Hand in Hand
By: Rainedrops

Chapter 2 - White Valentine

March 13th
Snow laid all over the ground. It was an unusually cold year. Usually the snow started melting by now. But instead of melting it was still collecting.
Sakura put on her coat and was ready to head home. She wrapped her scarf around her neck and embraced the chilling wind that would be blowing at her when she opened the door. She walked slowly, yet she was quickly going numb from the cold. She stuffed her small hands into her pocket and couldn't help but to think of the events that happpened a month ago.
Disappointment hit her hard on Valentine's Day. Not only had she given her present after Ino did, but she couldn't even get a reaction out of him. The days that followed were no different either. There was no sign of appreciation, sometimes even no acknowledgement of her existence.
This is bad. Sasuke must think my present, or even the whole idea of Valentine's Day, dumb. Inevitably Sakura's mind filled with doubt. She didn't know how long this crush was going to last. At first she thought it would last forever; now she can't bear another day. The pain was too hard to suppress. She kept mulling over this as she trudged along. She passed by the shop where she bought the gloves without even giving it a glance.
But most importantly, she forgot that the next day was White Valentine's....
Sasuke had been walking for a while after her now, but she didn't seem to have noticed. He kept his distance, afraid that Sakura might notice him. He found it strange for himself to follow her; he had no idea why did so. Perhaps it bothered him that every day when she was returning home, she would stuff her hands into her coat pocket and walk off with her head down.
As Sasuke passed by the same shop selling the gloves, he stopped. He looked at the pairs of gloves for a while and decided to go inside and take a look.
"Welcome!" The shopkeeper said, "How may I help you?"
"The gloves in the display case, the pink ones, can I have a pair please?"
"Oh those! Haha, they're becoming quite popular. Getting them for your girlfriend?"
"N..n..no!" Sasuke stuttered as he was trying to think of a reason the give the shopkeeper and not look stupid.
"Hahaha! You remind me of this girl that came in about a month ago. She was holding up the pink and blue ones and deciding which one she was going to buy. In the end she chose the blue one and told me to wrap it up too! I bet you she was giving it to someone for Valentine's Day! Haha, I wonder what she'll get in return on White Valentine's!"
"White Valentine's?"
"Oh don't tell me you don't know now dear! It's the day when you return your gifts for those who gave something to you on Valentine's!"
Sasuke had concentrated too much on training and avenging his family. He was totally unaware of such an event until today. "I'll take a pair of those pink ones please!" Sasuke said as he took out his money to pay for it.
"Hey! Those gloves are the same ones as what we sell!" The shopkeeper said a little amazed as he took Sasuke's money.
"Uh.... yah.... Bye." Sasuke left the store and turned around to go home. He looked at the package and wondered what in the world was going on. Buying the gloves was completely an act of impulse. Words came out faster than he could think.
What am I doing?

March 14th
"So Sakura my friend, I assume you gave something to MY Sasuke on Valentine's Day! So what did you get back from him?"
Ino and Sakura were walking together. Sakura was on her way to training again but Ino had her day off.
"Sakura. SAKURA!" Ino yelled. Sakura snapped out of her trance and looked up.
"What in the world do you want Ino? No, I didn't get anything from him, and my guess would be you didn't either!"
"Well of course I'll get it today," Ino said, "After all, today is White Valentine's"
Oh shoot! I totally forgot today was White Valentine's. What should I do? I really don't want to see him right now.
"Hey Ino, I forgot something. I have to go back. See you later, okay?"
"No problem! That'll just mean I get to Sasuke first!" Ino called back at her.
The truth was, Sakura didn't want to go to training at all. She stopped after jogging for 15 minutes and sat down at a bench. Two hours passed and she was still huddled in a ball on the bench. She slowly got up and stretched her cramped legs.
Maybe they'll be off for lunch now. I can go back and check out what's going on.
When she got there, Sasuke and Naruto were just about to leave. Ino was dangling closely behind Sasuke as the three of them went off to get something to eat. She went in the building and hung up her coat.
"So where have you been all day Sakura?"
Sakura almost jumped so high she hit the ceiling. "Ka...Kakashi-sensei! I just forgot something along the way and went home to get it!" Sakura lied.
"And it takes you two hours and a bit to get back?"
Sakura had nothing to say and walked off to practise. Love's got a grip on her again Kakashi thought.
Kakashi directed her into another room to work on her own skills while Sasuke returned. Ino had gone off to somewhere else already. When Sasuke hung up his own coat, he noticed that Sakura's was also there. He quickly took out his present from his pocket and put it in her's.
"What are you doing Sasuke? Stop standing by the racks and get over here!" Naruto hollered. "Yah, coming!" Hours passed and Sakura almost passed out from exhaustion. She stayed in longer than any other day and didn't even get a bite of lunch. She laid on the floor for a while. I wonder what Sasuke is doing right now. Probably went home.
At that moment, Sasuke was actually outside sitting on the railing. What's taking her so long? I wanted to surprise her too.
Sakura finally got up and went to gather her belongings. Something fell out of her coat while she was putting it on. She bent down and picked it up. This is strange, I swear I saw this wrapping somewhere before. Then realization hit her and she opened the gift. Inside all the pretty wrapping was a pair of pink gloves, the ones that she had wanted on that day but couldn't afford to get. She was so happy to see them now in her possession, but she also wondered who gave it to her. Half of her thought it was Sasuke, but the other half knew it was impossible.
Sasuke saw Sakura walk out and headed over casually. He noticed that she had the gloves on and smiled. He stopped as they almost bumped into each other.
Sakura looked up from her thinking and found Sasuke's face.
"So.... Um... how did you like the gift... Sakura?" Sasuke asked softly.
"You... you gave these to me?" Sakura was blushing terribly and was on the verge of tears.
Sasuke nodded. He didn't know what else to say. After a moment for Sakura to calm down, Sasuke held out his hand.
"Let's go home... Sakura."
"Hai!" Sakura said as she smiled happily. She placed her hand in his and together they walked down the icy sidewalk, supported by each other's warmth.

Author's Note: Well, this ends it! I think I might draw some fanart for my fic^_^ If I do they'll be posted up on my site~

Disclaimer: I don't own any characters in Naruto.

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