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11 November 2008 @ 07:21 pm
Proximity [Labyrinth; Jareth/Sarah]  
TITLE: Proximity
CHAPTER ONE: Liam from London
FANDOM: Labyrinth
PAIRING: Jareth/Sarah
SPOILERS: Labyrinth in its entirety (ignores the manga sequel)


"Jareth! Hey, that's a pretty good one, Sair. ...Sarah?"

Sarah felt Gretchen looking down at her curiously and she slowly stood, having recovered her cigarette before so much as two seconds had passed. She examined it closely, knowing full well the five-second rule didn't exactly apply in SoHo bars. "Sorry, dropped it."

"How'd you come up with Jareth?" Christine wanted to know.

Sarah shrugged and threw another furtive glance toward the bar, once again locking eyes with the bartender that looked far too familiar. "I just... think maybe I heard the name somewhere and thought it sounded British or something."

She couldn't believe he was here, standing in front of her. She was nearly completely certain that it was him. For years she tried to forget his face, forget the cadence of his voice -- musical and taunting at the same time, and suddenly here he was.

Above ground, he was different. Gone was the overblown hairdo he sported the last time she'd been in his presence -- instead he wore it medium length, lots of fringe falling in his eyes. And whereas once he was a platinum blond, now his locks were a dirty ash blond, nearing light brown. He was thin, though he'd always been thin. He wore a long sleeved shirt and dark jeans and he looked, well... normal. There looked to be just a small triangle of hair, a hint of a goatee, beneath his lower lip.

He had the same high, chiseled cheekbones and angular nose. And when he looked up again and caught gaze with her, he still had those two different eyes -- the left perpetually more dilated than the right. There was no way it wasn't him.

"Oh my God!" Christine and Gretchen grabbed for each other excitedly while Sarah continued to stand behind them. "I think he just checked one of us out. Which one of us was it?"

Sarah rolled her eyes again, not understanding why she spent so much of her time with these two women (girls may have been a more appropriate term) who hadn't quite left the schoolgirl days behind. Still, she responded without missing a beat (and without giving away her lack of enthusiasm), "Totally you, Gretch."

"Really? You think so?"

Gradually they moved further along in the crowd as more people got their drinks and moved away from the bar. "Jesus, this place is packed tonight," Christine complained at one point, fanning herself. "I feel like we're living in that one episode of Sex and the City where it takes forever for them to get into that club."

Sarah looked around the bar as she heard Gretchen retort, "I thought most of the episodes were about that."

It was at this point that Sarah thought it best to tune out her friends, and to only respond with short answers when they asked her a question. She had work to think about. And she had a Goblin King to not think about. But the latter task became increasingly difficult as they moved closer and closer to the bar. As Sarah scribbled down review points for the play on the notepad she'd brought along, she could feel someone watching her. She could feel him watching her.

His eyes, those intense eyes had a huge amount of power over her, despite her protests from twelve years prior. Was it the fact that they were mismatched in a way? And that somehow mesmerized her looking at one eye that was more dilated than the other? Did the dilated pupil emanate some sort of magic that captivated her, like those damned crystals he used to toss about?

Sarah was feeling edgy after twenty minutes of feeling his eyes occasionally on her. She had her back to him at the bar while her girlfriends flirted with him mercilessly. She wanted to listen for any clue, any possible hint that it was him, but he hadn't been giving anything away.

"What's your name?" Gretchen had asked early on.

His response had been a simple, short, "Liam."

Christine had asked him where he was from and he told them he was from London. After a couple martinis, Gretchen and Christine seemed to think 'Liam from London' was a hilarious nickname for him. And for some reason, though Sarah couldn't see him, she could tell when he was smiling just from the sound of his voice -- that damned haunting cadence that couldn't possibly belong to anyone but him.

She was beyond edgy after an hour at the bar, and after an hour of his eyes sporadically studying her. She had the urge several times to spin around and yell at him to stop, but a part of her was somewhat unprepared for meeting his eyes again. Did he recognize her? Would he have even remembered her?

Sarah admonished herself immediately. Of course he'd remember her. Unless, in the Underground, he often proposed to young women that made their way to his castle. Yes, he'd remember her. He had been in love with her, after all. Or was as far as she could tell.

So then the question became if he did remember her, what the hell could they say to one another? She wasn't about to say "I'm sorry for breaking your castle and turning down your proposal when I was fifteen," nor could he exactly start out by apologizing for almost killing her in his Labyrinth or drugging her with a peach.

What could be said?

Finally, something was said. "Liam" was addressing her girl friends. "And who is your friend, ladies? You both have had two martinis each and she has had nothing."

"Oh, sorry. Sarah! What the hell?" Gretchen reached out and whacked her arm.

She glared death at her friend immediately but swiveled her bar stool to face the bar, though she refused to meet Liam's eyes. She felt him ducking his head slightly to capture her gaze and she looked away. Out of the corner of her eye, she watched him straighten up and turn to her friends.

"Oh dear, is she a deaf mute?"

Sarah couldn't help it. She sputtered a laugh at the sheer insanity of it all -- of what he'd said -- of the fact that it was in that voice, his voice -- of the fact that this was even happening to her at all.

Gretchen, laughing right along with her, whacked her again. "Quit being a jackass and say hi to the poor guy. You've been weirding him out all night."

Sarah, smiling just slightly, forced herself to raise her eyes, meeting a mismatched pair. "Hello."

"Good evening."

"So if I've overheard correctly, you're Liam from London?"

The chuckle that rumbled low in his throat reminded her of twelve years ago and her stomach clenched. "That's what they call me, yes. And what are you commonly called?" His eyes were twinkling in a strange way -- almost challenging in nature. She wasn't sure yet if he knew who she was or not, but she wasn't about to back down from his challenge. She never had before, after all.

So she held out her hand and replied smoothly, coolly, "Sarah," while her hand slid into his.

"Sarah." The way he said her name clenched her stomach a little tighter. It wasn't exactly taunting, more contemplative. He said it slowly and drew out the two syllables, as if trying to taste every bit of them. Then, he bent his head, never breaking gaze with her, as he touched his lips feather-lightly to her knuckles.

Sarah sucked in her breath as inaudibly as possible, watching him... hypnotized, almost, as his lips touched down against her skin. Electrical currents ran through her and as soon as those lips lifted away from her knuckle, she jerked her hand away. And "Liam," though confused, made no mention of the shift in her behavior.

Sarah knew then and there that she had no hope of getting any work done for the rest of the night.


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{x-posted to labyrinthlust and labyrinth_}
Jalen Strixjalenstrix on November 12th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
Nice flow of dialogue! I'm quite interested to see where this continues to.
a.: jareth/sarah; as the world falls downregalish on November 17th, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! :)
smashton_usmashton_u on November 22nd, 2008 12:02 pm (UTC)

"Oh dear, is she a deaf mute?"

Love the humor and the slight whiff of almost-creepy wafting through.
a.regalish on December 1st, 2008 02:36 am (UTC)
Thanks much! :)
Natsukeangel_witch on January 5th, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
Ohhh that's good. Did you ever continue it?
Ti'ana Luthien: Floatertianaluthien on February 26th, 2009 11:35 pm (UTC)
Um...wow. I just saw Labyrinth for the first time a couple of days ago (and loved it so much I promptly went out and bought my own copy, AND ordered the soundtrack) and...well, I loved. And I'm now a Jareth/Sarah shipper -- you should see my desktop. ;)

This is...so well done. I am hooked and eager to see where you will be taking this -- there are so many questions here that need answers...like why on earth Jareth is so confused and what in blazes is he doing in SoHo?

I look forward to your next installment!
edenlassedenlass on September 28th, 2009 03:59 am (UTC)
this was lots of fun! looking forward to the next chapter!