I ran Sherlock Remix again this year and wrote five stories for the three challenges. The first was this one, a remix of nox_candida's adorable story All of My Maps Have Been Overthrown. The original story features a John who has been transformed into a woman by Moriarty, and then focuses on how that doesn't change Sherlock's feelings for John. I wanted to tackle what John would make of his own transformation, and to my delight found that the John in my head decided to have some fun with it. My thanks to yalublyutebya and kate_lear for betaing and Britpicking!
"Redrawing the Maps (the Handle This Remix)"
John had never been much of a planner – tactics rather than strategy had been his strong suit. It was one of the reasons why he was fundamentally unsuited to work at a small local surgery; he'd far rather have borne the responsibility for keeping a soldier from bleeding out in the heat of battle than worry about keeping that soldier's mum's bones from becoming brittle. Long-term palliative and preventative care was not for him. Right. Good. That was settled. Though that was probably the kind way to put it; saying he was turned on, made alive, by danger would have set off too many alarms, however true it was.
Did that really do anything to explain how he'd tumbled into bed with Sherlock? Fucked by reason of insanity, possibly.
But Sherlock was surprisingly attentive, and John found he rather liked being treated like a source of endless fascination.
Until the day he turned into a woman.
It had most likely started about a week earlier, when he'd gone back to work after the madness of the midnight rendezvous at the pool. He assumed some low-grade bug he'd picked up at the surgery must be why he'd begun to feel a bit run-down, though he couldn't name a patient whose symptoms included body ache, exhaustion, and uneasiness. He'd been diligent about keeping up his fitness regime, but there was no denying that he was feeling every sit-up, push-up, and squat. He stretched in his chair, relieved at the give as his body went from taut to relaxed.
Sarah popped into his office to confirm that he had no hours on the books for the following week, and he took that as his cue to leave. He thought he'd go home, get in bed with a hot cuppa and a hotter detective, and steal a few kisses and maybe a cuddle; Sherlock very much liked being the big spoon, and the pliant heat of a body against his back would do John a world of good.
Into his new striped pyjamas he went whilst Sherlock happily puttered about in the kitchen, which had once more been transformed into a makeshift laboratory. "I'll be in soon," Sherlock mumbled vaguely. John paid that as much attention as it deserved, poured fragrant amber tea into their largest mug, found a packet of chocolate bourbons, and toddled off to bed.
He had a hard time falling asleep, feeling uncomfortably as if he were drowning in the vast expanse of their bed. He must have succumbed eventually, because he woke several times to find some part of his body or another feeling sore and overused. When dawn broke he woke again, felt that the bed was still empty, and thought exhaustedly that all he really wanted was to manage a solid five hours of sleep.
His bladder dictated otherwise. With a sigh, he got to his feet and shuffled to the bathroom, scratching his belly as he went. There was no real need to keep his weary eyes open more than a crack, as the floor had been clear enough yesterday and Sherlock hadn't been in to scatter obstacles in his path.
It was fair to say that he had a rude awakening when he finally opened his eyes, looked down at the toilet, and saw not only what was missing (for which he couldn't help a pleading fumble), but what was obstructing his view.
He was a nice handful, he'd say that much for himself.
The thing was, John had always been fond of his own dick. He liked the way it felt in his hand, his trusty first mate. He loved the way it made Sherlock light up like a firecracker when it was inside him. All in all, yes, it was something he'd always thought he'd take to a desert island, and suddenly it was gone.
His bladder hadn't, though, so he sank somewhat shakily to the toilet seat to have his morning wee. Wiping was a vastly different experience with this equipment, and as he flushed he decided that knowledge was preferable to ignorance. He stepped out of his pants and pyjama bottoms, already pooled around his ankles, and unbuttoned the top, letting that slide to the ground as well. His eyes went first, as always, to his scar, which now encroached on the soft swell of his left breast. Both of his breasts were plump and firm with nipples the colour of ripening peaches. He brought his hands up to cup their generous weight and felt a rush of wetness between his legs. His skin felt warmer in general, though his body hair was sparser and less insulating. The line of hair that delineated the path from navel to pubis had thinned, but the curls at his crotch were riotous and coarse. The tentative touch of his fingers through those curls was ridiculously pleasurable, and he thought he might as well get in one proper orgasm as a woman before hurling accusations like lightning-bolts at his demented flatmate. Carefully, he parted the soft, wet lips of his new sex, gliding his fingertips along the delicate creases. He couldn't quite find a satisfactory angle that didn't strain his wrist, but there was no need to plunge deep anyway; shallow friction seemed to do the trick, particularly when he paid court to his clitoris, and his orgasm rolled through him, persistent as ocean waves.
The throb of his cunt continued as he washed his hands and drew his pyjamas back on. Sherlock was a dead man.
Sherlock lived, because while he did spout the dangerous words "experiment" and "data," he also disclaimed responsibility for John's transformation, laying it at Moriarty's (cloven) feet. His continued existence had nothing to do with the fact that he made John come repeatedly, inventively, and thoroughly. Nothing at all.
John's skin was striped with Sherlock's semen – Sherlock had glared mutinously when John had said penetrative sex was off the table unless Sherlock was willing to wear a condom, as John had no interest in growing a baby with his new equipment – and he rolled out of bed to wash himself. His legs barely held him up, as he'd been fucked pretty much boneless, though it wouldn't do to tell Sherlock so and give him yet another reason to feel smug. John made his way into the bathroom and wet a flannel, wiping himself down with it and shivering pleasurably.
His own movement in the mirror startled him briefly when he caught it out of the corner of his eye, and he looked up at his reflection, frowning contemplatively. He tossed the rinsed flannel next to the sink, scrubbed his face, put his pyjamas back on, and took another long look at himself. That was Harry in the mirror, from her shaggy outgrown pixie haircut to her round toes.
John drank a glass of water while still watching himself, seeing the moment the terrible idea dawned on him.
When John crawled back into the bed, Sherlock immediately rolled close so that his nose pressed against the side of John's nearer breast and his hand found the other. "They're not handles, Sherlock," John grumped, though it was nice to feel the heat of the man against him. He tugged the blankets up far enough to cover his other side, knowing the warmth would last only for a few minutes, as Sherlock was certain to wiggle free of the covers soon enough.
John lay flat on his back, not really seeing the ceiling, lost in his thoughts. Thank God Harry was off on holiday with Clara for a few weeks, safely out of the way in Hollywood. If he pulled this off, maybe Clara would make a movie about him.
Instinct had always served John well in the past, and he saw no reason to alter his approach to life just because he'd gone a bit female; the plan was basically to impersonate Harry and see what happened. If (actually, when) Sherlock went apoplectic at the notion that John planned to take on Moriarty by allowing "Harry" to be snatched, it would be fun to say that he might not have a plan, but by God he had women's intuition.
Moriarty would have no compunction about involving Harry, and John was maybe a bit surprised it hadn't happened already. That night at the pool had revealed Sherlock's heart to them all, but John came with ties, as loose as they might have got over the years. Burning the heart out of Sherlock meant damaging John, and there were few weak points as effectively exploited as John's twin sister.
In the meantime, he needed to find out just how Moriarty had done this to him. That question ought to be enough to distract Sherlock.
"He dosed me with several things," John said truthfully, lying on the sofa because his back was sore from the unaccustomed weight of his unsupported breasts. "It's not like he did me the courtesy of explaining what was in each injection."
"But if he gave you some serum or cocktail that night, why would this change not have manifested immediately?" Sherlock countered. "He cannot have been expecting it to take this long, or else he would have made an effort to seize you again to watch what happened."
"Agreed," John said patiently. "I don't know, Sherlock. It's possible there was enough adrenaline coursing through me to delay . . . presentation. Or maybe a different experimental serum he gave me threw off the timing of this one. Anyway, I thought he was a technologist, not a chemist."
"True," Sherlock said, sounding pleased. "I need a blood sample from you. Possibly urine as well."
"Of course," he said, and drew the blood himself. Like hell was he going to let Sherlock loose with a needle.
"Have you got any cash?" he asked, pulling on his jacket. He was prepared with a whole story about his appearance no longer matching his cards, and the necessity of buying food, but Sherlock – peering through a microscope at the blood sample and muttering things John was no doubt supposed to hear and comprehend – just pointed vaguely at his coat.
John liberated a decent amount of cash from Sherlock's inner pockets and left the flat, intent on hailing a taxi that would take him to Harry's, where he'd stay and make an easy target of himself. He didn't even get that far; a cab pulled up and two burly men stepped out, saw him, looked at each other, and then got back in, pulling him along. John looked at the cabbie, who met his eyes in the rear-view mirror; the man looked frightened out of his wits, and John could only imagine that Moriarty's goons must already have put the fear of God into him on the way over. It was then that he remembered that he needed to put up a bit of a show, even though things were progressing nicely. "Oi, where're you tossers takin' me? Get off me! I've got my rights!" He screeched his complaints (they couldn't possibly know how Harry really spoke) while praying the cabbie wouldn't feel a surge of courage or gallantry.
"Hope you kissed your brother goodbye, angel," one of the goons sneered, evidently the gentleman of the two, as the other pulled out a mobile and said, "Yeah, dumb bitch fell into our laps. We'll be there in ten minutes."
Moriarty was less than fifteen minutes from Baker Street. How had they missed that? John continued to squirm but didn't deploy his elbows (Harry had always had abominably sharp elbows); Harry was a civilian and wouldn't know about precision strikes. He kept trying to plot their route on a map, but saw no useful landmarks. There was a tricky moment when the cab finally pulled to a stop, but he managed to keep the goons from hurting the cabbie by sliding out of their grasp once he was on solid ground and generally making a complete nuisance of himself; the cabbie drove off before they could get a firm grip on John.
"Boss doesn't like to be kept waiting," Angel said sternly.
"Dumb bitch," Dumb Bitch said, as if it were the only phrase he knew.
"What boss? You have the wrong girl!" John pleaded, letting himself be marched along even though it would have been deeply satisfying to give Dumb Bitch a good kick in the bollocks.
"Oooh!" squealed Moriarty, catching sight of John. "She's the one! Bring Cully to me; his contract just ran out." A third goon, this one with a prominent Adam's apple, ran off to do his bidding while John took stock of his surroundings. They were in a warehouse of some kind – large and cavernous and mostly empty. Moriarty looked more unhinged than ever, sitting on a makeshift throne of some sort in his familiar, impeccable Westwood suit. He hadn't left off the affectation of the skull-patterned tie and John nearly rolled his eyes before remembering he was supposed to look confused and scared.
Moriarty hopped down, sprightly as a demented leprechaun, and swept into a courtly bow. "Harriet Watson," he said, "so delighted to meet you, my dear."
John, still with one arm held firmly by Angel and the other by Dumb Bitch, let his voice waver. "Who – who are you?"
"All in good time," Moriarty said, as Adam's Apple brought the doomed "Cully" forward. Cully was short, held a medical bag, and leaned on a cane, and John wondered whether the man was supposed to be a stand-in for him. "Cully, Cully, Cully," Moriarty sing-songed. "Do you see what I have here?"
Cully eyed John with loathing, then surprise as his eyes widened. "But this is –"
"Reason enough for Sherlock Holmes to dance to my tune once more. Harry Watson leads to John Watson leads to Sherlock Holmes."
"No!" Cully protested, and John realised that this was the man who must have devised the serum that had caused his transformation; Cully was seeing in him the successful conclusion of an experiment, so why was he looking so aghast?
"With a bird in the hand, I've no need for any in the bush," Moriarty continued his manic lecture. "You're done."
"No!" Cully shouted again, but Adam's Apple kicked his cane away and heaved up the man's thrashing body, a big hand over his mouth.
"It can be so hard to find good help these days," Moriarty said, straightening his shirt-cuffs idly. "But Dr. Smith came so highly recommended, you see." He paused to look at John's face; John had little trouble manufacturing fear, given that the creator of the serum (and possibly its antidote) would be dead any second now. "And now, I think it's time you and I had a little chat, my dear."
"Where is he?!?" Moriarty raged, entering John's room and happening to find John inside; John had taken full advantage of the fact that no one had seen fit to confine him to any one area, and had done a few military-style investigative tours of the warehouse. He couldn't make it outside, and he had no way of concealing anything, but all they saw when they looked his way was a rather dim woman prowling about, in no way a threat. "You! Why has your wife not gone to Sherlock to report you missing?" He brandished John's phone, finger tapping impatiently at the engraving From Clara xxx.
"She's away on business?" John said, emulating one of his least-favourite patients, who had a habit of not only listing her symptoms as questions but also twining her hair around her fingers as she did so. His hair was rather short for that, but he made it work.
"And your brother?" Moriarty asked with exaggerated patience. "How has the good doctor not noticed your disappearance?"
"Wait, what are you going to do to him?" John asked, quite sincerely; he hadn't seen any particular implements of torture around the warehouse.
"Not a thing, pet. John Watson will walk free. Scout's honour."
"Wait, you were a Boy Scout?" John breathed, wide-eyed, rather enjoying Moriarty's reactions to his apparently bottomless stupidity.
"Just get Sherlock Holmes on the line!" Moriarty shrieked, tossing the phone John's way.
"Where should I tell him to come?"
But Moriarty had apparently had enough. "Do not make me change my mind about you not being worth a spot of torture. Call him and tell him to look at his website for further instructions."
Moriarty set the phone on speaker and looked increasingly aggravated as it rang continuously without being picked up. At long last, the line connected, and Moriarty pointed at John. "Sherlock Holmes?" he asked with a quavering voice, willing Sherlock to recognise the giant clue he was laying down.
There was a pause, and then Sherlock parroted back, "Harriet Watson?" John bit back his sigh of relief; he'd been sure Sherlock would consider the call just a continuation of the one-sided conversation he'd been having with John since he first got hold of John's blood sample.
"I want John," he said before Moriarty snatched the mobile away, then nodded solemnly as Moriarty laid a finger to his lips.
"Sherlock, my dear," Moriarty said, terribly courteous. "I have her. Should you want to keep hold of your rather fetching pet, I believe you'll want to meet me for negotiations."
"What do you want, Moriarty?" Sherlock asked, and John could hear his growing excitement.
"It's all there, on your website," Moriarty said, sounding dreadfully bored though his eyes were dancing. "I even used small words so dear John would be able to follow along. I don't believe my prose is as purple as his, though."
"His blog's green!" John chimed in, only partly to distract Moriarty. He might have been having a bit too much fun.
"Shut up!" Moriarty hissed from between clenched teeth.
John burst into loud, aggravating sobs, the kind Harry used to use to get the last sweet in the bowl from age two on.
"Dry your eyes," Moriarty snapped, pushing John ahead of him.
"Where are we going?"
"Somewhere we won't be interrupted when Sherlock deigns to join us," Moriarty said, flapping his hand irritably at Angel, who held out a sweet-smelling handkerchief to John.
"But you're the boss, aren't you?" John asked, pretending to be confused. He buried his face in the handkerchief as he played a rather daring shot. "Why don't you just tell them all to go away? They should have to go, not you."
Moriarty eyed him sharply at that, so John blew his nose extra vigorously and raised doleful eyes to his captor's scheming face. Moriarty snatched the sodden handkerchief, threw it at Angel, and told him to have the warehouse's main floor cleared in five minutes flat, everyone else in the underground storage facility. "And no one touches Sherlock Holmes – he's mine."
John sat on a wooden crate and dragged the toe of his trainer through the sawdust. At last he knew why Harry had a habit of humming tunelessly; if she didn't have something occupying her mind (such as the location of her next drink) she had to fill the time as best she could. He might as well give it a go, he thought, and began to hum.
Moriarty quit pacing to stand in front of him. "One more peep out of you and I'll rescind my promise to let your brother go," he threatened.
"No fair!" John gasped melodramatically. "You can't do that!"
Moriarty cocked a single eyebrow, then started to laugh.
John achieved a long-held dream then and did his best to kick Moriarty's bollocks through the roof of his mouth.
"I don't know why I even bother showing up anymore," Sherlock said from the doorway, his coat still settling around him. He looked dispassionately down at Moriarty, who was rolling on the ground in agony, howling and heedless of the mess the sawdust was making of his suit.
"His whole team's below us, waiting for his word to resume operations," John said mildly, waiting for Sherlock to say something more. Instead, Sherlock nodded and sent a text, most likely to Lestrade. "That's it?" John asked, disappointed.
Sherlock was adorable when he let his puzzlement show. "What's 'it'?" he asked.
"I thought at least you'd have something pithy to say, like 'the female of the species is more deadly than the male' or –"
Sherlock pulled him into his arms and kissed him thoroughly.
"Wait, wait," John gasped, pushing him away. Sherlock let go with great reluctance, though he picked up right where he left off when he saw that John's urgent business was to deliver another resounding kick to the Moriarty family jewels.
John was still exploring Sherlock's mouth when he heard the sirens. He stiffened in Sherlock's arms and the detective had enough empathy to point out a convenient spot for John to hide from the imminent police raid, the better to escape detection whilst still in a female form.
A few hours later he was on the sofa in 221B, Sherlock beside him and a cup of tea in front of him. "I have to tell you something," John said, hanging on to his courage with desperate fingertips. Sherlock apparently caught his mood, for he sat quietly and waited for John to regain his voice.
"There was a man in Moriarty's employ, a doctor – Dr. 'Cully' Smith, Moriarty said – who seemed to recognise me. I think he was the one who must have made the serum."
"I'll tell Lestrade I need to question Smith myself," Sherlock promised. "Given how many criminals he rounded up today, it's unlikely he'll refuse my assistance in processing them."
"That's just it – Moriarty had him killed before Smith could tell anyone I wasn't Harry." John swallowed. "Did you – were you able to figure out what he injected me with?"
"The sample was inconclusive," Sherlock said reluctantly.
"Ah," John said. "I think I'll go to bed."
Two days later, he was still in Harry's softer skin and, frankly, horny as hell. "Sherlock," he growled and Sherlock immediately left off typing something into his phone and tackled him to the bed. At least their pleasure in this hadn't diminished, John thought hazily, his ankles locked behind Sherlock's swan neck, Sherlock's tongue delving deep within him. His first orgasm was positively cataclysmic, and each successive one like another wave crashing on a shore. He drifted off to sleep with Sherlock still biting at his belly.
He woke an hour later, Sherlock slumped on top of him, one hand – of course! – cupping John's left breast. John rolled his eyes and eased out from under him, pulling on Sherlock's dressing-gown before heading to the kitchen for a spot of tea and some of the really nice biscuits. He was sore all over, no doubt due to the hard use Sherlock had just been making of his body.
He brought his tea and biscuits and a cheese-and-tomato sandwich to the living room and flipped on the telly. The programme startled the odd laugh out of him, but when coupled with his nice hot cuppa it had a soporific effect. He closed his eyes and slid sideways, stretching full-length on the sofa and settling in for a nap.
The telly was still on when he woke up, and his feet were hot. He peered blearily at the other end of the sofa, where Lestrade was sitting comfortably, an expression of bliss on his face while he finished one of the very good biscuits. "Lestrade!" John said, sitting upright and pulling the edges of Sherlock's dressing-gown together so that Lestrade wasn't treated to an eyeful of cock first thing in the morning.
Cock. How goddamn delightful.
"John," Lestrade said pleasantly. "Did you hear you missed all the fun of bringing this Moriarty bloke down?"
"That's the last time I leave London without Sherlock," John said as calmly as he could. "Would you like some tea?"
"I'd love a cup, and if you could wake His Majesty, I could get out of your hair all the sooner."
John filled the kettle and clicked it on before heading to the bedroom at a rapid clip. "Sherlock," he said, smacking the man's delectable arse to rouse him.
"Hmmm?" Sherlock intoned, rolling onto his side to give John a fantastic view of his morning wood. John grinned and pulled open the dressing-gown to reveal his own, catching Sherlock's delightfully dumbfounded expression.
"Quickly – Lestrade's here."
"But so are you, John," Sherlock said, purposely deepening his voice and John squirmed in pleasure.
"Up," John insisted, calling on all his reserves of self-control. He dodged Sherlock's questing hands and pulled on his clothes, which finally fit properly again.
"Milk and one sugar?" he called to Lestrade, heading for the kitchen once more.
"Right," Lestrade confirmed. He'd only got one long swallow down his throat before Sherlock emerged from the bedroom, his bedhead rampant and his expression calculating.
"Leave right now and I will take any three cases you choose without complaint," Sherlock bargained. John shook his head chidingly at him; he hadn't even bothered putting on pants underneath the dressing-gown in which John had slept.
Lestrade's eyes widened, but he obviously wasn't going to let this opportunity slide. "And you'll give me a full report this time tomorrow?"
"Fine," Sherlock said, dismissing him with a casual wave of the hand.
John had gone boneless again, sweaty and sated and drunk on love. He threaded his fingers through Sherlock's messy curls and let out a contented sigh. He rolled his eyes when he felt Sherlock's hand close possessively around his cock again. "For God's sake, Sherlock, that's not a handle either."
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