What's a girl to do after she has won her baby brother back from the clutches of the Goblin King and resumed her mundane mortal life? Sarah's answer is to go to college and major in Mythology. Her parents don't really approve, and it inevitably seems just a tad dull compared to her adventure battling the machinations of Tall, Blonde, and Tight Leather Pants... but (true to form) when conflict and unpleasant realities begin to drag her down a certain someone can't help but show up and find new ways to bedevil her.
The work spans twenty-five chapters and is paced appropriately, drawing from historical myth for new material without diminishing the significance of the characters and themes from Labyrinth itself. Fans hoping to see supporting characters from the movie will probably be disappointed, though; only Sarah and Jareth get screentime. Also one of those rare fics which has been edited to grammatical perfection, if that's something you care about.
A sequel has been promised but has not yet seen the light of day. An alternate ending to the story is available - described as "much darker", it is called Love Without Your Heartbeat.
Tropes woven into the story:
- All Myths Are True: Not literally, but the power of stories is of great concern to the magical characters.
- Arc Words: Exuberantly employed throughout the fic, using both callbacks to arc words from the movie, and some new ones.
- Author Avatar: Per Word of God, Laurel, Sarah's human best friend.
- Bastard Boyfriend: Jareth very much wants to use this trope. Sarah doesn't intend to let him get away with it.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: The verbal version of this is in play with a vengeance near the beginning of the story.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Explicitly discussed when Sarah confronts Jareth after preventing him from taking a child whose mother wished her away.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Airgetlam wears dark clothing and has long, intimidating claws, but he is friendly to Sarah when they meet at the masquerade, and genuinely empathetic and helpful when they discuss Jareth as Airgetlam assists in her escape from the anchor chamber.
- Celtic Mythology: The author's love for this is evident. Researching small details and hints gives much more insight into the Fae characters.
- Cat Folk: The door riddle guards from the movie have been replaced by or more accurately, always were, but Sarah perceives them differently now a pair of sphinx sisters who can and do shapeshift into various human, humanoid, and/or feline forms.
- Child of Two Worlds: A large part of the story revolves around exactly how Sarah embodies this.
- A Degree in Useless: Mythology major protagonist faces parents who love her but feel compelled to put their foot down to guide her back towards something more practical.
- Dimensional Traveler: How else can the Goblin King spirit away unwanted children? Sarah develops her own knack for it eventually.
- The Fair Folk: Of course. A few more than in the movie.
- Fairytale Wedding Dress: Averted. Sarah does wear a very notable dress at the masquerade and when she returns to Jareth at the eleventh hour, but it is rather different from the one in the movie.
- Gay Best Friend: Subverted. Laurel exhibits aspects of this trope when joking around with Sarah, but is one of the more developed side characters, and has an on-screen girlfriend.
- HeelFace Turn: Jareth, when he immediately regrets allowing Sarah to be trapped and acts to attempt to reverse it.
- Land of Faerie: The Labyrinth, of course, and various other realms. They're anchored to our world rather tenuously, something the Fae are looking to fix...
- Mating Dance: At one point there is a masquerade, and although the Fae conduct political business on the dance floor Jareth clearly wants a dance with Sarah for its own sake. She doesn't mind.
- Playing Hard to Get: The two main characters practically weaponize this against each other.
- Really 700 Years Old: The more powerful and influential a magical character, the older you can expect them to be. They won't necessarily show it.
- Setting Update: The fic is set contemporary to its time of writing/publication, which was the early 2010s, rather than the early 90s (when Sarah would be going to college based on the assumption that the film is set in its release year of 1986).
- They Do. It actually seemed like they just might not, for a bit.
- Trickster Archetype: Subverted with Jareth - though his personality certainly shows the same elements of this trope as the movie, a great deal of the narrative is intimately connected with his responsibility and authority as the ruler of a domain of Faerie. Played straight with Airgetlam.
- Woman in White: Played about as straight as a trope can be, with Anann.