Title: Open Doors
Author: Smartkitty314
Rating: K+
Summary: Sherlock muses on what makes a friend, and how John managed to slip into his heart unnoticed. On the other hand, maybe not only John…Companion piece to Closed Doors, from Sherlock's POV.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Sherlock didn't have friends. He had acquaintances, people he used, people who owed him because of some case, ooh, enemies, and archenemies, those were especially fun (never left you bored), but a friend?

Friendship implied time and effort, maturity, responsibility. Sherlock understood those things, but he just didn't see the point. What would he get from it? Nothing, just another waste of time, another unbearable length in time when he felt his brain slowly rotting from lack of use. Humans were, by rule, stupid, irrational creatures who were not worth his time.

Mycroft definitely wasn't his friend. It was funny—Sherlock called everyone complete idiots, and perhaps the one person who could keep up with his intellect, and he couldn't stand him. His brother had kept him out of institutions, rehab, then out of jail in once he reached legal adulthood, and maybe he had helped a bit to make home more tolerable when Sherlock was a child. Sherlock hated the feeling of relying on someone, of owing someone something, and besides, he and his brother were too fundamentally different. Mycroft sought to control the world, to mould it into a perfect little model, like clockwork, where everything happened exactly as planned. Sherlock sought the strangeness, the eccentricities, the quirks of life, anything to distract him from the boring regular world that Mycroft sought so hard to create.

Mycroft had gotten it right when he said, "I am the closest thing Sherlock Holmes can have to a friend: an enemy." They loved each other, they worried about each other (or, at least, Mycroft claimed to worry about Sherlock for Mummy; Sherlock was never sure if Mycroft genuinely cared), and they both devoted their genius to creating complete different worldviews. No matter what Mycroft said, they would never belong on the same side, because the instant Sherlock gave him a bit of slack, he would start manipulating, until Sherlock became another pawn in Mycroft's game. They were definitely not friends.

Another example, Lestrade. They worked with each other because they needed each other—Lestrade for his job, Sherlock for a break in the monotony of boring, tedious, everyday life. Lestrade may have actually grown a gruff sort of toleration of Sherlock's quirks, because that's what people do, they grow attached. Sherlock was very careful not to make that mistake.

So when he asks the new DI at the crime scene where Lestrade is, and feels a slight twinge in his chest at the reply that Lestrade's busy, he tells himself it's because he knows he can continually rely on Lestrade to give him access to evidence and basically let him solve the case. The new DI will want him to explain himself, which he hates doing, it's a waste of time.

Besides, he kind of enjoyed insulting Donovan and Anderson. The three have a—well, not a love-hate relationship but a barely tolerate-hate relationship. Some of his wittiest comebacks have been to their insults, and that's a compliment, coming from him.

There's Mrs. Hudson, too—he used her shamelessly for tea, a vague amount of cleaning, and food. Although he had to say, she was the most understanding and accommodating any landladies he had ever rented from. Sure, she was simple-minded, but she did seem rather fond of him. Not many people actually…put up with him.

But Mrs. Hudson wasn't a friend, she was more like some kind of nanny or something.

Who else around his age did he interact with on a weekly basis?

Well, Molly Hooper he obviously had no emotional connection to. She was a pathetic excuse for a spineless female, a hopeless illogical romantic, and she got on his nerves. Perhaps he liked the access to the bodies that she gave him, and maybe her hopelessly romantic side gave him an advantage in getting what he wanted, but it was nothing more than that.

Saying that Jim was gay had been kind. He didn't need to impress her anymore—most people, after hearing his deductions for a while, seemed to become immune to the shock, and expected him to know everything. He never claimed to know everything, only to know enough to figure out from little details what was important about everything. But Jim using Molly? Sherlock was the registered arrogant jerk at St. Bart's. Molly was used to his rudeness, or brushing her off, and she grew a bit stronger from it. Nobody else was allowed to use Molly. The fact that Jim turned out to be a psychopathic criminal genius only added insult to the injury. Going after Molly was a low blow.

Then John Watson came along, and he ruined everything. There's no such thing as an exception to a rule-it shatters the entire rule, the entire worldview, and you have to come up with a new hypothesis to fit the facts. Sherlock hates it when that happens, because it means he was wrong.

John puts up for him; for God's sake, John lives with him, and his experiments, and his late-night violin playing, and the body parts, and the mess, and his boredom, and his insults. John does more than put up with it, though; Sherlock has the strange feeling that John understands. John can just look at him, and suddenly, even though he himself doesn't know, John knows what he's feeling.

John knows all the perfect things to say, and when not to say anything. John defends him from others' insults, but at the same time, will call him out when he's rude. John's always there, protecting him, rushing into danger with him. John who calls him brilliant and fantastic and who never ceases to be amazed at his deductive thinking, something that only ever earned him ridicule or suspicion, never praise.

John doesn't think he's crazy, at least not the way everyone else thinks he's insane for getting excited about homicides, but John understands the fire in his blood and the constant incessant bouncing racing speeding ping-pong balls in his mind, and John's just there, a strong, steady foundation, an unspoken promise that he'll never leave.

Sherlock wasn't extra nice at first, but John still treated him...like a friend.

(Sherlock has shifted his habits; he won't play the violin unless it's a particularly difficult case, and he makes sure there's takeout when he's taken over the entire kitchen, and he labels the containers with the body parts so John won't open them accidentally. Besides, he's cured John's tremor and limp; that's got to count for something.)

John slipped so easily into the doors of his heart, though, which made Sherlock wonder: were they really as closed as the self-proclaimed high-functioning sociopath wished them to be? Mrs. Hudson, the dear old landlady; Lestrade, who was smart enough to swallow his pride and work with Sherlock, but independent and confident and smart enough to resort to tactics like fake drug busts, who didn't insult him like the rest of the team; Molly, who let him use Bart's mortuary and lab even after she started dating Jim; Mycroft...no, nevermind, Mycroft was still an enemy. Too manipulative and he had too many ulterior motives to be a friend. Still, he made a rather nice brother, quite useful in a national crisis.

John had helped open the doors of his heart, certainly, but more importantly, John made Sherlock Holmes realize that the doors to his heart had never truly been closed.

a/n: The major project that I am working on right now is a crossover between Sherlock and Dr. Who in which I translate many of the Sherlock characters into the Whoniverse. Summary: The events of Dr. Who, Series 5, with characters from Sherlock BBC interwoven in. The Doctor doesn't land in Amelia Pond's backyard, but in a the Holmes'… I understand that it is completely shameless of me to advertise another piece of my writing at the bottom of this story, but the crossover section doesn't get a lot of attention, and I enjoy the critiques I receive from reviews. If you enjoy my style, I would much appreciate if you read that story, too.