This... was meant to be a one-shot. Now it's a two-shot. LovelyAmberLight (with possibly the best profile pic) suggested something about the old man at the bar, and I found myself agreeing and thinking about it. This is what I came up with! Hope you guys like it.
As the dark-haired girl left through the door and into the night, the old man shivered on his stool at the bar. No one noticed his person shrinking nearly a foot, and no one batted an eye when he reached up and quite literally pulled his own face off. He was left with his big nose and wrinkly face, and he snorted with disdain once he discovered faint glitter outlining the mask he had taken off.
"Damn you, Jareth," he muttered and crumbled it into a ball. The dwarf grabbed his fresh drink of ale and took a long gulp, then popped every joint he possibly could before jumping down on to the floor. It was time to head back to the Underground; he had done what his king had asked of him. He could only hope Sarah received him well. "And damn me, too."
"You must," he implored, moving quickly to get in front of the dwarf and kneeling down to his height.
"I already told you that I'm not tricking her again!" Hoggle frowned, adding more lines to his wrinkles. His eyes darted to the garden just next to his house. All he wanted to do today was tend to it and get rid of the fairies that had been stealing from it. "She'd been deceived enough all those years ago. You should leave her well enough alone."
"But that was years ago. Come now, Higgins, she wouldn't be the same person she was back then."
"Hoggle," he corrected automatically, shooting darts at his king. Truth be told, it was kind of nice to have the king beg him to do something rather than threaten to bog him. "And I won't do it."
Jareth stood up with a huff and crossed his arms. "Need I bring back the bog threat?"
Ah, there it was.
"No, and if you do it anyways, I'll stink to high heavens whenever I meet Sarah. Don't think she'll be so eager to talk to me."
The corners of Jareth's mouth turned down. "You spent too much time with Sarah after she left, you know that? I should never have let you keep in touch."
"You're just sour because she never calls on you," Hoggle retorted. "And you don't want to do anything that would make her unhappy. What a situation you've placed yourself into."
"You are pushing it."
The tension in the air between them nearly snapped until Jareth sighed and put his hand through his hair.
"All I want you to do is convince Sarah to come find me. She'll listen to you. I have word from a goblin that she'll be making a trip near the entrance to the Underground. It's been years since we've met. Hoggle, I need to see her." Hearing his name correctly made Hoggle look back at the king with raised bushy eyebrows. His mismatched eyes were wide and pleading, a look so different from his usual scowl. "What will it take to convince you?"
Hoggle kicked the ground with a soft mutter under his breath. "No giving her peaches."
"No peaches," Jareth agreed hurriedly, clapping his hands together. "Anything else?"
"No hurting her, no tricking her. Be honest with her."
"Yes, yes, honesty and all that." Jareth was getting a little impatient, nearly bouncing on the balls of his feet. Curse any goblins that might see him.
"And," Hoggle paused, wanting to draw it out as long as possible before Jareth resorted to kicking him. The king nearly growled before Hoggle added, "I want a better fairy repellant. They keep stealing from my gardens no matter what I do."
"Consider it done," Jareth replied, throwing a glass orb at the garden behind him without even looking. It became covered in glitter, but something in it made a fairy immediately turn away. Satisfied, Hoggle nodded.
"And no more goblins spying on her!" A groan and an eye roll from the goblin king—Hoggle was unusually bossy. "Gods above, that's a bit creepy, Jareth. Now, what do I need to do?"
"You'll put this on…"
"What do you mean, that was Hoggle?" Sarah stared agape at the goblin king. They had just arrived at the Underground, and Jareth set her down on her feet. "Why couldn't he just tell me it was him?"
"Because you'd come here for him instead of me," Jareth sniffed. If Sarah looked closer, she'd see him pouting at the mere thought.
"That's not true," she stammered and handled her scarf clumsily. "I would have still come here for you…" Her face was red from both embarrassment and the fact that it was actually warm in the Underground. Suddenly, her scarf was too much. As though noticing her discomfort, Jareth drew the scarf away from her and folded it up in his arms. For all the bravado she had, Sarah immediately felt shy like she didn't know how to act in front of him.
"You would have come here for him," Jareth insisted and took her gently by the arm to start them walking. The castle beyond the Goblin City was just ahead, but he wanted her to take in the scenery of the Labyrinth as it had grown since her last visit. It was bigger now and greener. "I know all about your near-nightly visits with him and that blasted mirror. Don't think I've forgotten about the giant creature and the dog, either."
Sarah scanned his expression from the side for a split second before gasping. "You're jealous!"
"I am not!"
There was that royal pout.
Sarah stopped his walking to take off her heavy jacket. When she kept wordlessly glancing at him while undressing, Jareth bristled. "I am not jealous, Sarah. Kings do not become jealous."
"This one does," she said dryly, casually folding the jacket and holding it. "So much that he sends one of my friends to trick me into coming here. How did Hoggle even agree to that?"
"He didn't trick you." Jareth gestured with his hands fluttering in front of him. "It was simply… Persuasion."
"You got jealous." Sarah leaned in aggressively towards him. "Admit it!"
"Blast it all, Sarah," Jareth puffed his cheeks and tightened his hands on the scarf. "Yes; I was jealous. All those years, and you talk to them. You talk to them and never call on me. How was I supposed to feel?"
"I thought you didn't want to talk to me. I made a mess out of your kingdom, after all." She shrugged helplessly. "I was scared."
"Scared?" He deflated.
"Yeah. Big, bad villain of my adventure. Remember? 'You cowered before me; I was frightening'. I beat you in the end, but I was terrified the entire time. Truth be told, I'm still a little terrified."
"Why? Well. I suppose I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. You brought me back to the Labyrinth, but what's the goal? Romance me or drop me into an oubliette? You hoped for acceptance from me, but what am I doing here?"
Jareth dropped the scarf and fell to his knees in front of her, causing her to step back in surprise. He caught her by the waist.
"I would never drop you into another oubliette, Sarah, mark my words. I brought you here to be with me. I want to get to know you. You had all those years to grow close to your friends through the mirror, but we'll have the rest of forever if you'll stay with me."
Her eyes softened, and Sarah placed her hands on his shoulders. "I don't know you as well as the others, but I'm willing to give it a try. It's a lot to ask." She trailed off, nearly caught off-guard with the way he seemed to be holding his breath.
"Could I ask for one teeny, tiny favor?"
He stood up abruptly. "Anytime, dear one. Just ask."
"No more peaches, okay?"
He dropped his head onto her shoulder with a defeated sigh as she bubbled with giggles.
"No more peaches."