Tutorial to Holding Hands
Summary: Why are hands one of the first things to get cold? Perhaps the book Kakashi's reading could answer that question for Team Seven.
Disclaimer: Naruto and company are not owned by me, nor I am not making any money off of this.
A ghost-white snowflake landed on his dark eyelash and immediately melted on contact from his body heat. The contrast in color of the eyelash, the pale skin of his exposed face, and the snowflake was nothing compared to the difference in temperature of the boy's skin and the tiny flurry that was now nothing more than something resembling a tear. There were small puffs of breath trailing behind the group of cloak-clad ninjas as they rushed through the heavily wooded forest back to a place that would be warmer and more sheltered. The group was four, three much smaller than the other.
The moisture was wiped away by the dark haired ninja onto his glove without a second thought. He already knew it was going to start snowing, it was cold enough anyway. He could hear his teammates' heightened breathing as they ran faster than normal to beat the oncoming storm; it was a comforting sound in the stillness of the frozen and desolate woods. These woods were normally filled with life and it seemed strange hear the echoes of their footfalls on the snow-packed limbs of what was left of the trees.
By the time they arrived into Konoha the beginnings of a blizzard began; the wind picked up, the snow began to fall in clumps rather than flurries, and the sky held almost no sign of light. To anyone not familiar with a blizzard, like most of the villagers in Konoha, it seemed to be a moving fog. The village was completely void of all human activity minus the poor souls who were stationed at the village's gates. Sasuke noted that they were equipped with only an old electrical heater that obviously had seen better days since the red hot that was supposed to glow was only a light orange. Shivering at the thought, he pressed on to the tower he could see in the distance. All there was left was to report and then he could get home and take a long, scalding, hot shower.
A large sign over the doors to the tower stating that, 'The Office is Closed Until Further Notice (and you are an idiot to even be out in this storm),' caused Sasuke to swear loudly. Naruto satisfied himself in continuously punching the sign over and over which resulted in loud insults yelled by Sakura, only to be muffled by the white buildup on the street. Their teacher simply observed his team of immature teenagers and let out a single low hum. This managed to get the younger ones attention again and he motioned in a random direction and began walking that way; they followed quickly after realizing once again the bite of the cold.
After an almost endless trek through most of Konoha, the snow-dusted ninjas arrived at the elder's house. The hyperactive orange clad ninja immediately began beating at the door, twisting the handle, and yelling things that showed his absolute bitterness to his teacher's slow pace in the below zero temperatures. After holding back Naruto by his collar to let both Sakura and Sasuke through (and, of course, himself) he released the boy and allowed him entrance into the equally frigid apartment. Sasuke had already attacked the thermostat and turned it up to 90C. The heater clicked on with a noisy jolt and all of the ninjas in the tiny apartment mentally gave a sigh of relief to know that within the hour the apartment would be hotter than Suna on a good day in the summer. All but Sasuke sat down around the wobbly coffee table Kakashi had.
"Kakashi-sensei! You should make us hot chocolate!" was the first decent and understandable sentence outside of Naruto's mouth since they had passed the frozen carcass of the rabbit about two hours out of Konoha. The effort earned Naruto another low hum from his teacher.
Sakura sat on her hands to warm them up. She wasn't paying much attention to anything but the pulsing pain in her hands from the sudden jump from freezing cold to the warm body heat she was outputting. She hadn't listened to Kakashi when he told her she needed the same gloves as Naruto and Sasuke. Instead she insisted on having those more fashionable and fingerless pink arm warmers she brought on their mission. All she could say was that she was glad her cloak kept her bare upper arms warm and Sasuke had offered some bandages to cover the gap on her legs (not only that but she completely enjoyed the way it felt to have Sasuke wrapping those bandages down her legs). She blushed at the thought. Sasuke noticed the blushed but opted to not say anything and just look his typical angry self.
After a while of listening to the silent warm air blowing out of the vents, Kakashi got up and headed to the kitchen to make some hot chocolate for his team. He'd regret later that he'd give them sugar, but he assured himself he'd kick them out into the blizzard if they drove him even close to the brink of insanity. Sasuke had finally joined Naruto and Sakura on the couch after much whining from the latter ninja; Sasuke sat in the middle with his male and female teammate on either side. He swore to himself if they got into the two inches of personal space the couch allowed him on his sides, he'd move back to the wall only after giving them an icy stare much colder than the outside temperature. Naruto sat with his arms crossed glaring at Sasuke and daring him to touch his dream girl. He promised himself that Sasuke would go through the living room wall into the dead flower bed outside even if Sasuke's nonexistence arm hairs touched any part of Sakura. Sakura, still flushed, kept her eyes on her knees and dreamed about the romantic atmosphere of the blizzard; trapped in a cold house with the ninja she most admired, hot chocolate for them to sip on while talking about the holiday coming up, and the possibility of Kakashi having some mistletoe. If Naruto even dared to mess up her dream or reality she'd have him outside and as much as a frozen carcass as the rabbit he was so kind to point out earlier.
The tea kettle whistled and after a few moments of listening to china clink together from the kitchen, the younger member of Team Seven were met with the comforting sight of steaming mugs of hot chocolate from their teacher. He placed the cups down carefully on the coffee table and took his own to his book shelf to find some good reading material. Naruto was the first to grab at his cup and let out a yelp when his tongue and mouth roof were burnt from the hot liquid. Sakura muttered an insult and Sasuke ignored his cup of hot chocolate.
"Sasuke-kun? Don't you want to drink the hot chocolate to warm you up?" piped up Sakura, trying to break the sudden silence that was rivaling the forest's silence from earlier. Sasuke ignored her. He figured she'd get it through her thick skull eventually his complete loathing for anything sweet, though he was willing to at least hold the mug to warm up his hands. Naruto watched the other boy pick up the mug, an expression of disbelief was written on his face.
"What? Do you want it or something?" was the moody response for the moody brunette ninja.
Naruto nodded a bit too enthusiastically to cover up his earlier disbelieving stare that he assumed made Sasuke question his true motives. He took the mug from Sasuke's hands, brushing his warmed up hands against Sasuke's icy fingertips. He gave a questioning look at the Uchiha and then indulged himself into the bittersweet chocolate flavored water. The warmth made Sasuke yearn to take his teammate's hands just for the sake of warming his own for a second longer. Sakura's eyes hadn't failed to see the quick encounter of the boy's hands and fingers. Furthermore, they hadn't missed how Sasuke's eyes were carefully watching Naruto's fingers wrapped around the mug.
Sakura stood up catching the boys' attention, minus Kakashi who was lingering over a sentence in some book the teenagers assumed was porn. She placed her half-empty mug on the coffee table and then held out her hands for Sasuke, knowing he'd understand her motives. Sasuke snorted and stood to take on of hers in his.
Even before Sakura got the chance to mentally shout for victory, Naruto had stood up and caused a huge uproar. Kakashi's attention was now focused on his team again. Naruto pointed in shock at their joined hands.
"Sakura-chan, I want to hold your hand too!" cried the loud-mouthed ninja, not a bit of embarrassment in the statement he just mad. Sakura considered for a moment and realized her other hand truly wasn't as warm as the other one that was comfortably and secured held in Sasuke's hand. She offered it to him. Sasuke watched Naruto stand in awe at the slender fingers spread out wind from Sakura's palm for his rival to take. It seemed like a small eternity that he sat waiting for Naruto to get the hint and take Sakura's hand in his own. Sasuke watched the boy's face turned from a disgruntled expression to a smile that almost physically went from ear to ear.
There had to be a catch to all of this though. "Why do we have two hands?" questioned Sakura to Naruto, like she was addressing some elementary school child. Naruto looked confused for a moment, then his eyes traveled down to the tingling hand that wasn't holding Sakura's hand. "I don't know Sakura-chan, why?"
"That's easy, dead last. So you can pay back the favor," was quietly, but proudly spoken, as a pale hand slipped into Naruto's hand, both of the cold fingers growing slightly warmer at the touch. Perhaps Sasuke meant it in the way he stated, but something about that smug smirk and how straight his back was told Naruto his teammate might have meant something else. A soft smile appeared on the blond's face that didn't rival, but complimented the smiles on the other two's faces.
The team stood in a small circle, hands entwined in different ways, some with interlaced fingers, others were hand in hand, but they all felt more than 360 degrees warmer. Kakashi hummed approvingly as he read the last line in the chapter, "Hand holding could mean a variety of things, but most commonly this is a sign of affection for each other."