give her a hug. I didn't care if it was unprofessional or not.

"Thank you. For listening," I said. "And for saying all of that."

"Of course, dear," she replied, patting my back. She pulled away and held onto my shoulders. "You know, Sarah- maybe it would do you good to go out and live a little. You're twenty one; go be twenty one! I probably shouldn't say this, but…you're at the age where you should be making mistakes with boys, and hugging the toilet on Friday nights."

I blushed and laughed at the thought of me getting belligerently drunk and acting like a tart with a bunch of guys. I wasn't exactly a virgin, but that experience was awful and something I tried to forget about.

"Yeah well. I hardly have time to myself these days, so parties and boys aren't really on my agenda," I said disappointingly. "My free time usually consists of me watching Toby and studying."

Doctor Rosa frowned. "Sarah, you're almost to the finish line. Don't be scared to tell Irene no. You know…there is that masquerade bash happening on New Year's Eve. Everyone in the city will be going."

"You mean everyone who is rich and matters," I contradicted.

"So you have heard of it? Why don't you go?" she asked me.

I rolled my eyes at the suggestion. "Of course I've heard about it. It's one of the biggest events of the year. And I don't have any interest in going because I can't picture myself being surrounded by a bunch of former debutantes and hoity toity, stuck up, rich bitches. Those girls only go to try and seduce Jareth Kingsman anyway."

"Well, of course," Doctor Rosa said laughing. "He's New York City's most eligible bachelor. But I'm not saying you should go to act like a fool as those girls do. You should simply go…to go," she said, throwing her hand up in the process. "Think about it."

I mumbled maybe, causing Doctor Rosa to chuckle. We said a few more things to each other and then she stood up with me to hug me again before we said our goodbyes. As I left her office building and walked outside to meet the frigid December air, I saw flyers plastered everywhere about winning tickets to the Masquerade Bash on New Year's Eve. I walked to one of the bulletin boards on campus and took one of the flyers, reading it over.


All you have to do is fill out the questionnaire on the back of this flyer and submit it in the Drop Box in the Student Union by next Friday. Five lucky winners will be picked randomly and will get two free tickets to attend entrepreneur and NYU's biggest donator, Jareth Kingsman's bash!

Ticket holders will be offered a free limo pickup, a three course dinner, and unlimited drinks. This is a 21 and over party, so if you are under the age of 21, you will not be qualified to win, nor attend.

Don't miss out on the best party New York City has to offer and come celebrate and ring in the New Year with Jareth Kingsman!

I scoffed at the flyer and threw it away in the nearest trash bin. How conceited could you be to assume college students wanted to attend your 'chic' party? I knew hardly anything about this Jareth fellow, other than the fact he was in his late-thirties and was practically a billionaire. He was constantly mentioned in news articles, having being on Forbes list multiple times, though I never paid much attention to them so I had no idea what the man looked like. If he was this big deal, then he had to be good looking.

Despite how lame he sounded on so many levels though, it was also because of him that I was able to receive a partial scholarship at NYU; the Kingsman Writing Scholarship had been awarded to me after submitting a story my senior year of high school, so I guess he wasn't totally a douche. I sighed and saw my own breath, stemmed from the coldness outside. I cracked my neck and began my trek to the coffee shop to put in a few hours. Anytime I didn't need to be home was always a good time.

As I walked to work, I thought about everything Doctor Rosa had told me. Not that she gave me much advice, I mean students weren't exactly paying customers. But I appreciated her words more than she could know, and in that moment I realized how much I missed my mom and dad. I tried not to think about either one of them too much, for it was too painful, and I didn't ever want to feel sorry for myself. But I couldn't help but feel the three of us had missed out on so much in life and the could be's and what if's.

I didn't know much about life in general, not having had much experience with practically anything, but I did know one thing: I would keep my head held high and finish out these last few months under Irene's flippant wing so I could graduate with honors and be done with her and her daughters once and for all.

AN: It'll get more exciting from here, I promise :) Also yeah, there is a gay character this story because...why not? I feel like I have to say it because, unfortunately, I've seen some negative reactions from others that some have had gay characters in prior stories. It's 2017 guys...enough said. Stay open minded. Please.

Why doesn't Sarah just move out if she's 21? I know it sounds simple and for some it might be. Let's just say for the sake of this story, and in reality for the most part, it's hard to find a GOOD paying job that doesn't require a degree. Sarah wants a career, not something where she is living paycheck to paycheck. Yeah life sucks at home, but she's willing to put up with it for another few months that way she can save money and not pay thousands of dollars on rent in a city that is beyond expensive. As is said in the story- Sarah is using whatever money she earns on tuition. Has anyone looked up tuition? It's expensive, especially at NYU, even with a scholarship. So yeah, moving out sounds easy, but there's a lot of moving parts to it. Believe me, I've been there as a college student.

Being that this is the first chapter- wills and all that money stuff will be discussed later. Be patient ;)

Thank you Wensicia for bringing the title to my attention by the way haha I did the title on my phone and I guess it didn't auto correct and I didn't even notice.

Also, here is a brief timeline of events that has happened to Sarah thus far:

Sarah was born in June of 1983

Her mother died in 1992- 9 years old

Her father re-married in 1995- 12 years old

Sarah's father and Irene had Toby in 1996- 13 years old

Sarah's father died in 1998- 15 years old

Sarah starts college in August of 2001- 18 years old

Finishing up her last year at NYU in 2004- 21 years old; she will graduate in May 2005.