Title: Breath of Life

Fandom: Snow White and the Huntsman

Pairings: Ravenna/Snow White

Rating: PG13 (just to be safe)

Word Count: 1061

Disclaimer: Not mine… they so would've had more screen time together…

Spoilers: Yes. Although I completely change the scenes to make Ravenna in it more… (I'm not sure how much sense it will make if you haven't seen the movie...)

Summary: Ravenna is desperate for Snow's life… so why is Snow still alive?

A/N: This was supposed to be a drabble. *rolls eyes at self* Thanks to Starbuck1980 as always for fixing my stupid mistakes. :-* (Any remaining mistakes are mine.)

She came like clockwork every year on the day she had killed Snow's father, taking time to fit the key into the lock, pause, and turn it, listening as the lock clanked out of place and the door swung open.

At first Snow didn't know what prompted this annual visit but Ravenna let it slip once, gloating about her father's weakness and her triumph, but her boasting was hollow and her eyes showed only guilt and loneliness. Was it guilt that prompted Ravenna to leave Snow alive when it made more sense to kill her?

Ravenna opened the door to Snow's prison. It had been eight years since she first locked her in here and the young girl who had once called her beautiful was now a woman in her own right, her beauty shinning through despite the grime she was always covered in. She looked upon the sleeping girl, a tenderness flooding her as she arched her eyebrows in confusion. She had steeled herself against such emotions long ago, all that mattered was ensuring her own protection and she wasn't going to let this girl get in the way. If she needed her heart she would take it.

And yet she still felt bonded to this girl somehow.

The Queen sat beside Snow on the bed as Snow turned over, her eyes fluttering open to stare into Ravenna's, reading the conflict visible within.

Ravenna placed her hand over Snow's heart, feeling the beating of it strong beneath her palm. Her head fell back as she felt the power of it coursing through her.

Snow's breath caught before a whimper was pulled from her mouth. The Queen's mouth quirked in a smile at Snow's discomfort, gazing deep into eyes glazed with pain. Snow was doing her best to breathe through the ache, her heart beating faster and faster under Ravenna's touch.

Snow fought, closing her eyes and forcing her breath to calm, her burning skin slowly cooling as her heartbeat returned to normal. The Queen pulled her hand back as if scalded and Snow stared at her, radiating confidence.

Ravenna stared at her, shock barely masked. She had made armies of men fall to their knees at her feet and yet this girl utterly disarmed her.

And within that moment of weakness Snow took her chance, swiping the air with the nail she had procured. She missed Ravenna but threw her off balance enough to struggle from her grasp, running down the hallway as the Queen's scream followed her down the passageway.

With the apple choking in her throat she fell to the cold ground. Ravenna was on her in a moment, straddling her thighs with knife in hand. Snow watched the anger in the Queen's eyes waver. She paused, looking up briefly before her gaze returned to Snow, almost as if she wanted to be saved from this act.

If that was her intention she was successful.

Snow heard her friends approach and the ravens that had been Ravenna scattered. Trapped in her own mind she heard her friends mourn, their pain ripping at her gut with its pointlessness. She blocked it out, forcing herself to ignore her own helplessness before it stripped her of her sanity.

Instead she replayed Ravenna's eyes in the moments before she left Snow incapacitated on the ground. Hesitant and shifty. She back-tracked through her memories of Ravenna, trying to read her, trying to understand her. She heard the longing she had initially ignored in William's voice as Ravenna said, 'I would follow you everywhere,' with a curious nostalgia. It sounded like the desperation of a lost soul, someone who wanted someone to follow, something to fight for beyond her own existence at the cost of all else.

She also remembered the soft intensity of the kiss, real want spun with the hatred she thought she had imagined. She felt fluttering in her stomach; it was stronger now than when she felt the kiss, as if William's façade had cooled the passion she felt for those lips. The thought was ridiculous but as she conjured the Queen's image in her mind her body responded. She could feel the reactions like a phantom limb, the shadow of a racing pulse running in her inert body. She wished she could scream, run, hide from whatever this was but, trapped in a prison of her own flesh she had no choice but to face it.

The apple had done its trick and Snow was lying breathless on a bed of mourning. Ravenna transported to the room to see the fruits of her success and claim her heart. Yet, as she looked upon Snow's prone form, there was an emptiness inside her she couldn't fathom. She watched Snow, unconsciously stepping closer to the prostrate form as the body's vitality, even now, drew her in. Snow's lips were still remarkably red and the Queen leaned over her, expecting to be able to feel her breath. But the spell had done its job and no breath stirred. She leaned closer, willing the vitality into her own body, savouring the feeling of Snow's youth, her promise. She touched the dagger at her hip, bracing herself for the task at hand before faltering as her lips were drawn closer, needing to consume the life beneath her. She felt Snow's cold lips beneath hers and her heart beat faster, hate melting away into unrestrained want. The breath that had been absent a moment before passed across Ravenna's lips as she watched Snow's eyes flutter open, kiss broken.

Snow stared at her for a moment. Her incapacity had given her time to process all that had passed between them and yet the prospect had still seemed ridiculous until this kiss. But Snow could now feel her body's response to the Queen's proximity, an urgent plea where once had been a whisper. She stared into the Queen's eyes, confusion and desire staring back at her, and she knew she would forgive her everything and, in saving her, save the Kingdom.

"If you wanted my heart there was another way," Snow finally said, a rueful smile on her lips. Ravenna's eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

Snow pushed herself up slightly and took Ravenna's lips in her own, feeling them respond before pulling away, "Next time don't dress up as William," she whispered.