A/N: This started as a fan fiction drabble, but I'm pleased with how it grew. Intimacy mixed with horror. Romance is only a heartbeat faster than fear. Enjoy, feel free to leave constructive criticism.

Snowed In

Derek woke up beside her with a splitting headache wondering just how much he had drunk last night. He had been drinking too much lately, he knew that. Awareness trickled slowly down his spine like ice water. She was curled against him like smoke. Her left arm supported his head, and her right arm was lingering over his chest. She traced small spirals on his torso enjoying the silence. Her ebony hair was laced with bits of white, fraying like a tapestry. She had lips as red as rubies and skin as pale as snow. Had she ever told him her name? His eyes drifted hazily upwards focusing on the ceiling, trying to place his surroundings.

"Good morning." She kissed him above his eyebrow, along his cheek, and down his neck. Her soft lips ghosted over his skin, tender and playful. He didn't return the affection, focusing on her faint voice. "Won't you say my name, Derek?"

Derek was still staring upward, trying to process what he was seeing. He shifted to look at her. The subtle movement brought into sharp clarity the small space; only slightly longer than his toes, and only two feet wider than his shoulders. She was smiling, clearly pleased with herself. Her green eyes were red and tired. He looked past her at the glass walls, tracing the roots of trees. Buried, he realized, he was buried alive. He started to wonder how far down the small box was buried. "I…" he stammered still grappling with the entire concept. Derek had woken up in many strange places, but a coffin was new.

"Please." She said it quietly.

Outside cherry blossoms were blooming in the early spring. She only had seven days a year to try and find a way to wake up. Last night he had promised, said those two words… "I'll be your prince charming," with all the sincerity he could, rather the whiskey could, summon.

"Sugar," Derek coughed.

She clarified her name in quiet chiming tones.

"Sure," he continued, "maybe we should take this topside first."

"I have to wake up." She pleaded. "Say my name."

Derek frowned. He moved to run a hand through her hair, as a gesture of his willingness to play along. He smiled a little. "Just tell me…"

She pouted and repeated her name. The word danced on the tip of her tongue just out of earshot. He could hear a bit of it but lost it as quickly as it came. As his fingers stroked her hair he realized that the dark strands were passing through his hand like air. "Can we not play word games?" he suggested.

He looked around his surroundings. Derek started to notice that there were miscellaneous objects in the corners; two wallets, a pair of sunglasses, a watch, and something that might be a wedding ring. He shifted uncomfortably, only then realizing that the light in his confinement was from a soft glow. The luminescence was on his skin where her touch had lingered. She pulled away from him a little. "Last night was different." Her voice lowered as she added. "Why do they always change?"

Derek cleared his throat. He could see that one wallet was stained, and he couldn't bring himself to guess what with. "Sweetie," he said through tight lips, "how did we even get down here?"

Her face wrinkled in confusion, and her cheeks flushed. "You followed me; you promised me."

Derek paused to think, and tried to pull his hands away. He needed to stretch, to breathe fresh air. He licked at his dry lips. There was a taste of sour apple in his mouth. When he didn't immediately respond, she frowned. She crossed her arms over her chest and simmered. Derek was staring at the edges of the coffin now, looking for the exit. There were faint etchings on it that he hadn't noticed before. It seemed there were a lot of details he had missed. There was a story on the glass. She slapped him across the face, and he quickly turned to face her. Her agitation was palpable. "Why must you make it so hard?" She softened. "Have I asked too much of you?"

She rolled onto her back. Derek held still, his cheek was still stinging, as he tried to work out a solution. "I just want someone to lie to me." She said in small voice. "To lay with me, to say my name so sweetly. Is it too much to ask?"

"No." Derek agreed, thinking of his Annabelle. Blonde hair, blue eyes- two months had not yet removed the sting of loss. He missed her cooking, her jokes, but most of all he missed warm afternoons that they laid together. The words they exchanged had not mattered. It was the comfort of lying next to her, and knowing that she loved him, had loved him. "It's not too much."

It occurred to him mildly, that if they were at the cemetery then Annabelle was close by. He relaxed, if only because the loss of oxygen was wearing on him. Pleasantness was creeping over his skin, even as the panic tried to keep him on edge.

"Let me wake up." The woman beside him murmured. She was reverting to her charms, running a hand over his chest. Her fingernails scratched at his skin and he shuddered. "They had warned me to be wary of visitors. I didn't listen." She started to ramble as she remembered the past. "The queen's disguise, the comb, the corset, the apple…. Oh, Derek you must let me wake up."

"I can't." Derek admitted.

It was not the answer she had wanted. Her fingernails dug deeper, causing him to wince. "Then I will take your heart." She hissed, pushing herself up. "I will rob you as I was."

Derek tried to push her away, but she had an advantage in the surroundings. She was furious now, unwilling to listen to any more words. There was no truth to true love. She reached over Derek's head, grabbing a knife that been discarded carelessly after yesterday's tumble. Derek's attempts to block her stabs only delayed the inevitable. He had woken up a dead man, and died heart broken.

She lay back in the pool of blood and sighed. There was only one more night this year for her to find the man that would wake her up. A hollow echo resounded in her chest, but she had long lost her heart. It had been given to a prince who had never come to save her. A prince, who had seen her sleeping for and mistaken her for dead, and moved on like she never could. She looked over at Derek. His eyes were glassy, widened in shock. She would move him soon, but for the moment she slid closer and savored the last of his body heat. At least she could still pretend. Above the glass lid, flowers were still trying to bloom.

end