Revised this one-shot since someone said of some mistakes in it, tell me if I haven't gotten them all. Just a short missing scene from the Huntsman's and Snow White's first night spending in the Dark Forest. No Snow White/Huntsman pairing. I like that pairing a lot but none of it here. Just friendship between the two. Maybe slight Huntsman/Sara. Anyway enough out of me, Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own nothing, sadly, and I make no profit from this story.
"She cannot bring your wife back from the dead, you fool!"
The huntsman lurched awake, panting and sweat drenched. He was no stranger to nightmares. He'd had them during the war, with Sara's ever loving and patient understanding the night terrors quelled. Following her death the plaguing dreams returned, although with a change of torment. They were not of fighting, fallen comrades, or fear of death, but of his Sara's broken bloodied body, what if scenarios, and revenge on the man that took her from him. While the nightmares of war haunted his nights before, the dreams of Sara stayed with him even after wakening. Waking dreams that left him targeted by a volley of emotions; anger, sorrow, self-loathing, and above all guilt.
He knew he deserved the emotional torment for failing to protect his beloved wife, but he was too weak to endure the pain of loss alone. So he had taken to the drink as his drowner of his sorrows. He had regressed back into the drunken man he cared nothing for… and hated.
Tonight though was different, his nightmares were haunted by the glimmer of hope the queen had falsely offered and then it being so quickly crushed. He knew himself a fool for believing someone could come back from the dead, but the thought that he could see…could hold his wife again made him comply nearly instantly. All rational thought that said it not to be true had went unheard and he paid for it now.
Shaking his head in an attempt to clear it of the emotional fog his nightmares had laid on his senses, the huntsman took a deep breath and reached for his wineskin.
After taking a long pull of the bitter drink, he looked around taking in their surroundings. It was still dark, the only light coming from the dying embers of the fire. There was no noise; no sounds of animals or even wind. Just silence. The extreme quiet unnerved him. Oh how he hated this place.
He went to take another drink but judging by its weight, it held no more than a pence worth. He quickly returned the wineskin to his side and turned the other direction. So as not to drink anymore, one needed as clear of a head as one could get while traveling though the Dark Forest, especially when guiding a trouble target girl though as well.
Speaking of the girl, the huntsman looked over to where the lass had settled for sleep, on the other side of the fire across from him next to a dead oak tree. She was curled on her left side still sound asleep. Her long raven dark hair was a mess about her face, all tangled and matted from mud and grim along with her once knee length dress. It hadn't been in the best form when they had meet but now it looked twice as worse, but aside from all the dirt and rags she wore and the fact they were in the Dark Forest, her face was relaxed and… peaceful as she slept. The girl couldn't have been no older than seventeen to eighteen years of age.
And that's what puzzled the Huntsman. This young girl who was most likely a maid or servant of sorts, was wanted by the queen to the extent that she would send guards and her brother, who she was supposed to be 'so protective over, into the Dark Forest to retrieve the lass. He doubted that witch cared for anyone but herself and yet she wanted the girl. He again doubted that the queen loved or was missing the girl so there had to be a different motive for the queen to want her back. Maybe the lass had secret information on the queen or the girl had stolen something from her. The Huntsman didn't think the latter true for the girl had no possessions minus the cloths on her back, but the former seemed to hold more logic than any other reasons.
But what secret could be so important that the queen would go so far to get her back. Possibly something to prove one or more of the many rumors correct about the evil Queen. Perhaps the rumor of her murdering the king the night of their marriage and later the princess to take the throne for herself. The huntsman thought this one true himself and didn't need proof of it. Or maybe the one of the use of 'black magic' by the Queen and how she uses it to control her guards, to command loyalty and to drain the land of its once vibrant youth and spirit. Or the one of the queen and her brother being born from a witch and are taking revenge on the villages for the killing of their ancestors by starving the land's people, literally and spiritly.
The Huntsman sighed. Whatever information the girl held or if she even held any at all, he would take her to Duke Hammond's castle, gold or no gold. He didn't fully trust the girl but his instincts were telling him that something big might come of this girl and he would follow them for now.
Then he smiled bitterly and thought, 'I've got nothing better to spend my time on.'
A quiet groan pulled his attention back to reality and onto his charge. She had turned onto her back, then flipped onto her right side and then to her back again while moving her arms as if trying to push or fight someone away. Her face showed either pain or fear, but a determination to fend off her non-existent attacker. The huntsman stood quickly, stepped easily over the fire and crouched down beside her.
"Girl." The Huntsman said while grabbing her shoulders trying to gentelly shake her awake, but only succeeding in making her kick and fight harder. "Girl! …Snow!"
Snow White's translucent green eyes flew open, unfocused and looking around wildly until the Huntsman's face came in to view. She just stared. He didn't look concerned, more like he was patiently waiting for her to come to her senses before he let go of her or moved away.
"It's just a nightmare. Common when sleeping in the Dark Forest." Was all he said as he let go of her shoulders walked back to his chosen sleeping area, pulled out his dagger and began sharpening it.
Snow White said nothing at first, she just sat there staring down. The hazy images of her nightmare still clouded the forefront of her mind.
Ravenna's guards and brother had caught up to them. She and the Huntsman were running through the thick woods; ducking under low over hanging braches that snagged their clothing as if wanting them to be caught, jumping over the hurtle the up rooted tree limbs caused, dodging arrows from the archer guards that almost flew from nowhere landing to the right, left or in front of you just before you stepped either which way, and most of all trying to keep in each other's sight.
The thudding of horse's hooves, the yelling commands of Finn, and the shouted replies of the guards along with Snow's heavy breathing drowned out all sounds. Until the sound of a pained grunt/shout broke though that barrier. She turned and her eyes widen in shock and fear as she watches the Huntsman fall to the forest floor with an arrow protruding from his lower back and one from the back of his knee. She moved to aid him but he leaned up waving his hand in an outward motion while yelling at her to keep running and to leave him.
She hesitated in her advance. Looking through the trees, the guards were approaching fast and the thunder of horse hooves was growing much louder. She tried to estimate if she could reach him and get him up in time.
"Go! You stupid girl!" He yelled still waving his hand. Then his face contorted in pain as an archer guard shot him again, making her guide slump forward and grow still.
Tears unwillingly and quickly sprang to her eyes as she saw this and the realization that her hesitation had caused his death. She turned to run again but stopped dead as she faced Ravenna.
"Hello, sweet princess." The evil queen started sweetly but near spat the last word.
Snow stumbled backwards in an attempt to run the other way but Ravenna appeared in front of her again, smiling evilly.
The sounds of running guards and horses was long forgotten as Snow stared at the blazing cold silver blue eyes of the evil queen. "I need the beating heart of one most pure. You should be flattered by that. One most pure." She said, disgust dripping from every word. "You will give me what I want. You will give me your heart!"
The dark queen leaped forward with a dragger posed towards Snow's heart. Snow was to slow and stunned to move as the blade pierced her heart and she screamed.
Remembering the vivid feeling of pain when the knife struck her chest made her gasp and jump awake. Thus making the Huntsman instantly jerk his head up towards her and then scan their surrounding for danger. When he saw none he looked back at the girl with a puzzled and guarded gaze. Seeing the shine of unshed tears in the other's eyes, the Huntsman became covertly concerned.
He never liked to see women upset, especially Sara however rarely she was. But this little lass that sat just a few paces in front of him, shivering and looking startled from what he had to guess was a nightmare, stirred an old odd feeling in the bitter man's heart.
"Are you alright?" He asked softly, but the suddenly asked question caused Snow to flinch and wrap her arms around herself. The huntsman brow furrowed.
He put down his sharpening tools, slowly stood back up and walked around the dead fire embers to the shivering girl were he crouched back down to her level.
"Easy." He softly instructed as he laid a hand on her arm. She flinched at the contact. "Dreams can't hurt you once you wake up." He leaned back on his heels and as he balanced, the Huntsman shrugged out of his long coat and tenderly draped it over Snow's thin shoulders.
Snow's eyes slightly widened in surprise, but she was grateful. "T-thank you." She stammered at first but finished strong and hoped she sounded thankful as she was. It was cool outside and the shock her nightmare, plus reminder of the day's events, sent her in had chilled her temperature and the coat, already warmed from the huntsman's body heat, helped calm her frayed nerves.
But then the thought of the huntsman being cold struck her. He only wore a thin shirt under a leather vest along with leather arm guards once the coat was gone and none provided any warmth. Snow glanced down at the long burnt out fire, no source of heat there.
"But won't you get cold?" She found herself saying before she realized she was speaking.
The huntsman, who had stood up to head back to his area of their temporary campsite, turned and looked down at Snow with a neutral but slightly haunted expression.
"It's nothing I haven't felt before, besides I've got the meat on my bones to withstand it." The huntsman mouth corners quirked a little at the end of his sentence before he stepped over the ash of their once fire and sat back down to continue sharpening his knifes.
He could feel the girl eyes on him but he didn't look up thinking she's lose whatever interest she had and fall back asleep. Instead he could still feel her stare eight minutes later and it was starting to annoy him.
"There's still a few hour 'til daylight. You should get what sleep you can before we head out." He informed Snow, without looking up.
He heard her shift and he risked a quick glance up to see if she had laid down. She had but she hadn't quite looking at him.
Caught with staring though made her instantly look elsewhere. Snow didn't blush though for, no matter to what the huntsman thought, she wasn't interested in him like that. Sure she thought he was attractive but she didn't know him as she knew William and she needed to know if William still lived before she thought of another man like how she had thought of the Duke's son so many times in the past.
She looked back up at the huntsman to see if he went back to his work but she found him looking back. "What are ya staring at?" He asked, a little exasperated.
"N-nothing. Just… I never took you for the type to care for a stranger." Snow again spoke before thinking about it. She was going to have to work on that. "Sorry… I don't mean to offend…"
The huntsman gave a bark of a laugh, "Many people think me different things. Worse than what you have." He smiled a dead smile and went back to sharpening.
Snow didn't know how to respond. Too many emotions danced around inside her; confusion, sadness, gratitude, pity, and astonishment, all directed at the enigma of a man in front of her.
"I mean what I said, about you needing sleep. We set out again at dawn. It's a long way so you'll need the energy." The huntsman cautioned without looking up from his work or missing a beat.
Snow would have argued that he needed sleep and energy too. Maybe even more so with his wound but a wave of fatigue washed over her small frame. She unwillingly closed her eyes as she was lulled to sleep with the sound of knives being sharpened.
A/N: Sorry for the quick ending. It's nearly midnight and I was getting tired, but I hope you enjoyed what was written. Reviews are welcomed! :) Many thanks to all who do!