My first and probably only Snow White and the Huntsman story. My siblings and I watched this movie and after they expressed their displeasure at the ambiguity of the ending I was inspired to write this.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of them, but I would like to point out that I have first dibs on Chris Hemsworth if he becomes available.
She hadn't expected to see him standing there in the back of the great hall. Of course he hadn't been doing what she expected since before the former Queen had been defeated. After they arrived at the Duke's castle she expected him to leave. She might have appeared dead when they arrived at the castle, but there was no reason for him to stick around. Then again if he hadn't she wouldn't be sitting on the thrown now. She might have even been buried at this point, doomed to spend an eternity asleep in the ground. She suppressed a shiver at the thought.
But he had stayed and he had kissed her. Whether he knew it or not, he had saved her again by kissing her. Hearing his speech as he tried valiantly to say goodbye brought tears to her eyes, even in sleep. When he kissed her, she had felt his tears on her cheek and as she awoke his tears mingled with hers as they slid down to be absorbed into the furs she had been laid upon. She realized that he was her true love and as she gave her speech to the Duke's men she wished with everything she was that he would be there with her. That he would be there to help her face the Queen.
Figuring that that was his final goodbye to her, she was surprised when he joined her on the front lines outside the Queen's castle. She didn't want to read too much into his compliment on how she appeared in chain mail. She believed him to just be teasing her, as he had done throughout their acquaintance. Unbeknownst to her he had meant the compliment.
When she faced the Queen finally, she did not have to turn around when the doors burst open. She knew that he would have followed her, if only to ensure that she made it to the Queen. He was one of the few who knew that she was the only one who could defeat the Queen. After the Queen died, brought down by the very knife that he had given her for protection, she turned and there he was kneeling on the ground. He was clearly exhausted from the fight, but he was alive and her heart rejoiced. It also broke because now that the Queen was dead, there was nothing to keep him with her.
The kingdom rejoiced when their long imprisoned Princess was restored to the throne that was rightfully hers all along. As reward for their help she gave every dwarf enough riches to last two lifetimes each. William and the Duke were restored to their place in her court. As for the him, she offered him the hundred gold pieces she had originally promised him. He had smiled, but declined before walking off. She had been confused at first, but then rationalized that his guilt over her perceived death must have kept him from accepting his promised reward. She wished that she could go after him and tell him that she did not blame him, but in fact thanked him for saving her. She also wished that she could tell him that it was his kiss that had saved her, but he was gone before she could.
The coronation went as planned and Snow White now sat on the throne as the Queen. As everyone cheered she looked around the room, meeting the eyes of all her old and new friends. The dwarfs, who were dressed in finery with metals for their service bringing down the evil Queen. William and his father, who finally could stand tall again because they had finally rescued Snow White. Snow's eyes swept the room again, but the one pair of eyes she hoped to see were not there. Her smile faded till she saw movement in the back of the hall. Looking up there he was, the Huntsman. The man who had tried to kill her, who had ditched her, who had come back to her, who had saved her countless times, and who had refused anything in return. A smile grew on Snow white's face as a smirk appeared on his. He had stayed and hopefully, if she was truly lucky, he had stayed for her.