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subtilior in labyfic

Entry #2 !

Hello all! So this is a bit of a WIP - I started it and then (sing it with me) it ballooned in size. I figured, though, that I'd post the first two little vignettes (out of several), as my Springfest entry!

Title: Wedding of the Year
Author: Subtilior
Medium: fanfic
Rating: PG, for a bit of Innuendo. 
Warning: for fluff! and a bit of "Inception." How did the latter creep in? I have no idea ...

Wedding of the Year


It was the most beautiful sight any of the Labyrinth’s creatures had ever seen.

The Great Hall glowed golden in the bright light of day. The windows glittered like diamonds; the benches shone like pearls. The white silk runner rested like a benediction upon violet rushes given by the Mirror Spring that bubbled in the Garden of Eternal Roses. The runner ran o’er the violet rushes, ‘cross the golden hall, ‘twixt a glistering throng of glorious Fae, gathered there to witness the wedding of the Goblin King –

- to the most beautiful sight any of the Labyrinth’s creatures had ever seen.

The Fae were transfixed. They gazed at the doorway, that majestic portal of ingress and egress - framed in sapphire, set in stone, flooded with iridescent light.

“How beautiful!”

“How fair!”

The whispers twined round the Goblin King, standing proud and handsome at the head of the hall. He straightened his shoulders and gazed with the keen, searching eye of an owl, until he caught sight of his true love.

Sarah …

Sarah sighed in bliss.

The only thing to wake her from the gorgeous dream was the goblin next to her.

“Boo-ful!” croaked Giblet.

Well, the goblin and her cue sheet.

“I know, right?” Sarah checked an item off the sheet, waved at a miniscule Jareth from her own distant balcony and turned to beam at Giblet. “All ready?”

“Yes!” he squeaked, jumping up and down. “Yes-yes-yes-yes pleeze pleeze –”

“We have to wait just a second.”

Wait? Wait for what?

“You should understand, Goblin King,” she said aloud. Sarah hadn’t yet gotten the hang of speaking into people’s thoughts like Jareth could, but that was only because he had had a few more millennia of practice. Or so she told herself. “I guess she just wants to make a big entrance. Drama, you know.”

You have the nerve to sit there and torment me in the name of drama

“Just relax and enjoy, because you can’t do a damned thing about it. And – oh, hey!” She grinned, dropping the clipboard in favor of her binoculars. “Here comes the bride!”

“Ahh,” sighed the Fae, as the bride wafted in with light and lissome steps, bringing the fair breezes of sweet enchantment with her. “How beautiful! How fair!”

Sarah squinted through her binoculars. Even without them, she could see past the enchantment: the rows of goblins, chittering and drooling – the filth of the Big Basement of the Castle Beyond the Goblin City – and, of course, the mangy chickens scurrying over the equally mangy carpet runner.

The advantage of binoculars was that she could see the squalor up close and personal. And get a better look at Jareth, who was fixing her with a glare that could peel paint.

“Ready, Giblet?”


“Hit it.”

Giblet took a deep breath, expanded like an accordion, and began to sing.

Shimmering strands of sound thrilled the Fae. But Sarah knew better. She knew that the Dreamer was dreaming. She knew that the Great Hall was in fact a Big (and filthy) Basement. And she knew that Giblet sounded like the unholy child of a chimpanzee and a cement mixer.

“Ooh. I think that’s Panis Angelicus.”

Dear gods, make it stop.

“Hey, it was this or Wind beneath My Wings – and no, don’t even think about it, wise guy.” Practice, after all, made perfect, and occasionally she could get a flash of his thoughts. Specifically, powerful thoughts – like the one flaming into existence as nothing but wings wings wings. “You can’t fly away from this one.”


Tsk. Call me names and I might just …Hm.” Sarah smiled. “Why not do it anyway?”

… Do what?

She adjusted a dial on her headset. “O.K., Jibber, Jabber. Do it!!”

It took her binoculars a moment to focus after she swept them round and up to a perch far above the altar – but there she saw Jibber and Jabber shaking the feathers out of pillows as if their warty goblin lives depended on it.

The feathers fluttered down and turned into a gentle cascade of snow.

Sssssarah …

“Oh, that’s nice,” Sarah sighed, ecstatic. “Keep it coming, guys.”

Sarah, is that snow?


Sarah. May I remind you that it is spring?

“You may.”

A long pause, then:

It’s spring.


So, where does it snow in springtime?

“The Labyrinth. Where else?”

Ah, my only love …

Sarah grinned, waiting for it.

I’m going to kill you for this one.


“Death!” Jareth snarled, clawing at his ornate waistcoat. “Instant death!!”

“Oh hush – if you were really planning on killing me you’d have done it already.” Sarah tugged the Goblin King close. The enchantment on the waistcoat nibbled affectionately at her fingertips. She began flicking buttons open. “Relax. Catch your breath.”

He slumped against her, breathing deeply. “My Sarah … Why do you torment me so?”

“Are you kidding? There’s no way I’d miss this part. I have ringside seats.”

Must I?”

“C’mon, chin up!” Sarah ran her fingers through the ruffles on his poet’s shirt, smirking. “And – other things up, for that matter. You wouldn’t want to spoil her fantasy, would you?”

“Yes,” he mumbled, face pressed into her shoulder. “And thus I have engineered a contingency plan.”

“Oh, is it a cunning plan?”

“A very cunning plan.” Jareth straightened. “And it ought to be, since Butterball, Mangle and Ziggy have engineered it with me. Behold!”

Sarah looked at the narrow door of the dusty anteroom. There was nothing there.

“Um. What exactly am I beholding?”

This – come out from behind there, you idiots –” and three goblins, standing on each others' shoulders and squeaking with glee, teetered forth from behind a ragged window drape.

Sarah rolled her eyes. “How original, Jareth, really – I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this before.”

“Well,” and his eyes gleamed. “Perhaps … nothing like … this!” Then he scooped up the feathered cape from the floor where he had let it fall. “Ziggy – just like we practiced!”

The topmost goblin jabbered something incomprehensible. It grabbed the cape as Jareth slung it through the air and round the three –

Sarah blinked.

The Goblin King waited. “Well?”

“Well what?” She shrugged. “I see three goblins, two sets of shoes, and one magic cape. Looking a bit dusty, I might add. And – is that a pickle? What on earth –”

“The ensemble is meant to be my simulacrum.” Jareth stomped over to the three, turned Butterball where he stood and then gave them all a full-body shove in the direction of the door. “And my beloved bride will find it enthralling, I’m sure.”

“Hm. That’s a bit disturbing, really. And besides, they’re too fat.”


“Well, I mean, you’re skinny – so you see,” and Sarah gestured at Butterball, stuck in the doorframe and squealing piteously. “Fat and wide. How did he get in this little room, anyway?”

Jareth ran gloved fingers through his hair, eyes wild. “Fine. Fine – I admit it. I hoisted him through the window, along with his little friends and three chickens, and – and I –”

Around them, the stones of the Castle shivered.

Sarah heard a distant rumble from the Labyrinth.

“Oh,” Jareth breathed, closing his eyes. “Oh, thanks be to all the gods. She’s waking up.”

“Shoot.” She glowered at the goblins, still stuck in the door. “I had plans for room service and everything. I mean, Mishtomeel was going to cook you breakfast, and –”

It was difficult to speak when someone was doing his best to smother you with a kiss, Sarah reflected. But she always did try. “Mmmphgphgg, phrr-rrph -”

He eased his lips away and rested his forehead against hers. “My only love …”

Sarah couldn’t keep herself from grinning stupidly. Stupid Jareth kisses make me stupid. “Wha’?”

“Never, ever say ‘Mishtomeel’ and ‘cook’ in the same sentence. Ever again.”

“Oh come on. Our version of the Feast of Vitellius wasn’t that bad.”

Jareth smiled, eyes still closed. “Let me never give another dream to a classicist. But in all seriousness, love, the only reason Mishtomeel did so well with that particular cornucopia was that, for once, peacock brains and flamingo tongues were on the menu.”

“Yeah, well, you work with what you’re given.”

A sudden crack of the stone below them sent dust puffing up. Jareth blinked, then sniffed the air. The goblins in the door whimpered.

“You know, Jareth, for all the fun and games?” Sarah kept her voice casual, easing closer to him. “I kind of hate this part.”

One of his arms tightened around her. “Waking up from a dream is never pleasant. Come, Ziggy; come, Mangle.” The Goblin King stretched out his other arm. “Free Butterball and bring my cloak.”

They scurried to do as he bid, crowding as close as they could around his ankles. He draped half of the cloak over them all, tucked the rest around Sarah, and smiled at her.

She smiled back tightly. “Catch you on the flip side?”

“Always.” He pressed her hands to the folds of the cloak at her breast, then backed away. “Don’t let Mangle bite.”

“Wait – what?”

A grin. “That’s my perogative.”

“Always thinking with the other brain – really, Jareth, I swear that I –”

Then the floor splintered into fragments as Sarah heard a thundering yawn – the walls crumbled and the windows shattered. Butterball squealed, Mangle gnashed his teeth and Ziggy started to snore.

Wake up, Sarah thought. Wake up already.

She heard Jareth singing and the Labyrinth rumbling in reply. And no matter how much destruction happened, every time – well, his voice was still lovely. Every time.

Sarah sighed, smiling.

She stopped smiling when Mangle chomped down on one of her calves.

“Oh, you little monster! I’ll toss you in an oubliette or send you to the dentist, or –” Sarah hissed at Mangle's  snickers. It was tricky to get the right vector with a goblin gnawing through your jeans, but surely she could do it. And besides, she had the cape.

What was lovely about the cape was how it helped her to fly. And what was lovely about Jareth and his goblins – yes, even the goblins – was how well they knew her, now. She flew with the sound of the Goblin King’s voice, feeling it twine around her in golden strands - but the serrated teeth on her Achilles tendon kept her from getting too stupidly enchanted.

“Not that I would,” she grinned. “No power over me.”

Time and place, darling.

“Yeah, yeah I know – and oh,” Sarah gasped, flying. “I love this part!”

She felt Jareth’s laugh, somehow near her heart, and felt the Labyrinth’s pleased rumble in her mind.

For the whole maze lay below her, like a vast and sprawling treasure chest riddled through with worms. She could see the change rippling through it – time to wake up – and some things changing more than others. It was never the same, twice in a row.

She waved. This time, Labyrinth only had to uproot two trees to wave back.


tbc ...



Much fun! It's delightful to see this mix of fluff and Inception (as advertised ;) ).
Cheers! Although it *is* odd - I hadn't intended on the 'Inception' excursion towards the end. It kind of edged in & took me by surprise. *shrugs* Oh well ...
This was such a fun thing to read. And I'm very glad I finally saw Inception a few months ago. :)

I'm wondering if you're going so far to have totems and if so what they would be for each.
This is really fun! I loved reading it, and how you worked together the dream aspects of both Inception and Labyrinth. It makes sense that not everyone would want to get their relative back and take the dream instead, and who wouldn't be dreaming about the Goblin King? I wonder how many times he has to star in the dreams he gives, lol. I especially like the bits with the sentient Labyrinth and Mangle's biting. *points to icon* I'm glad Sarah isn't too upset about her jeans, I have a feeling Arthur would react with a gun first. He has such lovely suits. *sighs*
I'm looking forward to what's next. =)
Haha, good stuff! I can totally picture the Labyrinth doing the Inception thing at the end, too. ;D
Oh I like it, you know when I saw Inception and the whole manipulating dreams thing I instantly thought of Labyrinth. As always your writing flows beautifully along, looking forward to seeing how it plays out.
Loved the contrast of fantasy and soaring with the prosaic muck of the goblins and the muddy Labyrinth. Intriguing stuff ;)
Very well written and a very original take on Labyrinths dream-world. I really like this one :)
I like playfull Sarah and happy goblins even more :D thanks!