Close Your Eyes, Count the Sheep
There was screaming.
John's footsteps were loud against the silence of the warehouse, but they were broken by the screaming, by Sherlock's footsteps.
John hastened to keep up with his friend, breath puffing into the cold air as he ran. It was cold, too cold. Outside it was colder, but in the warehouse, it was cold. Cold made it difficult to run.
Too late, too late, too late! John's mind screamed at him, over the pounding of their footfalls. Sherlock took a sharp right and John almost nearly missed the turn. He let out a short breath and grasped tighter at his revolver.
Screaming was closer.
They rounded another corner. It was a labyrinth, this warehouse, a good spot for a murder. There was no one around. The weather had closed down namely all of London, so even the employees weren't in. There were no neighbors.
The screaming stopped.
Sherlock darted ahead into a smaller room on the left, where the screaming had been originating from. John followed without a pause, quickly finding the detective leaning over the pale body of a woman. John took a step closer, noting the lack of blood, as Sherlock stood.
"Blunt force trauma?" John murmured, attempting to catch his breath. It was colder here, not by much, but enough to make him zip his jacket a little more.
"Most likely," Sherlock replied, not sounding at all breathless even if the puffs of condensation forming in the air were a signal to the rapid breathing he was doing. He turned, presumably to dart his way back out into the maze of the warehouse that they had been investigating, when a look passed his eyes. John recognized the look as one designated for only times of crisis and quickly swung around, revolver at the ready.
There was no adversary, unless a closed door had now become their enemy.
John lowered his gun, slightly. "That door wasn't closed a moment ago," he started, but barely had the time to finish before a metallic click was heard. It seemed to radiate throughout the entire room.
Sherlock was immediately at the door, even though John had a sinking feeling that that metallic click, had been the metallic click of a lock.
Sherlock's annoyed exhale of breath was the proof John needed. He sighed and lowered his gun altogether.
"We're locked in," he said, dryly.
"Thank you, John. We now have a firm grasp of the obvious," Sherlock replied smoothly, although he was already halfway across the room.
"Is there another exit?" he replied, carefully walking over to the door and making sure for himself that it was locked. Nonetheless, from the lack of door handle, John was able to hazard a guess that this door only opened from the outside. For some reason, he was mind-numbingly calm about the whole situation. Maybe he was still too focused on getting his breath back so he could yell at Sherlock, even though John hadn't quite worked out if it was his fault or not.
"Of course not. Why would there be two exits?" Sherlock retorted, appearing back around the dividing wall in the room.
John sighed, long and heavily, his breath forming a stream of condensation. It was cold. He was teetering on the borderline of shivering and he had goosebumps, although he might have had those for a long time. The snow falling throughout London wasn't pleasant in these moments, to be sure.
But... he hadn't been this chilly out there, in the warehouse. Hadn't there been some molecule of heat out there? Why was it all of a sudden colder in this little room? Didn't they want to spare it some heat, too-
His mind went blank, just for a half second before he looked at Sherlock.
"We're in a freezer... aren't we?" he breathed, barely able to bring himself to voice the words. If that was the case, they were about to get much colder, much faster. Being a doctor, John knew all about the cold, lost body heat, and hypothermia.
Somehow, he was still remarkably calm about it, although the horror, or maybe panic, was beginning to set in.
"Yes," Sherlock replied, in the tone that spoke of already-discovered-thoughts. "An industrial freezer, one that locks on the outside. It's out of use, at the moment, or remarkably so, if you'll notice the lack of food products being stored here-"
"We're locked inside of a bloody freezer, Sherlock!" Oh, there was the correct emotional response. John's mind must have been a little behind right now, still processing the chase and the murder and the imminent danger that they were both in. "How are you so calm about this?"
"Yelling will only consume more oxygen, which, in this case, is much more precious than usual."
John only gave a little exasperated noise, rummaging in his pocket for his mobile. "I'll just call Lestrade and tell him where we are..." His voice trailed off upon producing his phone, and his eyes catching the No signal flashing across his screen.
"It's a bad location," Sherlock said shortly, as John kept looking at the screen of his phone. Just... There'd be reception, in a bit, he just needed to find a place of service... "The weather has already knocked out power supplies, not to mention that we're in the middle of virtually nowhere..." Sherlock's analysis continued, although his voice was less quick-deducing consulting detective than normal. It was more of a tone that spoke of something obvious, something obvious but definitely not good for them.
John looked at him. "What do you propose we do, then, Sherlock? Sit here and wait for someone to magically figure out where we are?" He was shivering now, although whether it was from fear or the cold, it was hard to tell. Maybe it was from both.
"Wait and see if we get reception."
Sherlock's voice sounded like a question and John, who had glanced back at the door in speculation, snapped his eyes back to the detective. "W-Wait? You want us to wait? In a negative seventeen degree freezer?" As he said the temperature, it sounded too cold, even for their situation.
"I told you," Sherlock retorted, "that this freezer isn't used regularly. There hasn't been frozen products in it in at least two days, and the temperature has been raised. Likely that they-"
John interrupted. "What's the temperature?"
Sherlock paused. "Around negative four." John's breath left him, again, in a rush, but Sherlock blundered on. "The temperature outside today is solidly zero, or negative one. You didn't notice the temperature drop when we walked in because there's not that much of a difference!"
"It's cold, Sherlock! It's still cold," he finished bluntly, cutting off Sherlock's tangent that had almost sounded grateful. Sure, negative four was much, much better than negative seventeen, but negative four was fourteen degrees too cold to be living in. Not that ten degrees was comfortable, either, but it was manageable...
John pulled the zip up on his jacket quickly, as far as it could go. It was best to retain as much body heat as he could, then. He was thankful that he had gloves on- he had the snowstorm to thank for that, because usually he didn't remember to wear them.
"Button up your coat. Make sure your scarf is tight around your neck," he stated to Sherlock. As usual, Sherlock payed him no mind. He was wandering around the small room, mobile held aloft. Looking for a signal. "Fine, don't listen..." John muttered, shivering as he moved forward to inspect the door.
It may have been unrealistic, but John had imagined himself toughing out this wintery day with a nice hot cup of tea and the Daily Mail. Of course, by now, John should have known that, despite his best thoughts, he would always end up in some life or death situation when his best friend was Sherlock Holmes.
-17 Celsius = 1.4 Farenheit
-4 Celsius = 24.8 Farenheit
0 Celsius = 32 Farenheit
- 1 Celsius = 30.2 Farenheit
10 Celsius = 50 Farenheit [Referencing John's "negative four was fourteen degrees too cold]
My dear Sherlockians, another multi-chapter for you! Well, this one can't go on for too long, for obvious reasons, but, you know. I originally got the stuck-in-a-freezer idea from Castle, although I'm sure countless telly/book/movie things have done it, too. But, I practically flipped tables in excitement when I found out the two MCs on Castle were going to have to go through it [I didn't want them to die, mind you, just bond] so I thought, why not?
Hopefully you guys like the idea as much as I. John thaws [I'm so punny? x'D] in the next chapter, which doesn't make sense, really, but he stops the whole Sherlock, I can't believe you just got us locked in a freezer and now we have no way out, what the hell do you expect us to do?! Because I don't like BAMF!John much. Or angry!John. I'm a good old h/c fan.
Thanks for reading! Your feedback is appreciated!