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Sherlock Fanfic: Freeze Thy Blood Less Coldly - CaffieneKittySpace
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Sherlock Fanfic: Freeze Thy Blood Less Coldly
Title: Freeze Thy Blood Less Coldly
Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Alternate Postings: AO3
Rating/Content: PG13, peril, case-ficlet, Watson whump, hypothermia, heights, christmas, medically necessary cuddling
Warnings: hypothermia, heights
Word Count: 1330
Disclaimer: Not my world.
Notes: Written for watsons_woes WAdvent 2016 Day #12. It's my turn to deck the halls with Watson Whumpage, so I hope this is okay. It's the only story I got a draft done on during November's mini_wrimo. Title from 'Good King Wenceslas'.

Summary: John had never been so cold.

Freeze Thy Blood Less Coldly

John's hands had gone numb long ago, partly from being zip-tied to a steel support beam in the skeleton of another block of shoddily made council flats, but mostly from the sharp, chill sleet and wind blowing past him. His jacket, trousers and everything else he was wearing had soaked through almost immediately. No shelter up here, not even from the construction lift behind him since the bastard who'd left him tied up here to 'keep him out of the way' had ridden the lift back down. If he could get his hands free and get turned around, it was a short crawl into the lift. If the lift was there, which it wasn't and if he had any way of getting his hands free, which he didn't.

The lift cables dangling behind John clattered against each other in the wind, ringing discordantly.

He'd never been so cold. John had hunched into his jacket as far as he could. He'd tried bringing his bound legs up against his chest earlier to preserve any warmth he could, but had nearly overbalanced on the steel crossbeam. The decision to avoid falling from his perch and dangling so very high above the ground by his bound hands won out over heat preservation then. The scale was decidedly tipping the other way now.

John could hear voices in the wind. Probably not a good sign.

I suppose I should be glad the bastard didn't just bury me in wet cement, he thought, inching his feet towards him carefully, trying again to pull his knees up to his chest to conserve heat. A gust of howling sleet hit, and John tipped sideways on the bar. With a jolt of panic he stretched his legs out again, keeping his seat.

"Right," he croaked to himself, teeth chattering on the 't' as the wind whipped the word away from him. Messing about was not going to help. Trying to calm the frantic breaths which were only pulling in icy air faster and chilling him inside and out, John looked out over the city far below.

It was obvious Christmas was impending. To one side, Big Ben and the Parliament buildings were lit up cheerfully, as was the London Eye; the Thames was a black ribbon threading between them and on through the spread of the city. That was all in the distance though, along with the general glow of London proper. On the other side of John, facing away from the city, the less dense shops and neighbourhoods were also lit festively. John was sure that at ground level there would be varying degrees of tastefulness, some of them might be simple and elegant, some garish and annoying, with dancing Santas and neon laser mangers and such. From up where John was though, the lights were just that; sparkling, twinkling fairy lights, spreading out over the dozy winter borough, like a quilt made out of stars.

Looking out over the view, John noticed he'd stopped shivering. That's not a good thing generally under these circumstances, but I'm too tired to worry now. So tired.

That also wasn't good.

He shook his head, trying to clear it, but nearly unsettled his balance again. He thought he might be gripping the steel beam behind his back. It was what he'd intended his gloved hands to do but he couldn't tell if they were or not. Gloves soaked through and hands completely numb, as were his feet. His shoes might as well have been wet concrete for all the feeling he was getting from his feet.

At least it didn't feel quite so cold now, despite the sleet and wind. He could almost sleep here.

This is very very very not good, he thought drowsily.

The lights below twinkled as the easing wind shook strands of decorations. Off in the distance two or three sets of church bells pealed the hour. John couldn't track the number of times the bells rung, lost in the mixed melodies chiming across the glittering borough.

For a moment he thought he heard a voice again, among the bells, a baritone solo voice, but there couldn't have been. Too far away to hear a choir, and no Christmas caroller ever sounded so distressed. John let his gaze slide over the lights below, smearing into bright blurs from the sleet and the wind-stung tears springing to his eyes.

Does Sherlock decorate, I wonder? Hasn't yet. Does he celebrate Christmas? ...I've no idea. John blinked the blurriness away slowly, looking out at the landscape of light, final shudders abating to stillness. No, Mycroft said Christmas dinners. 'You can imagine the Christmas dinners', so therefore, the Holmes's do Christmas.

John still couldn't imagine those Christmas dinners, or even what Sherlock and his brother had been like as children. As a child himself, John had wanted action figures and trucks. What would the Holmes boys have wanted? A wee umbrella and suit for Mycroft? A chemistry set for little Sherlock?

He chuckled, head nodding forward. The wind and rain hadn't let up much, but John didn't feel their bite as strongly. It seemed warmer, almost comfortable now, and he could barely keep his eyes open.

There was something wrong about that, but John could no longer remember what.

Maybe we can decorate the flat. Not a tree, or not a real one. There's no space and it'd be on fire in a day. Just holly, and fairy lights... crackling fire...

John slumped against the metal beam, Christmas lights below him fading to black.


Suddenly the ground dropped beneath him, and he jerked awake. He struggled, he was pinned, shaking, and falling.

"John! Stop! You'll knock us off the lift!"

Something was groaning metallically. Not him. John stilled, except for the shaking he couldn't stop. Everything was hot now, so hot, his face and nose and ears were burning. He'd been sleeping, it had been peaceful, comfortable, maybe if he just...

"Wake up, John!" bellowed a familiar voice very close to his ear.

John flinched awake. Something was wrapped tight around him. Shivering fit to shake apart, he opened his eyes to an extremely close view of Sherlock's blue scarf.


"Don't try to talk," said Sherlock, more quietly but still loud enough to be heard over the wind. "You'll macerate your tongue trying to speak while shivering as you are."

"Gnh," John grunted eloquently as his teeth chattered together. Slowly he became aware that he and Sherlock were on the floor of the open industrial lift. John was practically sitting in Sherlock's lap, partly enclosed inside Sherlock's coat and held tightly in his arms.

He rolled his head over to squint at Sherlock's jaw. "Guh?"

"You're hypothermic." John could hear the eyeroll in Sherlock's voice. "I'm keeping you out of the weather and sharing body heat."

Of course he is, just practical first aid basics. John thought. "Mrf," he said, wrapping his now-free arms around Sherlock under the coat and burrowing deeper into the scarf.

The lift rattled and clanked as it descended. It was unusually silent; he could feel Sherlock's hands flexing in the fabric of John's jacket, clutching fistfuls of cold wet material, but otherwise not making a sound. John peered up at Sherlock. His flatmate's jaw was tight, and he glared at the wall of the lift silently.

John tapped one of his numb hands against Sherlock's back under the coat. "Hmf. Sh-sherlock?"


John tilted his head toward the light-spangled city vista. "S' C-christmas."

Sherlock glanced out and snorted, sending a warm breeze through John's sodden hair before tipping the ghost of a smirk down towards him. "This was only an embezzling, criminally negligent land developer, John. If he'd been a serial killer, then it would be Christmas."

John giggled and shivered as the lift continued its descent, wrapped warmly in Sherlock's coat with his flatmate, both watching the lights slide by.

(that's all)

Tags: , , ,
Current Mood: rushed rushed

8 comments or Leave a comment
acciochocolate From: acciochocolate Date: December 12th, 2016 11:26 am (UTC) (Link)

re: Freeze Thy Blood Less Coldly

That was beyond scary! I don't like those type of heights. And I just read yesterday an article abt hypothermia at the Weather Channel. Brrrrrr!

Nice description of the city!
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: December 13th, 2016 07:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Freeze Thy Blood Less Coldly

Sorry for the trauma, but glad you liked the story.
shanachie_quill From: shanachie_quill Date: December 12th, 2016 11:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh John. Of course that's what Sherlock seems as Christmas.

Poor John. Nice whumping!
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: December 13th, 2016 07:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
debriswoman From: debriswoman Date: December 12th, 2016 06:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
A close call there...well penned:-)
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: December 13th, 2016 07:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you liked it!
borgmama1of5 From: borgmama1of5 Date: December 13th, 2016 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I hate the cold! I had to put my little heater on after reading this!!!
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: December 13th, 2016 07:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you found the writing so affecting! *hands you a warm blanket*
8 comments or Leave a comment