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For the story behind this little story, you have to go look at Pika's "Corsetry" - see the link in the author's notes!

Disclaimer: Jim Henson and company own everything Labyrinth; Pika plucked "Corsetry" from her deviously deviantly talented brain. I own nothing. Thanks as well, Pika, for reminding me of the elevator! ... and then reminding me that that elevator is, in fact, a lift. Hee!

Rating: PG-13 for language, innuendo and excessive décolletage.

                                                           Breathless

                         **********************************************

"Come on, boobs! ... Oof!"

Just try not to breathe. You can do it - you can do it -

Sarah grinned into the mirror as she smoothed the top line of the corset, mercifully lace free, and prepared to strut. She took one step, wobbled, and gasped.

Or tried to gasp.

"OK - "ow?"" Cringing, she rose up on her tiptoes. Shit, this thing is tight. "Dang, Christine actually sang with one of these on? Respect ..."

It was too bad, Sarah thought, that she couldn't manage the breath to belt out some Aretha Franklin. Of course, the last time she had tried, Christine had shrieked at her to stop, stop stop the caterwauling, for the love of sweet Music's throne, or some shit like that - Still, she had to give the ethereal blonde Mad Props for lacing up this corset "every day during performances, and twice if there's a matinée!" let alone singing three hours' worth of opera in it. Ouch. Ow. It hurt to think about breathing that much. Christine had to have lungs like a vacuum cleaner.

"Now I get what her and Lizzie were complaining about ..."

Sarah shivered, without knowing why, and thought about grabbing a dress, because there was a draft -

- wait. A draft? ...

"Well, I'm not ..."

At the sound of that low voice, low, and amused - and somehow rough around the edges - Sarah realized three things.

First, Christine did not know to always, always close and lock her window.

Second, that the breeze was coming from that same window. That same, open window.

And third, that she was seeing red. Not the red of the Valentine that Christine kept tucked into the corner of the mirror just to be annoying; not the red of the cunning little corset buttons, oh no. This was rage. Sheer, undiluted fury. With a hearty side helping of "pissed," and a pinch of "I am going to take a certain owl to a taxidermist tonight if it's the last thing I do."

She screwed her eyes shut and bared her teeth.

"You're. Not. What? Jareth."

The part of her that still had wistful thoughts about being an actress gave an approving sniff to the way her words fell like chips of ice into the room.

She could almost hear his face split with a smile. "Complaining, my dear. Quite the contrary, in fact."

The next thing she heard was the soft pad of his feet on the carpet, and when he spoke he was *closer* and she felt goosebumps leap up on her arms.

"Although ..."

And then there was a warm draft on her neck, except that it was still spring, so the breeze was cool, so that had to be his breath -

God. The man - thing - him - whatever, he's breathing on your neck, oh god OK, OK, be cool, take a deep breath yourself -

Sarah took a deep breath. Or tried to. It got caught somewhere beneath her sternum and came out as a squeak.

He chuckled. "As I was saying, Sarah ... although I'm not complaining, I would be ever so delighted if you were to turn around."

She swallowed. "What?"

"Oh, I am so sorry, did you not hear?" And she jumped as she felt his chin brush against her hair, and then his lips moved at her ear - "Would you turn 'round, Sarah? Just this once? The view is so much more enjoyable from the front ..."

It had to be the corset, Sarah thought, frantically. The corset was squeezing so tightly that her heart was playing hopscotch, leaping fit to burst out of her chest. She opened her eyes to peer down, in mortification, at the way that same chest moved like a storm at sea. Oh damn it, heaving bosoms belong on tatty, sparkly Danielle Steel covers, for god's sake, not on me. If that's how it looks from close up, then it must look -

She looked up into the mirror, and froze.

Jareth's eyes burned into her own, in the mirror.

- in the mirror, from where his face was right - above - her shoulder - oh, shit -

Sarah tried for a deeper breath as spots and circles began to ebb and flow in her vision. "I can't - I can't -"

"Can't turn 'round? Can't breathe? Or can't stand up under your own power?" His voice was amused, but there was nothing lighthearted about the way he snaked his hands around her waist. "I'll help you with that last, shall I?"

"No - Jareth, just back off and fly away, or I'll - eep! "

He had pulled her close - too close, Sarah thought - any closer and you'll be sitting in his god-damned lap standing up -

This close, though, she could hear, and feel, the rasp of breath in his chest, and she could notice how he had to swallow hard when she turned her head slightly and their lips almost brushed -

"Or what, precious thing?"

She jerked her head away as if she had been burned. "Or I will murder you, I swear to god, you nasty, preening, rat fink of a voyeur!"

Jareth's voice was rough in her ear. "If you must call me a voyeur, I must point out that I  was not the one putting on a floor show for all and sundry -"

"I wasn't -"

It had to be the corset, Sarah thought, furious, as her eyes stung. She took in a shallow breath, but even that caught in her throat, and came out in a sob.

Jareth paused.

When he spoke again, his voice was quiet. "You weren't what?"

Sarah bit her lip. "I wasn't giving a show or anything like that, Jareth - all I wanted to do was be immature, and let my repressed inner princess out and dress up for one minute without someone barging in and laughing at me -"

They had all laughed at her, in the ballroom. She remembered that so well - after she had been so dizzy from the dance, and had stumbled, and whipped her head from side to side to look - he had kept her from falling, yes, but all of the creatures in masks had laughed ...

She had resolved that nobody would ever need to keep her from falling again. And nobody would laugh at her, ever again.

Jareth made a soft sound, in the back of his throat; it caught her attention. "I don't recall laughing at you, my dear."

Sarah hissed. "You have an awfully bad memory, your majesty -"

"No," he interrupted, smoothly. "I have an excellent memory. I remember every minute of these forty delightful minutes you have been dressing up -" he caught her wrists in his fingers before she managed to elbow him - "I remember each detail of the one time I saw you 'dressed up,' so long ago ... I remember our dance ..."

Carefully, he shifted his hands - carefully, and slowly, so she wouldn't flinch, he helped her turn, where she stood - she turned and faced him.

"I remember the time when you had no need to repress any of the princess in you, Sarah ..."

His fingers trailed around her waist to the small of her back. "What changed that?"

Sarah looked deeply into his eyes - those eyes she remembered, from the dance in a dream in the Labyrinth ... She sighed. "I guess I just - I just grew up, Jareth." She tried a half-smile, but then let it fall with her shoulders, dispirited. "Sparkly dresses and glitter enough to kill ten Tinkerbells might work for a fifteen-year-old, but neither really works for me - not anymore."

Jareth said nothing. His eyes were veiled.

She shrugged, and looked away. "Memory's a bitch. You just have to get on with your life."

A moment of silence, and then Sarah took in a sudden breath as Jareth brought his face close to hers - too close, way way too close, OK, just calm down - don't split the corset -

"No."

She swallowed hard. From this close, she could see lighter flecks of blue - almost crystalline - in the already vivid blue of his eyes.

"'No' what?"

He bared his teeth at her and she only kept herself from jumping with a great effort. "No, Sarah. I do not need "to get on with my life," as you so philosophically put it - and do you know why?"

Mutely, Sarah shook her head. She could feel his fingers at her waist, even through the boning of the corset.

Jareth stared at her with hooded eyes, and spoke in a whisper. "I have lived for so long, Sarah, that thirteen hours is but a speck in my existence. Thirteen hours, reordered to ten, and only an hour, at most, of those ten did I spend with you ... and the more I think about that ..."

He brushed his lips over her cheek, and she let her eyes fall shut.

"The more I think about that, Sarah ... the more I regret it. I regret letting you leave, I regret watching you go, even though you had to, you chose to, and you won the right to do so. Now that I know you, princess -" Jareth feathered a kiss over her jawline, and spoke against her lips. "Now that I know you, the thought of "getting on with life" - without you in it - is ... displeasing to me."

OK. OK. Just try to breathe.

“What do you –” She cut herself off to regain control. The part of her mind that wasn’t putting on its own fireworks show at the tantalizing sensation of his lips right – in front – of hers – that one last coherent part of her mind pointed out that her voice probably would have sounded just as shaky were she not wearing the corset - probably.

She gritted her teeth and opened her eyes to slits, staring at what she could see of his skin – so close – "What do you mean, 'without me in it', Jareth?" she repeated.  " By the most unlikely coincidence bar none you're somehow living in the same building half the time - so don't worry, I'll see you at the next tenant meeting in a few weeks – our turn to bake brownies... -"

From this close, she could see the faint lines etched around his mouth as he quirked a corner of it up in a smile. He tipped his head to one side, and back – an almost playful gesture, but there was still a stillness – a something – to his eyes, as he – meep – trailed a finger down her cheek...

"Not satisfactory." His features turned sly. "Especially since you seem resolved to slight the lift, these days. The poor thing." A smirk. “What did it ever do to you?”

An indignant memory flared, and Sarah would have drawn in a furious breath at that, but -

- stupid corset -

- she exhaled in a giddy rush as Jareth nuzzled her neck - and - ack - had that been a growl? A contented one, maybe, or a purr, and god help her if he was going to start channeling a cat, because she did not care to match wills with a panther, or a tiger, or a lion, while wearing a corset. A sudden, vivid image flashed across her mind - herself, in that same skimpy outfit, but holding a flaming hoop and cracking a whip at a lion. A big, golden lion, with glinting eyes and a look that said it wanted nothing more than to pounce -

With a gulp, she tensed in his arms, and struggled to be free.

Jareth drew his head back and looked long at her, his eyes narrow. "What troubles you, lovely?"

Her laugh sounded more hysterical than anything else - "Jareth, what the hell ?  I mean, you watch at my window, you admit to ogling me for almost an hour, and then you swoop in and start a mating dance, and you expect me to be happy about it?"

His jaw tightened. "Perhaps I misjudged the moment."

"Perhaps?" She made her voice snide.

Abruptly, Jareth released her and stepped away. He stalked to the window, glared out it for a long moment, and then turned back to her.

"Sarah ..."

"Yeah?"

"Sarah, I will reorder time -"

"The hell you will!"

"Do shut your lovely mouth for just one moment, won't you?" He raked one hand through his hair, irritably. "Allow me to explain. If memory is such a bitch, as you so eloquently claim, I will reorder time for you - and you will catch me at your window, and drive me away, and laugh at me this time. Will that content you?"

Maybe. Possibly. If there's no catch - oh, who the hell am I kidding, there's got to be a catch.

She bit her lip. "What's in it for you?"

Jareth looked blank for a moment, then mischievous. "I was going to offer out of the goodness of my heart, dear one ... but since you bring it up ... I will settle for a kiss."

Before she could think about it, Sarah tossed her head. "Fine. Fine - but -" and she raised a hand at his eager step forward. "But not on the lips."

He rolled his eyes. "Very well. One kiss, Sarah - one paltry little kiss, and I will hand you the victory in this skirmish, at least." He held out one hand.

Cautiously, she took it.

And realized her mistake the instant his eyes gleamed, and as he reeled her in like a fish on a line.

"Not on the lips? Alas." Jareth's breath gusted hot over her collarbone. "Only something equally delectable will suffice - and I must say, my love, that you look absolutely delicious in that getup of yours ..."

Oh no, oh no oh no -

But it was too late for recrimination - and her pulse was crashing in her ears, her blood singing too loudly for her to hear anything else, but she felt his exhaled breath as he brushed his mouth over the base of her neck, and the slick slide of his tongue above the top line of the corset, and then a kiss that began gently but then he bit down hard and she felt her eyes go wide as she cried out -

"OK - "ow?"" Cringing, she rose up on her tiptoes. Shit, this thing is tight. "Dang, Christine actually sang with one of these on? Respect ..."

It was too bad, Sarah thought, that she couldn't manage the breath to belt out some Aretha Franklin. Of course, the last time she had tried, Christine had shrieked at her to stop, stop stop the caterwauling, for the love of sweet Music's throne, or some shit like that - Still, she had to give the ethereal blonde Mad Props for lacing up this corset "every day during performances, and twice if there's a matinée!" let alone singing three hours' worth of opera in it. Ouch. Ow. It hurt to think about breathing that much. Christine had to have lungs like a vacuum cleaner.

She frowned at her reflection - at the mark that the corset had left when she had wrestled into it. Ouch ... but at least it would be under her shirt on a normal day. Still, why would a girl want to wear something that left her breathless and covered with frickin' welts, for god's sake?

"Now I get what her and Lizzie were complaining about ..."

Sarah shivered, without knowing why, and thought about grabbing a dress, because there was a draft -

- wait. A draft? ...

Shit!

Carefully, Sarah turned on tiptoe toward the open window. Just as carefully, she looked ...

... until she saw the white owl perched in a branch outside.

"Oh, hell no!!" she shrieked, gasping for breath, storming up to the sill. "Beat it, Goblin King! Don't think I don't know what you're up to, there!" Sarah slapped her hands on the windowsill, hard, and glared at him. "You want an eyeful? Huh? Then take a closer look!"

And Sarah tore off the restricting corset, took a deep breath, reached back, and lobbed the satin and ivory at the owl as hard as she could.

It took off in a flurry of feathers and with an undignified squawk.

And Sarah realized three things, as she watched the Goblin King winging crazily above the treetops, beating a hasty retreat.

First, that she was standing at an open window.

Second, that she was almost completely naked.

And third, that she was laughing so hard she could hardly breathe - laughing too much to care.



                                                      THE END!
Based on one small snippet of Pika-la-Cynique's giggle-fest known as the "Girls Next Door," in its turn, based on the "Roommates" comic by AsheRhyder.

This ficlet comes right after (and takes as its inspiration) episode 16 - "Corsetry!"

Check it out:

[link]
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:iconamaranthinerain:
AmaranthineRain Featured By Owner May 29, 2017   General Artist
Oh goodness this is very well written - I was gasping with Sarah! Eeee one of my top favorite ships~ Great job!!
Reply
:iconnephtis:
Nephtis Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2016
I realize this is an old one but I love it when excellent fanartists inspre each other!
Reply
:iconpalejewel1:
PaleJewel1 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2016
Oh my!  loved this.  Excellent rejoinder on the the Episode 16.
Reply
:iconclockworkarachnid:
clockworkArachnid Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I may have read this over and over again for a while.

And then bookmarked.

...And then printed out.

....And made sure it was on a document on my phone.

Well done, so lovely and sensuous without delving into erotica. (Damn near close enough) A+!
Reply
:iconlilmisspeppy:
LilMissPeppy Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Did he bite her on the boob where her corset began?
Lol, halp.

This was great otherwise.
I'm glad the GK had his way for a change. :la:
Reply
:iconautumninnewyork17:
AutumnInNewYork17 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I am crazy in love with everything about this. And I adore your writing style. AGH. So addictive!
Reply
:iconhorsewolflover:
HorseWolfLover Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
love it! :D I've read all there is of that comic yet, and this is what I kinda was hoping for XD you are awesome! :D 
Reply
:iconslayer612:
slayer612 Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well... I think I will just join the others then: Squeeee!

Memo to myself: Never read anything like this at work while your collegues are watching you again... Satisfied smirking and uncontrolled squee -> unprofessional

PS: Great work, I love your writing style and how you pictured/captured the character's personalities. I still can't believe that I found this piece only now... Is there any other written work by you to be found elsewhere?
Reply
:iconemalthya:
Emalthya Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Squee-ed far too much and sighed enough that if Sarah had shared, she wouldn't have been oxygen deprived. Very Excellent.
Reply
:iconfelhozet:
Felhozet Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013  Student General Artist
Auughh fantastic!
Reply
:iconnikimaweird:
NikiMaweird Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome story..but the ending left me sad...
Reply
:iconjareth-lover50:
jareth-lover50 Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013
i died a little inside when he reordered time just like that. after he was kissing her.
Reply
:icondaydreemer14:
daydreemer14 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Student
HOW COME I ONLY JUST FOUND THIS
<3 <3 <3
Reply
:iconsarianaj:
SarianaJ Featured By Owner May 17, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
EPIC EXPLOSION!!!!!!
Reply
:iconlanagon39:
lanagon39 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013
THAT WAS SO AMAZING UFH
Reply
:iconkypriothe:
Kypriothe Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2013
HMM YES GOOD
Reply
:iconetile:
etile Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013
nice story
Reply
:iconkjpearl:
KJPearl Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013
This is an awesome story but the ending left me sad. I really wish these two would finally get together.
Reply
:iconsupamanda:
supamanda Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012
I think my little fangirl heart just bursted.
Reply
:iconvexen-the-cat:
vexen-the-cat Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Aaah! This is fantastic!!!
Reply
:iconmarquisspinneret:
MarquisSpinneret Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012
this was a beautiful story, but also kind of sad...

you're an incredible writer.
Reply
:iconkamwuzhere:
KAMwuzhere Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2012
you never cease to amaze me with your writing! that was awesome!
Reply
:iconweaveroffantasy:
weaveroffantasy Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2012
This is absolutely, perfectly 100% funny - and completely rekindles my love for Sarah & and the Goblin King!
Reply
:iconrosetora:
RoseTora Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012
Nice
Reply
:icontheevile:
TheEvilE Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my god, wow. That was so so solo amazing. A PERFECT continuation of "Corsetry". Oh my god. Yes. Good.
Reply
:icontiffs-is-my-name:
Tiffs-is-my-name Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2012
That was absolutely glorious. *explodes with fangirl happiness* And it fit in perfectly with GND. Thank you for writing that little ficlit for us! :D
Reply
:iconellenmellenn:
ellenmellenn Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2012
Cuteeeee hahaha. This is theperfect insert into the story :D
Reply
:iconumbraecalamitas:
UmbraeCalamitas Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2012  Professional Writer
Bhahaha! This is grand!
Reply
:iconthenpotn:
TheNPOTN Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome!!
Reply
:iconmeimei808:
meimei808 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is brilliant!! And i'm not even a big fan of the movie (it scared me...)! Respect!
Reply
:iconxxeleganttragedyxx:
XxElegantTragedyxX Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012
FANTASTIC! I love how you tied it back in with the ballroom scene in Labyrinth. Also, how you abruptly reordered time in such a perfect manner as to tie it in with the beginning of the fanfiction was equally enjoyable~! AND you portrayed Jareth and Sarah beautifully! Very VERY well done!
Reply
:iconhydr0ph0en1x:
hydr0ph0en1x Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011  Student General Artist
*dies* That was utterly amazing!
Reply
:iconmamanekosama:
MamaNekoSama Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011
iloveiloveitiloveitiloveitiloveit!!!!!
Reply
:iconnecros-slave:
necros-slave Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011
Well, if he had to be chased away, at least he got a *lovely* view as she lifted and drew back her arm with corset in hand?
Reply
:iconthatguyfromstuff:
ThatGuyFromStuff Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2011  Student Filmographer
Fantastic.
Beatifully written
Reply
:iconkayleedee:
Kayleedee Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2011
After I had read this I noticed that on the right there was an ad for "three for two sale on corsets" . . . What wonderful comedic timing . . . Excellent fic by the way. Fantastic.
Reply
:iconmimichichi:
MimiChichi Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2011
Bahaha I LOVE it! XD
Reply
:iconakikoyukito:
AkikoYukito Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
WOW! I've been reading GND for a while now, and I recently decided to go back and re-enjoy all of the funny strips and clever gags that Pika came up with. Upon reading the caption/description, I found a link to this, and must I say: I'm VERY glad I clicked it. Great work! ^__^
Reply
:iconsurelady:
Surelady Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011
Adored!! Fantastic one-shot, and you picked one of the best moments in GND (which is hard since there are so many to choose from ;) ) Thanks for sharing!
Reply
:iconskyrere:
skyrere Featured By Owner May 19, 2011
I love this every time I read it. Fantastic job.
Reply
:iconroseredautumn:
roseredautumn Featured By Owner May 19, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
I think that...might have been a double win for Jareth.
Reply
:iconorientalbunny:
orientalbunny Featured By Owner May 19, 2011
This was amazing, awesome, perfect, such a fantastic extension to pika's comic, you write so well!!!!!! :D
Reply
:iconthecopperdragon2004:
TheCopperDragon2004 Featured By Owner May 5, 2011
great piece, fits in seamlessly with pika's work (which I'm finally getting around to read!)

And poor sarah doesn't even remember Jareth spilling his heart to her, does she?
Reply
:iconskasha:
Skasha Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011
That was sooo AWESOME! :iconlachoirplz:
Reply
:icongellydraws:
Gellydraws Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Followed pika's link here .. so glad I did. Love it LOVE IT!!!!!
Reply
:iconkulekrizpy:
kulekrizpy Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2011  Student Filmographer
AHH. That was absolutely lovelyy. <3

*shiver*

EEE.
Reply
:iconthroughdangersuntold:
Throughdangersuntold Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Oh my goodness, thank you. This is going in my fave's folder. Corsets, utterly obsessed with them, and Jareth... Well fan-girl moment! You've made my evening. Very very hot. :)
Reply
:iconnietshka:
Nietshka Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2011
Oh dear! Soooo lovely!!!!
Reply
:iconrndmchibigirl:
RndmChibiGirl Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2011  Hobbyist
...I want to watch Labyrinth so bad now!!!! Between you and Pika, not having watched it is very torturous! Very good job, this was an absolute joy to read, and not a chore at all as is usual with most fanfictions.

And, honestly, reading this was a little creepy...because I saw a lot of my style in it. When I write, that is.
Reply
:iconspinstermaiden:
spinstermaiden Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011
Delightful little story. Bravo.
Reply
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