This is the second of five unconnected short stories crossing Supernatural with other fictional universes. The other stories in the series can be found here.

Betaed by Solo. Thank you again!

Bending the Rules

by Sylvia

The kid's a little old, but Jareth hasn't exactly been inundated with pleas from mortals to come take their kids off their hands lately. Humans have grown depressingly oblivious to the magic that surrounds them. Most of them don't even believe in goblins anymore. Most of them don't even believe in him anymore, since the existence of a goblin king is somewhat tied to the existence of goblins.

Truly a more than depressing, bleak and oblivious species.

Not that Jareth cares, of course. Oh, it had been nice to be fawned over and courted and hear his name whispered in fear and awe over hearthfires, to be cursed and pleaded with and admired and yearned for. But still, it's not like he cares about those monkeys, or that he craves their attention. It's just irritating to be forced to deal with such ignorance.

But back to the subject at hand. This kid's a little older than the usual changeling, and the other kid's a little young. If Jareth's any judge – and he is, having brought up several hundred changelings in his day, making sure they turned into strapping young creatures in spite of their inauspicious primate roots – he's eight or nine, possibly ten if he's a particularly runty creature.

Jareth looks at Runty Monkey Kid standing in front of the Labyrinth, frantic and flushed and tears flooding his eyes, and almost feels sorry for the little brat. Almost. He had wished his brother to Jareth, after all, and rules were rules.

Jareth's new son – Sammy, Monkey Kid had called him – stops screaming briefly in order to suck in more air. He's certainly got an impressive volume going... maybe he'll be a spellsinger. Jareth himself is a krystallorgos by preference ("crystalworker" sounds so mundane that he's banned the word from his kingdom in the first year of his rule), but he is certainly more than qualified to teach other disciplines.

Jareth attempts to bounce Sammy on his knee to calm him down, or failing that, to help expel the air from his lungs to speed the next interval in that accursed yowling.

Sammy kicks him – again – and bites his hand hard enough to draw blood. The left one this time. At least he has a sense of symmetry.

He hands Sammy over to the goblins and goes to relax (and soak his bruises) in a nice, hot bath. It's been a long day – and they're only just into the first hour of the obligatory thirteen hour trial, at the end of which Sammy will be his son. It seems rather cruel to make Runty Monkey go through with it when it's obvious he has no chance, but rules are rules, and he did get himself into this mess.

After the bath, he listens thoughtfully to the volume of the bellowing emanating from the throne room and takes himself off to the library to brush up on his spellsinging. He partakes of a light snack, drafts an invitation for a small soirée to show off his new protégé, and calls up a crystal to check on just how deeply Sammy's brother has fallen into despair.

Surprisingly, the little monkey has actually succeeded in gaining entrance to the Labyrinth and is now bumbling around somewhere in the Western Reaches. He looks pathetic, having obviously managed to find both the Pit of Disgusting Slime and the Firebeasts. Jareth zooms in enough to watch his lower lip tremble slightly before he firms it, wiping a grimy little paw across his face and trying for an expression of resolve that doesn't fit his soft monkey face at all.

Jareth shrugs, tosses the crystal to the ceiling to burst into a thousand rainbow shards of light, and sings a Generic Mythical Monster into existence to take the shape of whatever creature the little monkey fears most. Probably unnecessary, but it would be insulting not to honor the kid's efforts in some small way.

The GMM is slightly lopsided, and Jareth frowns and turns back to the books as soon as he's sent it off after the little monkey. There is no time to lose. He will only have ten or fifteen years before his new son is grown. Humans are unreasonably quick about these things.

At some point the background noise dies down, and Jareth ventures into the throne room to find Sammy fallen into an exhausted sleep in the middle of an anxious circle of goblins. He's collapsed in a graceless, sweaty heap, face swollen, wet and red from crying, snot leaking out of his nose. Still, Jareth remembers he was an entirely acceptable tyke – for a primate – before his brother wished him away. No doubt he will adjust to his new circumstances soon.

Jareth retires for a rejuvenating nap.

He wakes to an infernal noise that even drowns out his future son's voice. Briefly. It sounds like the palace is coming down around his ears.


In the throne room, Jareth's goblins are rushing around in their usual ineffectual fashion; there is a rather large hole in the wall; and Runty Monkey Boy is clutching Sammy to his chest with one arm and pointing a rifle as tall as he is at Jareth with the other. Sammy is sobbing into his brother's grubby rag of a t-shirt, clutching at Monkey Boy as though he is a manner of noble heroic knight come to rescue him.

Jareth steals a glance at the clock. A quarter to thirteen.

Theoretically, he could demand that in order to fulfill the terms of the bargain, Monkey Boy had to return through the Labyrinth with his brother before his allotted time ran out. Jareth has never shied from changing the rules when it suits him.

His bitten hand is still sore, and the comparative silence is making his ears ring.

"Congratulations, Mo – Dean," Jareth says, and smiles. "I'm sure the two of you will find your own way out."



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