Small Closed Spaces
Notes: The characters are not mine
and this insanity is! I was thinking the other day about the clichés
of fanfiction writing, and one of the most infamous is that, no
matter which two characters you're working with, they'll start making
out if they're thrown into a closet. Then I decided it would be
amusing to see what might actually, realistically, happen instead.
This is for Prompt #37: Office, in the 100 Situations Livejournal
Neither of them were ever quite sure how it happened. It had been a simple assignment, to catch a traitor in an office building. With Vodka following closely, Gin had found the figurative snake in one of the offices and had quickly gotten rid of him---but before they were able to get out again, an earthquake ripped through the building.
Gin cursed, grabbing onto the nearest thing for balance---which turned out to be a doorknob. Before he could stop it, the door opened inward and sent him falling backward into the coat closet. This was followed by Vodka crashing in as well, and the door slamming shut.
When the room finally stopped trembling, silence reigned for a long moment as the two men in black tried to digest what had occured. Finally Gin spoke.
"Get off!" he snapped, glaring at his partner in the darkness.
Vodka turned crimson, realizing that he had ended up pinning the blonde against the wall during the earthquake. Embarassed, he quickly backed away and tried to stand, only to bang his head against the rack for the coats. He winced, feeling for it to make certain he knew where it was, and then turned to try to find the door. At last he located the knob and tried to turn it, but to no avail. He swallowed nervously. "Bro . . . I think we're locked in," he gasped.
Gin growled, getting up as well and also encountering the rack. Muttering, he tried the knob himself and found that Vodka was right. Without thinking, he quickly drew his gun and shot at the door, hoping that the lock would be damaged and the door would swing open to release them. But in response, the bullet ricocheted, bouncing off the wood and heading for the rack. Cursing again, Gin grabbed Vodka and dragged him to the floor again as they tried to avoid the flying artillery. In such an enclosed space, it was highly possible that one of them could be hit.
When it finally stopped, luckily without causing injury, Vodka felt far more nervous and distressed. "What are we gonna do now?" he asked cautiously. This was such an awkward situation to be in. He doubted that the police would end up here before they would be able to escape, but even without that to worry about, this was quite mortifying. He imagined that Gin found it a certain blow to his pride, but he himself was simply uneasy. He and Gin had a good rapport, but the blonde always became angry when they did not have enough space in which to move around. And Vodka himself did not like it that much, either. It was such a tiny space . . . he felt as if the walls were closing in on them.
"We'll have to break the door down," Gin retorted.
Vodka bit his lip. "Is there even enough room for us to move around in order to do that?" he asked hesitantly. He had the feeling that the coat rack was going to interfere with being able to get enough momentum to slam into the door with force. When he reached out with both hands, he was able to touch both of the opposite walls. This only served to make him further agonized.
"There will have to be," Gin answered in a clipped tone.
Vodka shuddered, recoiling his hands from the walls. "Bro . . . has this ever happened to you before?" he asked in a small voice.
Gin snorted. "Of course not," he growled, and then briefly stopped to consider the other's tone. Vodka sounded almost as if this was a horrible experience that he had already gone through one time too many. "Has it happened to you?" he retorted pointedly.
Vodka swallowed nervously. "I was locked in a closet once as a kid," he confessed finally, certain that he was blushing in the dark. The truth was that it had been another of Brandy's pranks, though he did not want to actually say so. He always felt frustrated with himself for not having been able to fight better against the other agent-in-training and his clique. It had seemed that they had always managed to overwhelm him in the end.
But Gin guessed at the truth anyway. "You could have been careless and accidentally done it," he replied flatly, "but it's more likely that it was done on purpose by someone who has never liked you, such as Brandy or Jenever."
Vodka nodded weakly, despite, or maybe because, Gin could not see him in the near blackness.
With that, the blonde slammed his strong body against the door, trying to weaken it. He cursed when it did not even budge. Glaring at it, he tried to move away and ended up crashing into Vodka in the process. "You try," he directed, attemping to walk around his stout partner. The closet was much too small. There was barely enough room for both of them to stand, and they could not do so without crashing into each other.
Vodka tensed, feeling Gin brushing against him again, and then lunged at the door with as much force as he could muster. As before, it stubbornly stayed shut and did not even groan from the added weight thrust upon it, and remained so after two more tries. Vodka gaped at it in disbelief. "It shouldn't be this strong!" he cried, trying to swallow the panic that was washing over him with increasing frequency. "We have to get out of here!"
Memories from his past swirled over him all the more, and he recalled the panic he had felt when he had realized that Brandy had locked him in the closet. He had tried so hard to get out, slamming himself repeatedly against the wood, but it had held fast and he had been trapped there for hours. He had only been six at the time, and he had started to believe that he would never be free. He remembered how he had slumped to the floor in despair, having finally given up on screaming for help. The darkness had been surrounding him on all sides, enveloping him, and he had shut his eyes tightly, just wanting to be released and to be able to see what was going on around him. He had wanted room to move about, room to just get away if need be. He had actually gone in there trying to escape Brandy, hoping that the other would not see him, and that had certainly failed him.
Then, to his astonishment, the door had been opened and he had been freed---and by Vermouth, of all people. She had heard him banging on the door and yelling for help, and she had come to his aid. But Vodka did not know if there would be any escape this time.
"We'll get out," Gin rumbled now in his dark voice. "Do you have a penlight? I'll try to pick the lock." He searched through his pockets for something he could use, muttering angrily when he could not find anything. He knew he had brought the lock-picking kit with them, but somehow it seemed to have disappeared. Before Vodka could reply, Gin was kneeling on the floor, feeling across the short carpet desperately in case it had fallen out when Vodka had crashed into him.
Vodka ducked under the bar, pressing himself against the wall as Gin did this. "I still have it," he replied, taking it out of his jacket's inside pocket and turning it on. A certain relief washed over him at being able to see even that tiny stream of light. He should have thought of it before, he decided.
He blinked, bewildered, as he watched the blonde go over the floor meticulously before growling and starting to get up again. In the confusion of the cramped space, somehow Gin found his ankle getting tangled up with Vodka's, and as he tried to get up, Vodka wound up coming down, and they ended up in a sorry heap on the floor.
Gin cursed again once he fully got over the shock of having his much heavier partner sprawl across him. He started to attempt to rise, expecting Vodka to get up with him, and then froze when he felt a painful tug at his scalp. His eyes widened.
Vodka turned red. "Sorry, bro," he said in a small voice. "I got tangled up in your hair. . . ." He had just now discovered that fact when he had tried to get up. Blonde hair was wrapped around one of his arms and both of his hands, as well as around the object he was still holding. He still wondered how Gin managed so that his hair would not get in the way when he was going after a target, but he knew that was the least of the things he should wonder about at the moment.
Gin gritted his teeth. "Then get untangled," he retorted.
Slowly and carefully Vodka began to unwind the long locks from around his fingers and the penlight, then used his free hand to get his arm released. "Did you lose something, bro?" he asked then, thinking of how the other had been crawling about on the floor.
"I can't find the lock-picking kit," Gin growled.
Vodka bit his lip. "I . . . I think it may be out in the office," he admitted sheepishly, shifting a bit as he finally managed to get completely disentangled from Gin's hair and tried to stand up. "After we got in, and the target was there, I think you set the kit down on the filing cabinet. . . . But I couldn't say for sure," he added, not wanting to see Gin become even more furious.
Gin muttered. He did not think that he would have been that careless. He was certain that he remembered putting the kit back in his pocket, and yet it did not seem to be anywhere in the closet.
"I think I might have a bobby-pin that Vermouth left in the car that last time she came with us on an assignment," Vodka ventured slowly.
Gin knelt in front of the door, taking the penlight from Vodka to study the knob. "Get it," he ordered. It would not work as good as the actual lock-picking device, but hopefully they would be able to make due with it. Bobby-pins, supposedly, were often used with success on locks.
Quickly Vodka produced it, and they traded items. As Gin worked on bending the small object to fit it into the hole, Vodka held the penlight above the scene, and tried to keep it steady. He let his mind wander as this went on, but when he heard Gin continue to mutter and curse, the heavyset man realized that the bobby-pin was not working. He felt a certain, near over-whelming dizziness as their problem was shown to be even worse.
Idly he wondered if their cellphones worked. But of course Gin would never want to call someone and request for them to come unlock the door. It would make them look ridiculous. Vodka did not particularly want that, either, but at the moment anything was starting to sound better than continuing to be in this crowded space. . . .
At last Gin stood up, his eyes narrowed darkly. "It broke," he said flatly before Vodka could ask. "Half of it is stuck in there."
Vodka swallowed hard, his hopes continuing to plummet. "What are we gonna do now, bro?" he queried hesitantly.
Gin looked the door up and down, and Vodka shivered, recognizing the forbidding gaze of emerald ice. "At this point, it looks like there's only one other thing to do," he growled, and moved closer to the object that had become their jailer. "We'll have to try to take out the hinges." Without waiting for Vodka's response, Gin again fell to searching his pockets. At last he found his pocketknife and held it up to a hinge. "Shine that light over here again," he directed.
Vodka felt hesitant, but then did so. "Bro, what if the knife slips?" he asked worriedly. Gin would be careful, but with their current strain of luck, Vodka would honestly not be surprised at all if the weapon wound up cutting the blonde's hand or even his face. But then he tried to push the morbid thoughts out of his mind.
Gin grunted. "Do you have a screwdriver?" he retorted. A knife would not be his first choice, but he imagined it was all that they would have to use. He would just have to be extremely cautious.
Vodka shook his head. "No," he admitted slowly.
"Then just don't move," Gin snapped, "or else you might bump into me and the knife will slip."
Vodka colored slightly, forcing himself to hold still while Gin worked. It seemed to be taking much longer than it should be, and Vodka was starting to wonder if the hinge would budge at all, when he finally heard the loose part thump on the floor. He wondered if he dared to relax.
"There's still two more," Gin muttered, and set to work on the second. It proved much more difficult, and at one point Gin barely managed to get his gloved hand out of the way before the knife did indeed slip and leave a long scratch on the door. Vodka winced. Gin merely looked at it disdainfully before returning to the task at hand.
He narrowed his eyes in concentration, trying to again fit the knife in just the right spot in order to push the cylindral piece up through the parts of the hinge that were screwed on. Removing the screws with the blade had proved impossible, so he had resorted to this method. And at last he succeeded, as the piece came free.
He kicked it aside as he bent down further to attack the last hinge. This would be the most difficult one under the circumstances of the too-small room, considering Gin's stature. He could not stay in such a position for long without his muscles cramping. He wished that he could stretch out on the floor as he wrestled with the final piece.
When it finally popped free, Vodka wondered if he could actually believe that it was true. He watched as Gin got up, relaxing in relief as the door creaked open from the hinge side. Finally, they would be able to get out! It had been so long overdue. Any time spent in there at all was too much, and Vodka felt as though they had been stranded for hours.
Gin pushed the door open further, stepping out into the office. He soon caught sight of the infamous kit on the filing cabinet and muttered as he took hold of it. Then he froze at the sound of approaching footsteps from the hall. Tensing, he pulled out his gun. From behind him, he could hear Vodka doing the same.
But it was Vermouth who suddenly appeared in the doorway, her own gun out. She surveyed the scene, watching as Gin and Vodka slowly lowered their weapons. Then she smiled calmly. "Well, my! You boys have been here so long," she exclaimed. "Didn't you get here over two hours ago?"
Gin grunted. "I lost track of time," he retorted.
Vodka came up beside him. He had not thought that his desire to leave could increase any further, but he was discovering that it was steadily doing exactly that. The last thing he wanted was for Vermouth to observe things and determine what had happened to them. It really was quite humiliating. And knowing Vermouth, she would not be able to resist the urge to tease.
"Did you have trouble getting to the target?" Vermouth asked next, coming further into the room.
"No," Gin snapped. "Everything was taken care of."
It was impossible to keep Vermouth from seeing the ridiculous closet door. As she studied it, then her fellow agents, a spark of realization began to show in her eyes, followed by a smirk. "You two didn't get locked in there, did you?" she purred. "There was that bad earthquake some time ago. I did wonder how you'd manage when it hit."
Gin's eyes narrowed in annoyance, while Vodka felt a familiar crimson coming over his cheeks.
Vermouth easily took that as a Yes. "My, whatever were you doing in there all that time?" she said innocently, her blue eyes twinkling with mirth.
It was also easy for the others to understand what she was insinuating. Gin gave her a look of disgust as he walked past, his eyes declaring that he did not find anything worthy to respond to. Vodka flushed all the more, quickly chasing after his partner and wanting to get away. Vermouth simply smirked at them as she watched them go.