These are two love letters I've used in my story "A Case of Identity". Since they can also be read stand alone, I also wanted to publish them as a whole – without the interruption of interaction between both. Sherlock and John are writing the letters just prior to their marriage. Let your imagination run free!

You can find a Chinese translation on www. mtslash. com (see my profile for the exact link)

Registration is required to read it there. Thanks to hwenqi for translating it.

Dear Sherlock,

First of all, I want to apologise beforehand that my writing is terrible as always. My letter probably ended up being too long and too incoherent. I also might have committed the sin of writing sentimental stuff. It is very likely that you will find it tedious and be bored very much halfway through it…

Meeting you was fate. Necessity brought us together. Thinking about it, the fact that Mike thought we might make a good couple in the first place is definitely very remarkable. On the surface, there have never been two people more different than we are. When I first met you, you were certainly arrogant and quietly rude. You looked about twelve, were clearly a bit public school, and you behaved in an imperious and pompous way that infuriated me more than once.

And, yeah, I was definitely convinced that you were probably mad. But you were also strangely likeable and fascinating. In the early days of our acquaintance I thought you were a strange child who didn't understand social conventions and didn't care about being polite. Your bluntness often caught me off guard, but you didn't mean to be offensive. You just said what you thought. Naturally, I was mesmerized by your keen mind. Your ability to see right through everyone and everything in seconds intrigued me immensely. My interest in you increased and deepened, and before long, I wanted to get to know you better and unravel the enigma that is you.

Although fate already put things on the right track, becoming your friend was my choice. However, it wasn't really a very difficult decision, and was taken quickly. Come to think of it, we actually became inseparable within twenty-four hours and have been ever since. You text and I come running. We didn't always embrace this chemistry between us. Before we knew each other, we were two independent men. After the day we met, we had to learn that we suddenly needed each other in many ways. That wasn't always easy and not necessarily what we wanted. Miraculously, in time, we got the hang of it. Aside from my obvious admiration for your skills and your brilliance, I started to find your personality dazzling. In our early days you found it easy not to care, or so I thought. I had to learn that appearances can be deceiving, though. One day you were compelled by certain events to realize, that you did, despite yourself, care and feel. It was a hard thing for you to accept, but you came to terms with it in the end. You occasionally opened up and gave me insights to what lies behind your cold mask: the best man.

Falling in love with you, however, was beyond my control. Time has brought my heart to you. In the past, people made you believe that you were better off alone, safer. You divorced yourself from feelings. Back then, painful things happened to us. We drifted apart. It took time to figure out that there would be forgiveness between us in the future. We understood that we had to let our history go if we wanted to move forward. It seems that sometimes two people who are meant for each other are the last two to realise it. We never wanted to say it's love, but sometimes what you get is so much better than what you wanted in the first place. We became more than friends at last. In the end it only made us stronger. We didn't break and we didn't burn. You were the one who broke my heart, and you were the one who fixed it again.

I know it's hard to let me love you and it takes a lot of courage, but let me say this, there is nothing you could say or do that would drive me away from you. If anything, I know exactly what I am committing myself to. I love everything about you - your mischievous smile, the low baritone sound of your voice, your piercing eyes, so hypnotic and mesmerizing, beautiful to gaze into, and yet never revealing everything to me. I love your gentle touch and the warmth I feel at your side. I love the way you enter a room, walking tall in your perfectly tailored suits, radiating self-confidence, absorbing everyone and everything and automatically attracting people's attention. I also love you when you look about twelve; I love you when you're clearly a bit public school; I love your arrogant and pompous behaviour; I love your rude bluntness; I love the times when boredom drives you mad and makes you edgy … I love all of your bad manners. I love your bad qualities because I also love your "Better Self" – your vulnerability, your insecurities, your best civility. If I don't love you at your worst then I don't deserve you at your best. That is as simple as it gets. You can depend on my love and friendship forever.

You've, more or less, asked for my hand in marriage and I, sort of, said yes. When you marry, you are telling your partner: this is who I am. I am now your mate for life. I will not give up on us. No matter what. This road will not be an easy one to travel, but I'm prepared to do anything to make this work.

I will feed my brain, to nurture my own continued development as a person. I apologize in advance for my seeing but probably never observing well enough for your taste.

I will not stop following my own way and showing up for my own life. I told you if I did so, I'd lose my independence and you'd start to find me boring and dull. But I will never love my job more than I love you. I will keep supporting you the way I always did. In this autonomy, I am not distancing myself from you or our life. You are the most important person in my life. Nothing will ever change that.

Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like if we had never met. It would have been certainly simpler... maybe easier... but it also would be incomplete – and rather boring.

So if you don't mind, I am planning on having you around for the next one hundred years or so… [and yes, Sherlock, I know this is technically impossible for you to stay with me for the next hundred years, but I will see to it that you die an utterly boring, and awfully mundane, natural death. Preferably after a very long, healthy life when you are very, very old].

Lots of love,