Set around the end of #27
The battle had been fierce, and despite the unexpected and annoyingly difficult to defeat squadron that descended, they had triumphed. Not without a high price, the numerous covered stretchers lining the tunnel could attest.
They hadn't been prepared, for the battle or the aftermath. Each head bowed in mourning for each body dropped down the well with a kind word befitting them. And in each mind, a grim reminder of just how mortal they really were. They might be able to hang around for longer than any mundy, but one day each of them would more than likely make that same drop. They had been aware of this, dimly in the back of their mind as an infant would observe a hearse, but hadn't acknowledged it.
Snow let it sink in, hand perched in an unconscious protective gesture over her abdomen. A flutter of movement, and it became more difficult to maintain her composure. Life and death, all intertwined.
She'd been spared this, the other year. A bullet to the skull, somehow striking at just the right angle, just barely off from a fatal wound. The scar remained now, a silent reminder.
The service ended, after some time. She walked over to Bigby and took his hand, giving it a tight squeeze. He squeezed back, understanding. It had been far from easy for either of them. Without their efforts, things would have gone far worse, far more bodies dropped down the well -- if it could be assumed any would have remained to carry them there.
Part of her wanted to go with him, set aside all issues for the time and take comfort in each other. But it was still too soon, all too intense, too sudden. The emotions were conflicting and all stronger than she'd allowed herself to deal with in centuries. Not like this, she decided. She'd sort things out first, clear every doubt from her mind before going to him. It was sinking in just how much he loved her, and how deep both their feelings ran. She'd had so many declare their love for her, but it was all shallow, hollow, never seeking to know her or more than a cursory attempt to show respect for her.
Bigby was more, gave her more, ever since their first meeting. He deserved everything she could have to offer, not just solace sought with partially-realized emotion. She'd gotten through worse on her own. And what she and Bigby had was strong; they had all the time in the world.
She walked back through the Woodland, being careful with her cane and taking mental note of where repairs would be needed, what all would have to be done. They'd build anew, have a fresh start. Life and death, all intertwined.