He hadn't told the goblins he was staying. It was probably best left unsaid for now. Besides, they were having a very good time in their human forms, coming to like the light of the real world. For the first time, they were living the lives they had been denied as goblins, and they were slowly awakening to this fact. They didn't hold Jareth responsible, thankfully. They knew the circumstances of their becoming goblins. So now they stayed out all hours of the night, dancing at clubs, drinking, pretending to be young, sophisticated men and women…and as they learned about the world they had joined, it was becoming less and less of an illusion.

He thought back to his Labyrinth, the strange, twisted, lonely world. Nothing but pain there, nothing but being the villain and suffering through one performance after another, bound to a fairy tale formula he couldn't seem to bend, much less shatter. But here he was the hero. He smiled, turning around in his leather chair in his comfortable, clean, modern office. He gazed out on the Los Angeles strip that ran past Underground Music's glass and metal building, watching those shining, sleek cars go by.

*****

Pizzazz grabbed a picture of Eric Raymond smiling with his arms around the equally cheerful Misfits, who were standing behind her just then. She threw it on the floor, and the glass exploded over the carpet. She continued her tantrum, punctuating each word by grinding her heel into the picture onto Eric's face, her aim uncanny.

"I…hate…you!"

"Pizzazz, take it easy," Eric cautioned from behind his desk.

"You promised me you'd have it done within the week!"

Eric rolled his eyes. "We can't buy him out. He's got the whole thing locked up tight. We underestimated Underground Music."

"Doesn't my father have enough money?" she shrieked.

"Yeah," Jetta added. "E's got tons of dash. It shouldn't be a problem."

"Jareth Trevale wouldn't sell Stinger Sound an old pair of boots," Riot snapped, coming into the office. He slammed the door behind him. The glass rattled and Eric shuddered.

"I know you're upset," he said dryly, "but must you destroy my entire office?"

Roxy laughed. "Let's trash the place!"

Pizzazz smiled at her. "That's an idea," she said, calming down. At Eric's nervous face, she added, "This means we go to plan two."

"Plan two?" asked Riot, raising his eyebrows.

"Sabotage!" she said, looking rather delighted with the idea.

"Hold on there," said Stormer. "Maybe you're going overboard, Pizzazz. I don't think we should hurt anyone…"

The green-haired rock star waved her hand at the "nice" Misfit. "We're just going to make a little mess, get over it…"

Stormer looked unsure, but Eric was already on the phone. "Techrat. I have a little job for you…"

*****

Techrat loved two things in life. He loved his gadgets. And he loved Minx, the Stinger with the long, straight, sleek blonde hair. He fancied she even understood him.

He drove his black camero through the night-darkened streets of the city, Minx in the seat beside him, long blonde hair blowing in the wind and his suitcase full of breaking-and-entering devices in her lap. It would be safe to say Techrat was completely happy then. "So why are we doing this, anyway?"

"Jareth is ruining us. Can you imagine it? People would rather listen to him than to us."

Techrat shook his head. "Sounds pretty ridiculous. We're here." He pulled the car into the lot two buildings down from Underground Music. "Let's do it."

The got out and hurried through the darkness. "How are we getting in?" Minx asked.

"Through the front door." Techrat stopped, opened the case, and pulled out a small remote. He pushed a few buttons. "Open sesame," he chuckled. The sliding glass doors parted obediently.

"You're a genius," Minx said, a rare moment of admiration from the generally egotistical star.

"Thank you." He dropped her a wink, and they walked into the building. It was the middle of the night. It should have been completely deserted. It was, at least the first floor reception room was. And it should have been as still as death. It was not. From somewhere nearby, they heard music floating, and the sounds of something inhuman singing.

"What are people still doing here?" Minx looked in the direction of the sounds uneasily.

"Doesn't sound much like people."

She shuddered. "Maybe it's just a recording. She rifled through the secretary's desk. "Ugh!"

"What?" asked Techrat, beginning to go through his case.

"It's…a sandwich."

"So some secretary left her lunch, big deal."

"No…" Minx gingerly reached into the drawer and pulled out a plastic baggie, wherein was a strange, green square.

Techrat frowned. "Something isn't right here." He left his gadgets and got up, beginning to go over the desk. "Interesting doodles," he said, holding up one sheet of paper covered in childish drawings. He flipped through an appointment book. The writing at the beginning of it was large block letters, the hand of a five-year-old first learning to write. Several words were misspelled, some almost indecipherable. And the notes were in a dialect similar to Jetta's at its worst.

"Ave…no, have," Techrat said, reading it carefully. "Have lunch wif-with Viveean Mongomere?"

"Vivian Montgomery," Minx supplied.

He flipped some more pages. As the appointments went on, the writing got a little better, the spelling a little less painful. But there had not been a secretary change. The writer had simply gotten better with practice.

"It looks like Roxy wrote this thing. Why would Trevale hire a secretary who's barely literate? And this desk is a mess."

"Maybe he's doing a good deed for someone, giving a less-fortunate person a job," Minx said, obviously not really understanding the concept, only repeating what she'd been told.

"For the main receptionist of a major music company? No…"

"Duck!" cried Minx, pushing him down under the desk with her. The elevator had begun moving. They lay under the desk, watching carefully for whatever would come out.

Jareth Trevale emerged, to their awestruck surprise. There could be no mistaking that he'd been awakened in the middle of a sound sleep. He wore a silk bathrobe around his burgundy silk pajamas, and his hair was not mussed, but gathered in a blonde ponytail. He rubbed his make-up free eyes sleepily and started in the direction of the sound.

"He lives here?" whispered Minx.

"It's not unheard of. Still, it's weird."

They watched as he opened a door, not by touching it, but by waving his hand, not too different from Pizzazz's earlier gesture of dismissal at Stormer. On the other side, they saw something that froze them, something they would never forget, something no one would ever believe.

Monsters.

Dozens and dozens of small monsters cavorting with larger, furry red monsters around a dirty room of some kind, with…chickens and an indention in the floor, and a big chair at the center, rather like a throne. This room was not part of this building. It couldn't be…

"What are you all doing here and out of costume!?" Jareth snapped.

The music died abruptly. The monsters looked a little put out.

"Well, what have you got to say for yourselves?"

"Sorry?" asked one.

"Very good. And if I ever hear anything like this again, I'll dip you headfirst into the bog of stench, no questions asked."

"Yes, sire."

"Now, come on out of there, all of you."

They slowly began to file into the room, but as they did, they changed shape. They became human. One of the furry monsters started through the door.

"Not you," Jareth told it, plucked off its head, and threw it back into the room.

"Aw, man," the head sighed dismally as it through the air.

Minx found that amazing voice she was so proud of and began to scream. Techrat grabbed her and his case of gadgets, and they started to run. The automatic doors slid open for them, and the dashed away into the night, Minx still shrieking in terror.

 

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