caersidydd: (Complete)
[personal profile] caersidydd
Title: The Faerie Bond
Chapter: 2
Fandom: Labyrinth
Genre: General
Word Count: 1,975
Rating: K
Disclaimer: I neither have nor claim any affiliation with the Jim Henson company or Lucas films. All characters are property to their creators, none of which are me.

Summary: Since the night she ran the Labyrinth Sarah has lived a life relatively free of magic and the Fey. However, the Fair Folk are the only ones she finds she can turn to when the barren adult Sarah wants a baby. Can she trust the Fairies? Or is it all one big mistake?

One thing she had not tried. One thing she had pushed to the back of her mind over and over for six long years, but now she was desperate. She climbed the hill with determination in her heart and in her face. She no longer cared where this path would lead.

She heard their music, even before she saw the stones. They stood up straight and tall, reaching for the sky nearly as high as the trees around them. They stood just inside a massive ring of large white mushrooms and Sarah knew immediately she had found what had sought in coming here, for the monoliths hummed with a magic which was not natural to this forest.

Sarah closed her eyes and steadied herself. She was taking a huge risk in coming here, she knew, but she could not turn back now. With a muttered apology she crossed the barrier created by the Fairy Ring. It felt something like walking through a spider’s web. Magic clung to her like spindly threads, trying to hold her back but unable. Passing the second barrier created by the Standing Stones, however, was much different. Their power grasped at her with what felt like long fingers of terrible strength, trying to pull her back even as they tried to pull her forward. The sensation was nauseating, but still she pushed onward, the fire of determination never leaving her eyes. Finally the magic of the Standing Stones released her and she stepped into the green realm of the Fair Folk.

She could see them, after a fashion, and hear their music clear as bells. They danced like shadows across her vision, big and small, tall and short all manner of Fey from the Seelie Court. They turned and watched her and whirled past her, they closed in on her and bounded away. She braced herself, ready to feel their hands upon her, striking her, their voices rebuking her for it was a great insult to cross into their revelry uninvited and unannounced. But they did not attack her; they did not touch or harm her. She passed between them as they danced. She was not certain just what it was she was looking for but she felt she would know when she found it, and so she slipped through the shadows of the host as they reveled in their magic and their freedom and rejoiced in the wild, unfettered things of the earth.

All at once she came upon it and it made her stop dead in her tracks for she did not at first perceive it, and then in the space between heartbeats it was there. It was like a flower and it was great and small all at once. The petals were unfurled in such a way that they seemed to form a chair and within the heart of it there was a blinding radiance, so bright and wonderful and at the same time so strange and terrible that Sarah had to look away.

“Do not turn away, Mortal,” called a voice of a woman that was as cold and stern as a winter’s day and yet like standing in the sun. “You have intruded upon our revelry and sought me out, so speak but be forewarned I shall be displeased if it is for a trifling thing that you have trespassed among us.”

Sarah turned back, feeling like a child before the woman who sat upon the throne. She lowered her gaze in deference, “Fairy Queen,” she began, “my name is Sar-“

“Girl, do not waste my time. I know who you are. There are few among us who do not. Now tell me why it is you have come.”

Sarah’s eyes widened and her mind stumbled for a moment over questions and utterances of incredulity, but she ground them to a halt. The reason she had come was far more important.

“I’ve come to beg for your help, Fairy Queen,” she pleaded, her hands clasping before her. “For six years I’ve tried to have a baby of my own, but I can’t. I’ve tried every possible way there is in my world and nothing will work. You’re my only chance now, please. Give me a baby.”

The Fairy Queen seemed unimpressed by Sarah’s display of emotion, “Is that all? Truly? Your request is uninspired. I would have expected more from one who could best a king of our Realm. Then again the request that called upon him was just as ordinary for one of your kind.”

Again Sarah was surprised. Though that time was far behind her she remembered quite acutely the incident in which her brother had been snatched away by the Fair Folk. That time was what had cemented a belief in her which had, until that moment, been fueled by simple innocence, childhood fancy, and a desire to believe. It was the only reason she, a modern woman living a modern life in the modern world, even knew to consider seeking out a Fairy Ring and listening for the music of the Fey. She had had no idea, however, that others of the Faerie Realm would know of the defeat of the Goblin King. Truthfully she had not even known that defeating his Labyrinth was so noteworthy.

“I know it’s not very original,” Sarah responded at length, “but a baby is all I ask for, it’s all I want. Please.”

“You Humans are a simple bunch. Your needs are all the same: wealth, power, love, a child to call your own. I cannot tell you how many barren women of your ilk have stood before me, begging for the same thing you are begging now.”

“Then it cannot be a wish so difficult to grant!” Sarah retorted. The Fairy Queen’s eloquent manner of speech seemed to influence Sarah’s choice of words, but if it helped her to get through to the Fey being she did not care.

The Fairy Queen touched a long, delicate finger to her chin in thought, “Are you certain you would not rather something else? You Humans, your wants are so base and predictable. Are you sure you would not be equally happy with wealth, a position of influence,” she smiled ever so slightly, “a lover?”

Sarah was taken aback, “I have a husband! I don’t need a lover!”

The Fairy Queen’s smile became knowing, as though she could see right through Sarah. The thought was disquieting to the mortal woman.

“Do not attempt to hide your unhappiness from me. We may not be of the same race, but we are still women. Can you say with all truth that you are happy with the man you have chosen? It is within my power to find and present you with your true love.”

Sarah pressed her lips together in a tight frown, her brows knitted together with suppressed anger, “Please,” she spoke, as politely as she could muster, “I don’t want riches, or power, or love. I just want a baby,” her voice became soft and her eyes moist. “That’s all I want, just a baby. Boy or girl, it doesn’t matter. I just want a baby.”

The Fairy Queen seemed to sigh, though no such sound escaped her, “Very well, if it is a baby that you want then it is a baby that you shall have,” Sarah’s face brightened at the Fairy Queen’s words, but the queen continued on. “However, do not make the mistake to assume that this is a gift, my magic is not free. There will be a price.”

Were she not aware of the cruelty the Fey were capable of, Sarah would have agreed in a heartbeat without any thought to the consequence. Even with her knowledge it took a bit of effort to quell the elation which welled up within her enough to cautiously respond, “What’s the price?”

The Fairy Queen’s smile became cruel, “The first: You shall never again set foot into our Realm. If you do your life, and that of the babe, shall be forfeit. The second: Should ever you bear a child of your own, it shall belong to the Fey.”

Sarah swallowed nervously and thought on this. While she had absolutely no intention of ever returning to the realm of Faerie she couldn’t be entirely certain that it would not happen again. Sometimes the realm of the Fey could just sneak up on you. She had lived a relatively quiet and magic free life, but that did not mean that she had never seen the Elven Folk when the veil between worlds thinned.

“What if I have no control—“

“No excuses,” The Fairy Queen commanded. “You will abide by this stipulation or face the consequences!”

Sarah frowned and considered. She had lived this long and only ever entered the Faerie Realm twice, both times by choice. The Fairy Queen was right; she should not have a problem with the first clause. The second, she lifted a hand and placed it over her belly, was what truly gave her pause. Her uterus was healthy, that was what all the doctors said. Her husband was also healthy, they had said that too. They were not unique, their situation was not uncommon. Sometimes couples simply could not have children. They had tried together so hard for six years. What were the chances of their situation ever changing? All the doctors they had seen had sadly told them the possibilities were very slim. However, even if there were the slightest chance.

Sarah gave a decisive nod, “I agree,” she said. The Fairy Queen grinned. The Fairy Queen could not know that there were medicines in Sarah’s world to protect against having children. The chances were slim, yes, but they were still there. She could take the precaution. She would have her child and could make sure that she never had another for the Fairies to steal away.

The queen made a regal motion with one elegant hand and the already magically charged air of the green became even more oppressive with magic around Sarah. She choked and the magical force sank into her, stealing away her breath until she was certain she would pass out and that the Fairy Queen had somehow deceived her. The awful pressure dissipated as suddenly as it had appeared, but the confused Sarah could still feel it somehow within her.

“Our pact is magically sealed,” the Fairy Queen explained. She gave another elegant flick of her hand and before Sarah there appeared a basket. Something moved within it and, though Sarah was already sure she knew what it contained, she bent over to move the blanket. Sarah gasped softly with joy at the sight of the beautiful baby that lay asleep within. She gathered up the basket and held it tightly to her breast.

“Thank you,” she whispered, tears in her eyes.

The Fairy Queen waved a hand in boredom, “Go now,” she commanded. “And do not forget your agreement.”

Sarah nodded her head, “I’ll remember,” she responded. She turned quickly and dashed back the way she had come, as though the Fey Folk could, at any moment, turn on her and take the child away. However, the Fey of the Seelie Court are honourable and none tried to impede her on her way out.

The Fairy Queen watched as the mortal woman plunged headlong through the veil which separated the world within the Standing Stones from the mortal realm outside and disappeared from the world of the Fey altogether. She turned her head slightly though did not look over her shoulder at the man who appeared just behind her throne.

“Are you satisfied, Jareth?”

“I am indeed, Titania,” the Goblin King replied and she could hear the cold smile in his voice. “I am indeed.”

“Do not forget your promise.”

“Do not forget yours.”
Notes to the Reader:

In the traditional folk lore the Fairy Queen is not given a name, unlike her male counterpart Oberon. However, in the 1500s William Shakespeare gave her the name Titania for his play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. In writing this chapter I wished to tread on the side of Tradition (especially considering the name Titania is rooted in the Greek word Titan which entirely perverts her Irish roots) and continue to give her no name other than The Fairy Queen. However, as I was finishing the chapter, she insisted on addressing the Goblin King by name which would only prompt him to address her by name in return.


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