Warnings: Sherlock was born male and always been male but falls under a gender-switch curse. Much mention of monthly female biology.
Disclaimers: BBC Sherlock is owned by its various creators.
Summary: male!Sherlock gets cursed and turns into a chick and all that comes with it... John(and Sherlock)react as expected. h/c
Another three days passed.
Then another three.
John ate alone and tried to not look at the empty seat opposite him. He’d been through Sherlock’s room more than a few times. The need for bleach was apparent enough when he’d found the sheets taken from the bed bundled in the corner. They had been stained with blood. An inspection of the laundry machine brought the scent of cleaner. The bottle of bleach tipped over, left as if it had been dropped. Red on the handle.
Reading the paper helped. No missing persons. No strange murders. Just a strange theft at the museum. Some famous something or other found in Egypt had up and vanished on its first tour out of Cairo’s private archives. John skimmed over the newest headline that read in bold print that the missing treasure was some sort of fertility symbol. He skipped to the sports.
He jumped when his phone went off.
164 Garland Street. #120
John snapped his phone shut and stared hard at the newspaper. He gulped his cold tea. Six days of nothing and then some summons with no explanation. Maybe he should make Sherlock wait around this time. He smiled. See how he liked it being ignored until needed.
Five minutes later John was out the door and into the frigid fall of sleet. But not without grabbing Sherlock’s coat first.
And his gun.
He’d seen the old hotel before. Driven past it, walked past it but never once considered entering it. This was one of Sherlock’s pay by the hour dives. John had no idea how many there were or the state of them but what they seemed to have in common was evident enough. Filthy, out of the way, and apparently only dealt with cash.
Walking slowly up the creaky stairs he saw this one didn’t seem to be much different. Stepping over a drunk in the stairwell he found the correct floor and the address. It felt odd to knock but he did anyway. Nothing. The door just happened to be unlocked after he gave it a shove and John cautiously let himself in. He dropped Sherlock’s coat down on the floor and raised his weapon as he eased into the room.
“Coming in,” he ventured. “It’s only me.”
No one answered him. But the state of the room was as bad as he’d been expecting. The bed was a mass of rumpled blankets and the old television was on the local news but muted. Coffee cups everywhere. Scattered books. There was an overflowing ashtray on the bed side table along with a spill of the last week of newspapers. The same over and over John had been reading about all that noise at the museum.
He heard a harsh cough coming from the bathroom. Rounding the corner, there was a shrill moment when he thought it was his friend. But it wasn’t him laying curled up around the toilet bowl. And she was in the same black suit he’d seen her in last. Sans the jacket.
It was that woman again.
“I’m not,“ she was breathing in shallow ragged gasps. “…feeling well.”
Checking the safety, he put his gun down.
“Are you there, John?”
“I said I’m not-”
“Yes, I can see that.”
She did not look good.
John crouched down and passed his hand over her forehead. Pale and clammy with sweat, she was shivering with a temperature. So Sherlock gave him the slip once again. At least this time made some sense. “So I guess Sherlock rang me to look after you.”
She opened her eyes to look at him for a moment. “Did he? He is quite a thoughtful man.”
John wanted to strongly contradict that statement but he didn’t. “Can you sit up?”
“I’d rather not.”
The crotch of her trousers was stiff with blood.
“I was involved in a fight.”
“A fight.” John nodded.
“I’m-I’m not as strong as I was,” she breathed through a fit of coughing. “It’s not very fair.”
John took a deep breath and leaned back against the bathtub. Her hands kept wandering between her legs and clutching her lower stomach. Her long limbs shook and she couldn‘t catch her breath. John didn‘t pray much but he made a small one before he summoned up the courage to ask the next question. “Have you been assaulted in any other-”
“Don’t be stupid,” she snapped. “Of course not.”
“Okay,” John quickly and thankfully reassessed. “Good.” Just a monthly. All women had them. He could handle this.
She suddenly started coughing hard enough to choke, her thin shoulders shaking as John used his hand to clean away the sick from her mouth and wipe it away on the thigh of his jeans. “It’s all right,” he said. “Let it come up.”
“John-” she gasped.
She nodded so John tipped her face down and pulled an arm under her chest. After a few more minutes of dry heaves she weakly fell back to wheeze into the cradle of his arm under her neck.
“Better?” John asked.
She drew in a breath that sounded close to a sob.
John took the opportunity to gently test the swollen skin of her black eye. There was no apparent fracture to the skull. Or her discolored jaw. He wanted to check her abdomen but even in this state she wasn’t even quite eager to have her face touched so he decided to wait. He checked her wrist and neck twice against his watch. Her pulse was steady but running a bit high.
“Satisfied?” she slurred.
He carefully lay her head down to examine her further. There were slightly older bruises. Maybe a few days old. He checked where the line of blood on her chin had come from and found her lower lip busted.
“So how many fights exactly?”
John frowned down at the woman sprawled on the bathroom floor. Why would this person be getting into fights? Presumably fights with violent men substantially bigger than she was.
“Because they took something from me,” she seemed to have read his mind. “I need it back to … to … I just need it back.”
“Well, Sherlock was right to call,” John lifted her chin back to examine another bruise on her throat. “You have a very high fever.”
“No, no, no,” she shook her head out his grasp. “That’s not it.” She closed her arms around her lower stomach and brought a knee up to her chest with a sharp moan.
John‘s hand hovered over her half unbuttoned shirt. “May I…?” He took his hands away when she jerked under his touch.
John sighed shortly. “I’m a doctor,” he thought of the soldiers he’d tended to with missing legs, bleeding out onto the sand and shitting themselves. “Repulsive hasn’t been in my vocabulary for a very long time.”
“I don’t suppose you brought that gauze.”
Her jaw clenched.
“Oh.” This was what all the medical gauze had been required for? John went for his best neutral physician’s voice and cleared his throat. “Gauze is for a wound. You don’t exactly have a wound you have your uh-”
“Don’t say it,” she mumbled miserably. “I am quite aware of what I have.”
She looked so utterly lost. He let his hand on her cheek brush back sweat soaked hair from her forehead. “Do you have a name this time?”
She considered him as she softly panted against the white tile. “Why don’t you just call me whatever you’d like.”
John was about to say ‘a pain in the arse’ but then he paused. Her eyes. He was surprised he hadn’t made the connection earlier, but in the stark light of the bathroom they were a very familiar shape and shade of washed out blue.
“Are you… Are you related to Sherlock some how?”
She sighed heavily, her shoulders sagging. “We’ve met.”
Well, that answered that question. Or rather it answered nothing at all which was a very recognizable Holmes trait at least. Sherlock never mentioned any family other than his brother but that didn’t mean much. He wanted to ask her where the hell Sherlock was but he knew it was pointless. If Sherlock didn’t want to be found then Sherlock was not going to be found.
“Let’s get you up,” John suggested. “Into bed. Okay?”
“I’m fine here.”
“Let’s try anyway.”
It was a puzzle at first how to get her long legs out from under her. He pulled her arms over his shoulders so he could lift her properly and she didn’t resist much to his relief. Although she was quite tall, she didn’t weigh much making him wonder if she’d been consuming anything other than nicotine and coffee. With another pull, John inadvertently ended up with his face in her neck. He hesitated a moment at the sudden scent of her.
And he stilled.
It was strange.
There wasn’t sweat, blood, or the bathroom floor, it smelled well… good. Not perfume. Not anything he could name but for a few seconds it made him forget what he was doing. His thoughts went blank and he felt himself waver on his feet. It was warm and it was burnt sugar and it made him swallow back a sudden lump in his throat. Readjusting his grip, he had another strong inhale of her as she weakly struggled to her knees. She made a small desperate noise of pain that brought him back to the task at hand.
Once she was near the bed she collapsed and climbed into its center, her eyes wet with exertion.
“I have books,” her shaking hands searched through the tangle of blankets. “I read about what is happening to me.”
“What?” John found himself momentarily confused. “Books?”
“Yes, books,” she thrust one of them towards him in frustration. “I’ve been researching.”
Books plural seemed to mean dozens. John saw a few scattered on the floor and glanced over the marked pages with diagrams of the uterus and glanced back up at her face to see if this was some kind of joke.
“Well,” she said through gritted teeth. “It says there should be discomfort.”
John sat down at the edge of the mattress and waited uncertainly.
“Are you listening, John?”
He was surprised at the strength of her grip on his collar as she yanked him down to her livid face.
“This is more than bloody discomfort!”
John bit at his lip instead of explaining he’d been a sometimes gynecologist in the Army when there wasn’t a proper one to be found. Not to mention growing up with an older sister who liked to hurl dishes when she was in the throes. He’d even delivered a few new souls into the world during his career. He also knew what was unusual and what was just the way a body behaved. And this situation was in no way an emergency. Her grip weakened and she shoved her face into a pillow.
“I’m dying, John.”
“Not even close really, no.”
She groaned, curling up into a fetal position.
“Look, this is nothing a few aspirin and a heating pad can’t fix.” He still couldn’t lose the scent of her. It was distracting and confounding enough to make him shake his head as if it would make it go away.
“I need morphine.”
“Actually all you need are some fluids and some rest.”
She pulled her arms up over her head and somehow shrank into an even smaller ball.
“I’m going to the corner store,” John almost put a hand on her boney hip. “I’ll get some … supplies. I won’t be long. I’ll get some-” He paused wondering at the scent of her coming off the bed she’d been sleeping in for a few days. It wasn’t even a smell, it was different. It was like, it was like… like tasting something heavy in the air. What the hell was he thinking? John stood up quickly and rubbed at his face.
“I’ll get some water. You can’t drink from that bath tap, I think you‘d be better off with some, some-”
“Morphine?” she tried quietly but hopefully.
“Do you have any other clothes?” He wasn’t sure how to go about removing the ones she was wearing to get them washed. “Y-You know, something to change into?”
John dug a knuckle into his brow. Only Sherlock would leave this woman alone with one set of clothes, no means to speak of and…. gauze… for Christ’s sake. He suddenly realized she was staring at him over her shoulder.
“What’s wrong with you?” her pale eyes were narrowed.
John fumbled to collect his gun and stumbled towards the door.
And for some reason as he hurried down the stairs and out back into the cold splatter of rain, all he could think of were the newspapers spread across the hotel floor. Pulling up his collar, he breathed in the freezing air and tried to clear his head. But the only thing he could see were the headlines. Big bold letters that talked about a museum missing an ancient artifact.
One that had all to do with fertility.