This is a little thing that I haven't really been able to get out of my head. I hope it comes across well. I was inspired by James Arthur's Say You Won't Let Go. I'm not sure how many chapters this will be, but I hope you all like it.
Thank you for reading :)
The first time she calls him, the Goblin King found himself in the living room of a small apartment. He gazes around as he gains his bearings. Everything is immaculate and well loved. From a worn out blanket on the couch, to the music box on the book shelf he knew held an uncanny resemblance to his Champion.
The insolent girl in question is no where that he could see, and he huffs and raises his hand to return Underground when he hears a faint groan from down the hallway. His confusion and annoyance temporarily forgotten, Jareth makes his way to the only door illuminated on the other side. He cocks his head and listens closely. Another groan and the unmistakable sound of retching and he's knocking even as his nose wrinkles in distaste.
When she refuses to answer, he grumbles to himself and opens the door. Sarah is hunched over the toilet, her face resting on her arm. Jareth tsks and kneels to her level. He places a gloved hand over hers, and she looks at him like he is the best thing she has ever seen. Her eyes are swollen with tears and the smile that she gives him is weak. Before he can begin to question her on anything, Sarah is rolling her head forward into the bowl.
He is quick to grab her hair gently and hold it up and away as she vomits.
He sits like that for a while until her sickness subsides and she is able to sit against the tub without his help. She draws her knees to her chest and he mirrors her, back to the wall. They watch each other for some time, her stare is calculating and his is a tense thing filled with questions and thinly veiled concern.
Finally, with a voice that is quiet and curiously flat, Sarah tells him about her life after her Run. As she speaks, he takes in her appearance. She is much older, now that he can really look at her. His eyes catalog the changes as she talks about college and odd jobs and her shitty apartment. She talks about searching for a purpose and feeling it was always out of reach.
When she stops and takes a deep breath, only to have it hitch into a sob, Jareth reaches across the space and holds her hand in his. She retches again and her smile is apologetic when she leans back after the nausea runs its course. Sarah gives his hand a weak squeeze and when she is calm enough, she explains why she called to him. Her family is gone. He keeps his face blank when he asks about the boy. She sobs and shakes her head. The car hit a patch of black ice on their way home from the monthly movie. The police say it was instant and they didn't suffer.
Sarah had gotten too drunk trying to numb the pain and wished not to be alone in her grief. Jareth understands loneliness, and does not begrudge her the call.
He won't leave her to grapple with the loss.
The next round of nausea comes as only dry heaving, and while Sarah is grateful, it takes the last bit of strength she has. She slumps against the tub, and with fresh tears on her cheeks, she pleads for him to stay.
Jareth is reluctant to explain that his time is limited, but he will as long as he is able to. When he stands and arches an eyebrow at her in question, Sarah nods. He lifts her and is surprised at how well she fits against him. Even if she weighs practically nothing. He shakes his head, and carries her into her bedroom. Her fingers are clutched in the collar of his cape, like she is terrified he will disappear.
Or holding him like a life line.
With a snap of his fingers and the comforter is pulled back. Another and she is comfortable in pajamas and tucked in to bed.
Sarah's eyes are heavy as she watches him, but clear in their intent.
The Goblin King will have time later to ponder why he pulls a chair into existence. Plenty of time to dissect the emotions that are warring in him. That are flitting across her face. All the time in the universe, he decides, to recreate the smile that stays on her face, even as she gives into exhaustion.
He watches her for a long time after she falls asleep. Studies the hollow of her cheekbones and that bags that are so deeply etched under her eyes. He thinks her beautiful in this moment. Jareth hardly encounters sorrow such as this.
Loss was a foreign concept. The Fae were hard to kill, and his ilk even more so. In this he is reminded how fleeting her life is. "Gone in one faery sigh" he had heard before. Had cared even less so. Until Sarah.
He would blink and she would be nothing, and the world would turn.
Jareth would be lying to himself if he said it didn't bother him.
He brushes a stray lock of hair from her face and weaves a spell for pleasant dreams before he stands. Before he can think twice about it, he presses a soft kiss to her forehead and promises that she will see this through and be stronger for it.
Sarah Williams had stolen his heart, without ever trying.
And he loves her now, more than he is ever willing to admit.
Jareth feels the pull back to the Labyrinth and he sighs.
With another glimpse at the girl who defied it all, he was gone.