Hello! Hope everyone that got hit by the big USA winter storm is okay and not freezing! Speaking of which, guess what inspired this? :P

"I hate being cold," I announced, pulling my blanket closer around me.

"I've heard that," Ellie called from the kitchen, sounding amused. She padded back into the living room a moment later, two steaming mugs of hot cocoa in her hands. Sure enough, an amused smile was on her face.

I scowled at her, displeased that she was mocking me while I was miserable.

"Come on," she coaxed, holding one of the mugs out to me. "I even put in, like, ten of those little marshmallows for you."

I eyed the warm drink for a moment, weighing the pros and cons of reaching a hand out into the cold air to get it. "Thanks," I muttered, taking the mug and cupping it in my hands.

Ellie sat next to me, propping her feet up on the coffee table as she took a careful sip of her hot cocoa.

We sat there in silence, watching snow fall through the window in front of us.

"I'm cold."

"I know," Ellie replied, looking over at me with a smile. "You must be freezing to death, sitting there with three pairs of socks, two pairs of sweatpants, two hoodies, and a blanket." She shook her head.

"I am!" I protested, taking an angry swig of my hot cocoa. "Stop making fun of me!"

Ellie allowed herself a grin before nodding. "All right, I'm sorry. I'll stop."

"Thank you," I huffed, sitting back against the couch and staring at the snow falling glumly.

Ellie finished her cocoa and set the empty mug on the coffee table, settling back into the couch with a content sigh.

I glared as the snow started to fall faster.

The wind gusted outside, sending a cloud of snow swirling off the roof in front of the window.

"How are you NOT cold?" I asked, looking over at Ellie's relaxed form. She was only wearing one pair of socks, one pair of pajama pants, and her college hoodie. Surely she was freezing!

Ellie grinned at me, unwillingly looking adorable. "You forget, dear heart, that I was born here, in the middle of a blizzard, no less."

"Dear heart?" I scoffed, drinking the last of my only mildly-warm cocoa and setting the mug on the coffee table.

Ellie shrugged. "Mom always said it."

I rolled my eyes. "Please, stop right there. Your mother and I have this sort of love-hate relationship. It's mostly hate, but whatever. I really don't want another Teresa running around in our house."

Ellie laughed, hitting my shoulder lightly. "No way. We're not even going to get into the subject of my mom. Winter will have long gone by the time we quit arguing about that!"

"Perfect!" I crowed, clapping my hands under the safety of my warm blanket. "Let's get started talking about her! I want this god-awful snowstorm outta here."

Ellie raised an eyebrow at me, a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth. "Still cold?" she asked gently.

"Gee. What gave you that idea?"

Ellie laughed, pushing herself into a sitting position. "Fine, O Sarcastic One. C'mere." She opened her arms to me, obviously offering to share her body heat.

I practically jumped into her lap, blanket and all. I snuggled close to her, already feeling a little warmer.

"Better?" she asked after a few minutes.

"Mhm," I hummed happily, resting my head on her shoulder.

"You're cute when you're whiny."

"I'm adorable every minute of every day, whiny or not."

Ellie laughed. "Very true." She kissed the top of my head gently, sighing happily.

"Congratulations," I murmured a few minutes later, drowsy and warm as I snuggled up in her arms. "You've been promoted to the position of my personal heater."

Ellie poked me, chuckling when I squirmed. "That's what you said the first time we shared a bed."

"Well, then consider this your employee review or something," I muttered, rolling over in her arms to look at her.

"Do I get a raise?" she teased, resting her forehead against mine and smiling at me.

I pretended to think for a minute, then grinned back. "Yep." I gave her a quick kiss. "There ya go."

Ellie rolled her eyes. "You're a goof."

"But you love me, right?"

"Yes," she answered immediately, her voice suddenly taking on a moving amount of sincerity.

I entwined her fingers with mine, smiling at her. "I love you, too, Ellie-bear," I murmured tenderly, having a rare moment of raw emotion.

She kissed me sweetly, holding me a little closer than she had been before.

I withdrew myself from her arms just long enough to unwrap myself from my blanket and spread it over both of us, settling back into Ellie's arms as quickly as I could.

"Still cold?" Ellie asked a few minutes later, petting my arm beneath the blanket.


She smiled, hugging me again. "Good."