Chapter 11: Consequences
Jareth walked contentedly down a side street in the Goblin City. Darkness surrounded him as he moseyed along, smiling at the few goblins out at this hour; an action that thoroughly confused the goblins and sent them scurrying for cover. The actions of their king were most peculiar of late. It was almost as if he was… dare they think it, happy. However little did they know, the King was not happy. He was ecstatic, euphoric, exultant, walking on cloud nine. There were so many ways to describe how happy he was, but in all reality, none of it mattered. The only thing that mattered was that she'd said 'yes'.
The Goblin King didn't notice the way his subjects scampered fearfully away. In fact, he didn't really notice much except for the way the stars seemed to shine a little bit brighter. He hummed to himself and let his feet lead the way down the cobblestone path. A small cloaked figure went unnoticed in an alleyway until it stepped out and addressed the king as he passed by. "You seem awfully happy," a low gruff voice commented.
Jareth turned on the spot towards the small dwarf addressing him. "And should I not be? It is a glorious night, my kingdom is peaceful, and my subjects are getting along quite well."
"Aye, but that ain't the reason you're so happy."
The Goblin King smirked. "And what's it to you, Hogshead?"
The dwarf shook his head slowly. "I know that you knows my name."
Another smirk was all the answer he received.
"I be suspectin' that the reason have somethin' ter do wit Miss Sarah."
"Once again, what's it to you?" the King crossed his arms over his chest.
"I don't want her ter get hurt when you don't keep yer promises," the dwarf crossed his small arms over his chest to match the stance of his king.
Jareth laughed heartily at this statement. "Oh I can assure you, Hoggle, that I won't be breaking this promise. I've been working towards it for the past five years."
"Hmph…" Hoggle growled, somewhat thrown off by the monarch's proper use of his name. "And just what be this promise?"
"Ah, but I don't think a dark alleyway is the best place to be discussing this."
"Then lets go to me cabin, or the castle."
"No, the castle would be worse actually. To your cabin would be best." The King nodded once to himself then strode forward and without a warning to the dwarf, placed a hand on his shoulder and the two disappeared from the alley.
When their feet were firmly on the hardwood floors of Hoggle's small cabin, the dwarf pushed himself away from the fae, a flustered look upon his face. "Never do that again!"
Jareth smirked, but did not make a big deal out of the fact the little scab was giving him orders. The simple pleasure of upsetting him was enough. Instead, he moseyed over to the rough-hewn table and two matching chairs, setting himself in one of the low seats. He twisted his wrist theatrically and a crystal appeared; he seemed to think for a moment before he smiled and smashed the sphere against the table. However instead of shards, there was now a tall bottle of amber liquid and two short glasses. "Come, Hogwart, I'm so happy tonight, that I'll even drink with you to celebrate!" the King said as he poured out alcohol into the two glasses.
The dwarf grumbled under his breath, but did as his monarch said and set himself in the other chair, grabbing the glass and tossing back the contents in one shot. It went back smooth, but left a pleasant burn in its wake. This was the good stuff only found in the King's liquor cabinet. Hoggle grabbed up the bottle and poured himself another glass. This one he intended to savor. "So?" he prompted with a glance at the fae across from him.
"Patience, Higgle," he took a sip from his glass before continuing. "Sarah and I have made a promise to each other."
Hoggle ground his teeth; apparently the rat felt like being cryptic. "What kind of promise?"
"The kind that lasts till eternity."
Hoggle's eyes widened. Was the fae hinting at what he was thinking?
Jareth smirked again. "She's agreed to be my wife."
At this, Hoggle's jaw fell open. A torrent of emotions ran through him, happiness at their engagement, jealousy at having the rat picked over him, guilt at thinking the last thought, fear for what would happen now, and even more fear for what would happen to Sarah should certain officials in the Underground find this information. "You did what?" he asked dumbly, almost refusing to believe his ears.
"I asked Sarah to marry me," the monarch took another sip of amber liquid. "And she said 'yes'."
Hoggle sat still for a moment before throwing back the remaining contents of his glass. Screw savoring, he needed fortification now. "You know what would happen if Lord Cumberland found out?" he asked.
Jareth glanced over at the small creature. "Yes, do not underestimate me, dwarf."
"Not meanin' any disrespectin', yer Majesty, but I's just doesn't want any harm to come ter the girl."
"Do you really think I'd allow any harm to befall her?"
"Ya can't watch 'er all the time."
Jareth seemed to slump a little. The scab was right. If word of this got out to the right ears, Sarah could be in danger. "Then we must make sure that it is only you and I who know."
Hoggle nodded as he poured another glass of alcohol for himself and the King. They both sipped slowly and silently for a while until Jareth rose. "I need to go. There are things that need to be done to ensure that Lord Cumberland does not find out about my engagement," he said the name like a curse. "I trust you to keep your mouth shut, Hogwart?"
Hoggle gave the fae a glare. "Of course…" he said bluntly.
"Then I shall leave you. You can keep the rest of the Toyok," he said gesturing to the bottle of alcohol.
The dwarf nodded and sent a salute to the monarch with a raised glass. Jareth nodded and strode out the front door before disappearing. Hoggle sighed and down the rest of his glass before corking the rest of the bottle. Something as good as Toyok should not be drunk all at once, but savored, and Hoggle didn't feel like savoring tonight. No, tonight he would need Goblin Ale. Perhaps it would help to dissipate the feeling of dread settling in his stomach.