Feedback: Yes, thank you. Melpomenethalia@aol.com
Spoilers: I suppose for Labyrinth and perhaps seasons five and six of Buffy in vague way.
Distribution: Fanfiction.net and the Bunny Warren. If you’re interested, please let me know.
Summary: Drusilla and Spike take a trip abroad to a most unusual place where Drusilla sees the outcome of not one romance, but two.
Author’s Note: The main image of this one struck me a while ago, very much like a painting. Odd pairing of fandoms, I know, but what the hey.
Disclaimer: All characters are owned by Mutant Enemy (Joss Whedon), a wonderfully creative company whose characters I have borrowed for a completely profit-free flight of fancy. Kindly do not sue me, please, as I am terrified of you. Thank you.
Dedication: This one must be for Bunny.
“She’s coming, you know,” said a sad voice that shattered the perfect, velvety black silence of the room.
Abruptly raising his head, the man who sat in the chair at the other end of the long chamber blinked at the woman who was making her way towards him over the highly polished obsidian floor of his private chambers. Her footsteps were completely silent despite the ceiling’s vast echoing height and the general emptiness of the place that could make even the smallest sound obvious to his ears. He watched her form seem to float in the darkness, the crimson silk of her gown and the white of her skin not reflecting in the mirror-smooth stone.
“Indeed,” he said softly, a sigh lingering in his words as he stood to receive her. “Are you quite comfortable? I didn’t expect you to still be up. It’s nearly dawn.”
“Oh, the rooms are very beautiful, but the pixies woke me,” she said with a smile.
“Pixies dared enter your bedchamber? I gave them explicit warnings to give the two of you perfect privacy; they’ll be flogged on the morrow. You have my apologies,” he said with a courteous bow as he kissed her hand.
She giggled, a strangely disjointed sound. “No, not those ones. I mean the ones flittering around inside your head. They were singing her name so loudly that they woke me. They’re all pretty and full of sword tips and pins, dancing in a ring around your heart and poke-poke-poking.”
“Were they? Well, then I apologize all the more for breaking your rest myself,” he said with an imperious grin but without a trace of disbelief. “I shall not, however, order myself flogged in penance, dearest Drusilla.”
“You’re no fun anymore,” she pouted, but still took the arm he offered her.
“Tell me, is Spike awake as well?” he asked, a look of very slight concern on his face. Of course, the vampire’s powers paled in comparison to his own, but he didn’t particularly fancy another conflict at the moment, and Spike was notoriously jealous.
“No. He’s long away in happy dreams, lovely ones of China and fire and all sorts of naughty things,” she said, licking her teeth. “Will you dance with me for a bit?”
In truth, he was more than a little tired of dancing for one night. That was what had landed him here in the first place, having grown strangely saddened at the prospect of his latest human toy rejecting the dream world he had offered her. Still, it wouldn’t do to be discourteous to his guest, and perhaps it would help to clear his already whirling mind.
“I should be delighted,” he responded gallantly and, although it was silent in the room, he wrapped his arm around her waist and held one of her hands in his as he led her in a slow, fluid waltz around the floor.
“I know you weren’t here, you know,” she said mysteriously, but her eyes weren’t mocking him.
“Whatever do you mean?” he asked innocently, the tails of his coat fanning out behind him.
“Shh. No games, my pretty one,” she hissed. “I know that was no ghosty or shimmery figment with her in that dream. You went yourself. To be with her. And she broke it all to pieces.”
The mismatched pair of eyes looked down at her with an expression of mild surprise. Of course, she had the Sight, so it was only to be expected. When he had first learned that one of his cousins had married with a mortal two centuries ago, he had been rather appalled. The Fay had made dire predictions of children with two heads or horns, and Jareth himself had been utterly at a loss to understand why his sparkling kinswoman had chosen a man doomed to age and die to be her mate. However, mate with him she did, a thing unheard of, and their daughter was quite ordinary, almost shockingly so. It hadn’t been until that daughter married and had children of her own and those children in turn had children that something unusual had happened, and the result had been Drusilla. Fay ran very strong in her bloodlines as a mortal, and it had been what had gifted her with the Sight. As a vampire, she had amused Jareth, and he had formed a strange friendship with her and her paramour Spike almost a century past.
When they had turned up a few days ago, he had promised them jolly sport as only the Underground could offer them. As sunlight and moonrise were entirely different here than in the world above, they could walk in the light to their unbeating hearts’ content, which was perhaps why they did visit him at least once every twenty years or so. Usually, the couple spent an inordinate amount of time in the gardens, creating their own private diversions in the novelty of daylight and often leaving with remarkably good tans over every square inch of their bodies. This time, though, they had the pleasure of seeing someone run the labyrinth. It had amused Jareth to no end to see the two of them so utterly wrapped up in the event. Spike had even seen fit to put a hand into the proceedings quite literally. As Sarah had fallen down the pit of hands, Spike’s had been one of the hands that caught her.
It was also this incident that had brought an unpleasant discomfort to the Goblin King’s mind. With Drusilla absent for the moment to talk to the fairies at the outer gate, Spike had taken the opportunity, male that he was, to grab the girl’s denim-clad thigh. What had happened startled the king entirely. The Fay had sent a sudden, swift bolt of pain to the vampire’s hand, causing him to let go. It hadn’t been premeditated. It was pure instinct on his part. For some reason, he didn’t want anyone, even Spike, to lay an inappropriate finger on Sarah. The level of protectiveness that had swamped him was highly disconcerting, though Spike had smiled at him and winked knowingly.
“All right, then. No games, little one,” Jareth agreed as he continued his pace, his steps having briefly faltered. “It was I in the crystal. The illusion was the ‘me’ that was here at the time.”
She nodded in satisfaction at his confession. “And if she had chosen to remain there?”
“But she did not,” he said with a studied smile as he continued to thread a maze of nonexistent dancers.
“No,” his companion agreed, “but if she had?”
“Then I suppose I would have remained with her there,” he answered.
“That was your wish, was it not, Jareth my dove?” she said in his ear, as though the walls were listening.
He refused to answer, leading their steps onto the terrace so Drusilla could be treated to the sight of dawn breaking over the paths of the labyrinth, hoping it might distract her. For a moment, he thought his plan had worked as she cooed happily at the spreading sunrise and clapped her hands for joy, forgetting the dance for a moment.
“Yes, quite nice, I must say,” he commented. “Pity you two aren’t able to enjoy it in your world.”
“She’s won,” she said, turning her head over her shoulder to look at him.
“I still have her brother,” he said almost peevishly. “There’s doubt about that outcome yet.”
“No,” she said, turning away from the sunset and looking at him fully in the face. “She’s won the game.” Her hand reached out to his chest and stroked the medallion there for a moment before moving it aside to rest her palm on his skin. “Broke it all to pieces,” she repeated with a strangely innocent smile.
Jareth pulled back as though burned. “I came here to be rid of my ever-present, snickering, foolish goblins, Drusilla, not to be accused of such a ridiculous, ludicrous, utterly far-fetched…”
“Don’t be angry,” Drusilla soothed him as she played with the jeweled hem of his coat. “It rarely goes well for the likes of us when we try to kill mortals before we court them.”
“I never tried to kill her,” Jareth quickly corrected her. “I might have locked her up in an oubliette for a few weeks, but I would have freed her eventually.”
“Silly Jareth,” she said. “She doesn’t know that. She feels her heart is betraying her, drawing her to a creature of evil who has done nothing but harm her as far as she can tell. She had one dance with you, and though part of her still wishes she was in your arms, she’ll never let herself stay there because of what she thinks you are.”
The Goblin King cocked his head to the side and regarded her, his eyes blazing. “You’re wrong, Drusilla. She’ll love me even yet. You’ll see.”
He strode through the room and opened the great double doors wide, slamming them against the walls in his tirade of power. What had started as a way to rid himself of his obsession had only made him all the more determined to have her. Changing his clothing for the umpteenth time that day, a sure sign of his frustration, he calmed himself before he stepped nonchalantly into his goblin-strewn throne room and casually took the baby from his place on the floor, dandling him elegantly on his lap, and waited for the inevitable call from his watchman that Sarah had broached the city walls. There would be a final scene between them, of that he was certain. A shadow crept into his eyes, though, as he realized the outcome would probably be just as his kinswoman hjad described, but he intended to see it through to the end.
Drusilla, for her part, still stood on the balcony for a while, drinking in the colors of the dawn over the strange landscape. When she turned slowly back to the black room, her expression was troubled. She stood quietly in the middle of the chamber, swaying slightly as the full import of her words was revealed to her.
“And just as yours will be, so will his,” she whispered to the ghosts who always surrounded her. Her eyes looked sadly at the colors dancing outside, then she left the room to lie beside her Spike while she still could.