AN: I really enjoyed this movie. I only wish we had seen a bit more of the journey through the woods. I realize this was not possible due to time constraints. Therefore, this is my attempt to fill in a few of the gaps between Snow White and the Huntsman's initial meeting and the few sporadic moments we witnessed of their trek through the forest.

Disclaimer: I own nothing save the imagination with which I wrote this short piece.

A Light in the Darkness

Darkness. It permeated the very atmosphere of the forest that surrounded them. She had thought the sights and sounds of the ancient woods daunting enough in daylight. Now, however, as the blanket of night fell, Snow White could feel the darkness not only tearing at the perimeter of their campfire's glow, but clawing at the edges of her soul as well. A shiver ran through her as she moved closer to the fire. Her gaze rose over the flickering flames to rest on the Huntsman. She was not sure what to make of the man. He was strong. His undaunted march though the woods in spite of the wound he'd received from Finn was proof of that. The knowledge of his strength was cause for both comfort and concern.

Following his broad shoulders through the tangles of bush and branches gave her hope that she would survive the evils that pursued her every step. Yet, this same man had first sought her as a prize for the queen. She remembered the swiftness with which he'd first tracked her. When she'd initially seen him, the Huntsman had been but a shadow moving in the distance. Within moments, he'd not only found her hiding place, but circled back around to drag her from beneath the ragged hollow of the tree as though she were but a small sack of grain. Should he turn on her now, there would be no escape. Snow wrapped her arms about her body to ward off the chill brought on by the thought, but could not suppress the shudders that assailed her. It brought his gaze to rest on her, and she diverted her eyes to the fire, finding the blinding orange of flame more soothing than the unsettling intensity of blue.

Silence reigned with the crackle of the fire serving as the only sound between them. Across from her, the Huntsman pondered his companion as well. She was young, no more than seventeen or eighteen years at most. He wondered just what the queen wanted with her. Finn's reasons for hunting the girl were less of a mystery. He had seen the look on the face of the queen's brother the moment his gaze fell on her, and he recognized the man's lewd desires for what they were. Perhaps it explained his own initial hesitancy to hand her over; the pure terror on her face set against the unhidden lust in Finn's eyes warring against one another in his conscience, blurring his perceptions to the point of uncertainty. Unsure of his footing, he had latched on to the one truth with the power to once more ground him in painful reality. Sara was gone, and he'd come to this forsaken wood grasping at the unlikely chance of seeing her again. It had been a bargain with the devil, a final effort to escape his own emotional torment.

Now, as he looked back upon his agreement with the queen, the Huntsman scoffed at his own stupidity. No soul had ever bartered itself from the gates of hell. He had been a fool to think his blackened heart would fare any better. He had known the pure light of love once. Sara had drawn him from the darkness of his own soul. She had given him a reason to live, a purpose beyond drinking and brawling. He had cleaned himself up, plied his trade, and lived for her. But, with her death, he had lost that purpose; and he had lost his way.

A movement across the flames caught his eye, and the Huntsman glanced up to see his companion shivering against the chill of the night air. She was small, but feisty. He thought of how she'd struck him before pulling the dagger that hung from his side. It had been a move born of fear; for once she held the blade between them he'd seen the uncertainty in her eyes. This was no scullery maid turned thief. She was neither murderess nor vindictive wench. There was an innocence in her eyes he'd not seen in such a long time that the pureness of it skewered his heart. She set him on guard immediately. No one inhabiting Ravenna's bleak provinces could have such sweet innocence in the depths of their gaze.

The stench of death permeated the kingdom as strongly as it hovered over a battlefield. Here were not the putrid remains of flesh, however, for the queen's poison went much deeper. The land suffered the death of dreams, joy, and peace. Her subjects were all mere shells of their former selves, lives lived in tranquility during the time of King Magnus were but a shadow of a memory. Yet, in the midst of this darkness, in a forest evil enough to give even the black queen pause, this raven haired maiden with skin so white, lips so red, and eyes so green had dared to favor him with a light he'd thought to never see again. She had looked upon him with pure, untainted hope.

It had been so long since anyone placed such a burden upon him. Oh, he had been pushed, cajoled, ordered, and even threatened into action before. But no one had ever asked so much of him with so few words; no one save Sara. Perhaps it was why the Huntsman found himself in the dark forest, sharpening his ax while staring across the fire at an innocent girl whose name he did not even know. No matter the reason, he felt a stirring, an almost forgotten call struggling to surface. Seeing her through these enchanted woods gave him a purpose, a path to tread, a reason to exist; it gave him a light in the darkness.

AN: I realize this was a very short chapter, but I do plan to add more to their journey later. Feel free to let me know if you felt this was worth the time it took to read.