Warnings: Forced masculinity, mentions of rape, near rape, forced pregnancy.
To this day, John was surprised she was able to save the photo albums from her childhood home. With half of London burning and people going nuts on the street, locating a couple of pictures should have been low on John's priority list.
Her first priority was of course, locating her parents and her sister. After she buried them, John scoured the house for a few key items. Then she locked the door and never looked back.
The only time John brought out the photographs was on Harry's birthday. If she had lived, she would've been thirty-six today.
"You look nothing like your sister."
John huffed, not bothering to look up from the album spread on the coffee table. "I was older than her. She looked nothing like me."
Sherlock stared at the album over John's shoulder. Harry had taken more physical attributes of her father, with her dark hair and brown eyes. "Are you going to the ceremony tomorrow?"
"No," said John. She may been able to hide herself for the past ten years, but the thought of being surrounded by so many men set her nerves on edge. "I've got clinic duty. What about you?"
"Tch," Sherlock sneered. He threw himself down upon the couch, draping an arm over his eyes. "Mycroft forces me to go every year."
"Not a fan of big crowds?"
"Not a fan of the ceremony, entirely. The prayer, the bowing of heads, watching grown men cry like children. It's embarrassing."
John shrugged her shoulders. "You can't really blame them."
"No, but I hate it all just the same."
Sherlock sounded almost unsympathetic, but John knew better. Everyone lost someone on that day.
"You've never gone to the ceremony," Sherlock continued without prompt. "Why?"
John doesn't bother asking how he knew that. "I don't like the crowds." It was not a complete lie.
"But it's not only that," Sherlock said, lifting up his head. "There's a bigger reason why you won't go. Something you don't want to tell me."
John didn't like that look in Sherlock's eye. That was his, I'm-going-to-figure-this-out-and-then-lord-it-over-you look. John had to nip this in the bud and fast. "Three billion people died that day. Excuse me if I don't want to be reminded of that fact."
It was almost a low blow, going in that direction. The spark in Sherlock's eyes died with that depressing thought, and John, despite herself, felt victory in her heart.
Sometimes John thinks Mycroft knows. The man has more access to information than necessary and it was near impossible to hide anything from him. And yet, Mycroft has not swooped down and grabbed John from her bed, taking him to a secret underground laboratory.
If Mycroft truly didn't know, then he was the least of John's problems.
It was easy for John to change her name, to change pronouns when referring to herself. It was easy to cut her hair, hide her breasts, and even hide her voice. Her voice was still so very feminine, but with so many men these days adopting a woman's tone, hearing John's slightly higher pitch tone was not all that farfetched.
What was harder was finding birth control pills. Tampons. Yeast infection medication. Every year that passed, the harder and harder it got to track down these necessary key items. And soon there were no more, forcing John to improvise.
It wasn't so much John was afraid of being taken in by the government- Mycroft's or otherwise. She knew she would be treated well, protected until her dying day. What was she afraid was losing her freedom, her simple right to say 'yes' or 'no.' Blood she was willing to offer. Tissue she was willing to donate.
She knew what they would eventually want from her is a child, and there will be no debate on that.
On some level she knew it was selfish, hiding away her uterus from the rest of the world. It was hers, she will always argue. She was willing to give her life to this country- nobody said anything about her reproductive system.
So on that fateful day ten years ago when every single woman in the world spat blood and fell dead upon the floor, Joanna Watson quietly folded her life away.