As the month progressed, she eased back into her social life as well, somewhat reluctant to spend long away from home. But whatever her past ordeals, Ali's wandering feet wouldn't let her remain at home for too long. Short walks became longer ones, which became the occasional visit to once-familiar worlds, which even managed to turn into a weekend's sabbatical in space toward the end. But one place she couldn't quite bring herself to go was to the Labyrinth.
The years had mellowed her anger, but the uncertain way in which they had last parted had left a jagged break in her heart that did not heal well. She found herself full of a bittersweet melancholy that lent itself neither to word or action, but hoarded both in a most miserly fashion. However much she might tell herself that Jareth deserved better than the treatment she had so often suffered from others, any attempt she made to go and see him was aborted.
Today, she'd managed to get as far as the door--but she couldn't bring herself to knock. She stared at it for long while, as if some sort of answer might be forthcoming (and really, that wouldn't be unheard-of). Then she raised a hand, perhaps intending to knock, but managing only to lay that hand against the door as if one of them needed the comfort.
Defeat, admitted with a sigh. She turns away, her fingers trailing down the rough wood as her hand falls.
The past month, in Ali's opinion, had been glorious. The turn of summer into fall was a mostly gentle and fulfilling time, and many things came to harvest. The children settled into school with fewer difficulties, a sign they were finally beginning to acclimate, while the farms and orchards they visited on weekends bustled with the business of harvesting and preparing for the winter. Comfortable and comforting clothes were brought out of storage, the soft knits and weaves warming both skin and soul. There were many good things to be had, all close at hand. Ali had taken every opportunity to enjoy it all.