Whether or not it's just my nerves, better to play it safe.
"Micah?" Nathan called, glancing back at the angel. "Something doesn't feel right. I think there's a Sin nearby or something... just, keep an eye out while I get him?" He waited until Micah nodded, then drew a deep breath, bracing himself for the cold as he stepped into the freezer.
The chill stabbed into his skin like hundreds of pins, and Nathan rushed towards the boy, sliding into a kneel and pulling him up from the ground. The kid resisted, or at least seemed to, his movements slow and confused before he curled towards the writer and his warmth. His lips and fingers were becoming a distinct shade of blue and he didn't seem to mind at all that Nathan still had blood covering half of him. As for Nathan, he didn't hesitate to help him, wrapping his arms around him and rubbing his back in a futile attempt to get more heat into his skin. He struggled to stand, still holding the boy while he got to his feet, and then hurriedly shuffled back to the door. Nathan was just about to set foot outside when it suddenly slammed in his face.
He didn't have time to slow down, so he hit the door with his shoulder, wincing from the painful shot of cold, but hoping he could force it open before...
The click of the bolt sliding back into place. That, more than the temperature, made Nathan pale. "Micah! Micah, the..."
But when the angel appeared on the other side, the writer's heart sank even more, and he felt the pit of his stomach drop. Micah was smiling.
"Clever," he said with a smirk, holding the key against the glass tauntingly before pocketing it. "But not clever enough." The angel laughed, and then began to change. The difference was slight, but the moment his eyes shifted from gold to a deep, vibrant violet, Nathan knew he'd made a dangerous mistake. "For your sake, Mr. Keene, I hope your guardian is paying attention."
"Fuck you!" was all the writer could think to scream at him before he rammed the door again, watching with horror as he turned and walked away into the darkness, the laughter that echoed back in response definitely female. Still holding the child, the writer tried again, and again, until his shoulder was too numbingly cold to be sore and the laughter was gone. He heaved a deep, painful breath of the frosty air and tried to think clearly about what had happened.
He had to get his wits about him before he was too cold to concentrate.
Nathan took another, doubly painful breath, and looked around the freezer. The arcane circle would stop any of the angels from easily helping, so he decided summoning any of them would be his last option. Where had Micah gone anyway? He shook his head. Focus, he reminded himself. What else was there? There were shelves. He might be able to dismantle one to use against the door, though if bullets had done no good before, what would a piece of metal do? Could he break the circle? It was carved into the floor, but maybe he could chip the design enough... that seemed impractical too. Nathan leaned against the door for a moment to rest, but jumped back when the cold threatened to make his skin stick there.
He looked at the child in his arms. The boy had curled as close as possible, his shaking still terrible, but seemingly less severe. Unfortunately, his breathing was very soft, and what little of his pulse Nathan could feel felt slow. He had to get both of them out of there, and soon. He stepped back and looked at their only exit again.
"Freezer door," Nathan muttered, hoping to keep thinking clearly by speaking his thoughts out loud. "The outside had no modifications. The lock was built into the door..." His eyes suddenly widened. "Safety release." Nathan looked over the door again, scouring the entire thing with his eyes. It had to have a safety release; a freezer like this couldn't have been installed without one. It was designed specifically for situations like this (albeit most people probably weren't deliberately locked inside): the door could be locked from the outside, for security, but if anyone was stuck inside, the release would always open it. "Please, please be intact..."
When he found the latch, his heart leapt up into his throat. It was in pristine condition, untampered with if not a little frosty. An oversight on the Sins part: none of the angels would have been able to reach it, and the boy was in no condition to. They hadn't thought to destroy it. Nathan refused to think he couldn't be this lucky, and, his own hands already starting to shake, grabbed onto the release and gave it a solid pull.
The sound of the lock turning and the door squeaking as it opened was the most fantastic noise he'd ever heard. Nathan let out a joyous, relieved laugh and hurried out, the chilly air of the old factory blissfully warm compared to the freezer. "We're out!" he told the child in his arms, even though the boy only seemed half-awake. "Oh my God, we're out..."
The writer looked up and his good mood immediately plummeted. Hobbling towards them, looking almost as bad as Lumiel had when he left, was Micah. The angel's wings were folded against his back, blood flecked throughout the feathers, and he seemed to be struggling to carry his sword, which was glowing faintly like the dying embers of a fire. His gold eyes were likewise glowing dimly, but he was otherwise still dressed in his detective clothes. Even though he spoke to Nathan, his gaze was firmly locked on the boy, and the fear on his face was clear. "You got him out. I was..." His brows knotted and he finally looked up at the writer. "Please, give me Dexter. Let me tend to my charge before he..." Micah swallowed loudly. He extended his arms to him, dropping his sword with a dull clang on the ground before he continued to stagger towards them. "Please, I have to protect him..."
I was tricked once before, and I won't be fooled again... but what if this really is Micah? I can't keep his charge from him, and the kid really needs to be taken care of. Micah can do that, but if I'm wrong...
What should I do? How can I be sure?