Thanks again to all the reviewers who kept urging me to get back to this story. To all of you writers who have abandoned stories, I can only say that it doesn't matter if it's been years. Revisit your old stories. Getting them done is immensely satisfying.
Sarah’s room was just as it had always been. The princess bed was neatly made, Lancelot lying quietly on the pillow. The shelves with their toys and music boxes were in order. The carved wooden bookends held puzzles in check.
Xander and Buffy waited by the door with William, whispering quietly. A quick check of the clock showed that it wasn’t yet midnight. The sounds filtering from below told them that the after party was just getting started downstairs, a smattering of applause signaling the arrival of Liam and Victoria.
“Should we go down?” asked Xander.
William shook his head and Buffy quirked an eyebrow. “We need to wait and see what happens.”
A moment later Dawn and Toby walked hand in hand out of the air and through the french doors.
“Sarah?” asked Xander. Toby shook his head.
“We should go down to the party,” said Dawn. “People are waiting.”
In the living room, the guests were clustered around the stars of the show. A ragged cheer greeted Dawn’s entrance, as the caterer had covered her previous absence with extra rounds of champagne. She elegantly bowed before handing the attention over to Liam, who was more than prepared to speak.
“Everything alright?” Emma Thompson had snuck up behind them, followed by Alan Rickman.
Toby nodded, taking Emma’s hand and leading her away. He nodded in the direction of the study, indicating that Dawn and William had something else to deal with.
In the study, Mrs Brodie (Dawn couldn’t think of her as Glenda) was sitting with Sir Harry. They were sipping scotch from squat crystal glasses. “Mrs Brodie?”
She looked up and smiled at Dawn. Then she looked beyond to the man waiting behind her.
“William?” Her face paled. Thirty five years and he hadn’t changed a bit. She was an old woman now and he was still in his prime. She waited for his expression to fall, to see some disappointment.
At this point Sir Harry gracefully left the room. Dawn followed, leaving the couple alone.
+ + + + + + + + + +
The doorbell rang. Alan Rickman was half way through a funny story about Dawn and Toby at RADA, with half the guests crowded around him. The other half were clustered around Liam, who was showing off his juggling skills.
“Settle down,” warned Dawn as she headed to answer the door, “you have eleven more shows to do and I’d hate you to misplace those again,” she indicated the crystal spheres. Liam grinned sheepishly and put them away.
Her attention was still elsewhere as she opened the door. “Kevin!” she greeted her producer. “I’m so glad you could make it!” They kissed in the style of theatre people everywhere and she ushered him inside.
She was about to close the door when another couple approached. “Hello?” Dawn called into the darkness. “Are you here for the party?”
“We are,” replied Jareth, stepping into the light. He was dressed, once again as an English peer, in a pin striped three piece suit with a silver topped cane. Beside him was... a princess?
It was Sarah, in a navy blue, floor length satin dress with an embroidered bolero. Her long hair was entwined with dark ribbons and diamonds gleamed at her ears and throat.
“Dawn,” began Sarah, reaching out her hand. “I believe you’ve met Sir Jaye?” Dawn nodded mutely.
So this was Sarah’s choice.
And so the balance was found, between real life and fantasy, between duty and love, between London and the Labyrinth.