Keep Me Warm
By S. Muffin

(AU. A small sequel to Ten Encounters)

Gaara shivered with the bitter chill of the December air, his teeth chattering loudly. His breath came out in little white puffs and his cheeks felt frozen and numb. He rubbed his arms in a futile attempt to warm his body.

He just couldn't understand it. He was wearing two long-sleeved shirts, a sweater, a hooded sweatshirt, a jacket, gloves, the thickest pair of socks he owned, the boots Sakura got him for Christmas (they even had soft faux fur on the inside), and the red scarf she had given him a year ago. And for some reason he was still cold.

Stupid season, he thought sourly. Stupid snow. Stupid wind. Stupid freaking cold.

He shuddered harder. Loosening the scarf around his neck, he adjusted it so it covered the lower half of his face, hoping that he'd be able to regain the feeling in his nose.

He hated winter more than anything else. He hated being cold and having to stand outside when it felt like it was below zero. He hated it when he accidentally stepped in huge piles of snow, and he hated having to walk all the way to the hospital to get Sakura when he had no money for the bus.

He just wasn't made for this kind of weather.

When he finally reached the big white building his cheeks were almost as red as his hair. His hand shook as he reached for the door and opened it, stepping inside and walking over to the waiting room, where Sakura was already sitting down in one of the chairs.

"Gaara!" she exclaimed when she saw him, worry in her voice. She jumped up and rushed over to him, gently laying one of her palms against his cheek when she approached him. "Gaara, you're so cold!"

He didn't reply, too wrapped up in the warmth her hand was providing. He took her wrist and placed her free hand against his other cheek, closing his eyes and sighing lightly in relief.

"Why didn't you take the bus?" she asked.

"No money," he replied.

"Then you should've called me!" she scolded. "I would've understood! I know you're sensitive to the—"

He covered her mouth with his hand and silenced her. He waited a few moments, and when she remained quiet he moved his hand so it was on top of hers.

"It's fine, Sakura," he muttered. "Just keep me warm."

Sakura opened her mouth to protest, but decided against it when she saw his eyes close once more and a look of contentment spread on his face. Sighing, she gave him a small smile, even though he couldn't see it, and came closer to him.

"Okay," she said softly, drawing light circles on his cheek with her thumb.

Gaara smirked lightly and tightened his hand around hers. Okay, so maybe there were some good sides to winter after all (especially if you had a girlfriend with warm hands).

But he still hated it.

A few people said they wanted to see what happened in the tenth encounter of Ten Encounters, so I decided I'd make a small sequel.

This is set a year after Ten Encounters, just incase you didn't catch that in the beginning. Sooo yeah. I hope you all like it :)