I know you’re headed off to Scotland with your cousin, the Lord Smith, to open up the old Torchwood House for him, and I know the reason you’ve left me behind this time is because there will be nowhere to stick me, and no occasion that you’ll need me. I do not understand why the you plan to set up the place by yourselves in such drab attire, but that is none of my business. I am simply sending this letter along with so that you at least have some company from me. I’m not sure if you get post up there yet. Hopefully you will. I’d like a reply. Not that I’m being needy—you’ll be busy setting up the House. I don’t expect one if you haven’t the time to write one, or if you have no way to send the letter to me.
I know going back to the Torchwood House is not your ideal way to spend a month. I’d rather not ever step foot in London again, if I had the choice (don’t take that as a suggestion—if you need me in London, I will go. Do not leave me behind simply because you are worried about me. I can handle myself. You, on the other hand, are a spoiled brat and I need to go with you, so shut up and take me anyway, sir). I don’t know if you are legally allowed to gift the House away to the Lord Smith like that—I know he was your mother’s nephew, but does that give him rights to the place, when you are still alive to inherit? Don’t answer that. I will be fraught with dread that someone might want to strangle you in your sleep for your damn estate. Whatever the case may be, I know it must be hard to gift the place to someone you spend so much time with. It would mean going back and visiting a lot. Maybe I will be there to help you those next times, but for now… Jack, I hope you will be okay. If you aren’t, please just come home. I’d rather you be miserable about not being with your cousin back here, in my arms, than absolutely dead inside over there, where there is nothing to bring you back to reality.
You know I’m hopeless with words. I mock you for your inability to create poetry, but the truth is, you could make the most wonderful sonnets in comparison to what I could do. My words never say what I want them to. I can’t express what I need, when it comes to the important things. Sure, I can rant and rave about the fit of your cuffs or the polish of your shoes, but I’ll never be able to express things like affection in the way you do.
So, I’ll leave you with this. I care about you, and I hope that you understand my thoughts are always with you, but especially now, as you return to Scotland.
I hope it isn’t too harrowing. I hope you find some peace. Most of all, I hope you are happy.
Ianto Jones, Jr
P.S. I had Miss Sato pack you some of your favourite biscuits in one of your suitcases. Be gentle with them. I don’t want to have to clean crumbs out of your shirts for the next four months.
P.P.S. And give the Lord and Lady Smith my best wishes.
You are incredible.
I know you always say you don’t have the words you want or need, but in the end, they always seem to be right there for you, anyway.
I think you already grasp that there is a way to send post up here. First of all, I would not care if you were being needy. You have the right to be. Stop making that face. You do have that right. And why wouldn’t I write you a letter? You know I like talking. You know I like talking to you even more. And if I want to take time out of my day to write to you, who the hell is going to stop me? You? No. I’m writing to you, and you have no say in the matter. Even if you don’t write back, I will be writing more.
On another note, Torchwood House, technically mine by right of birth, and I sold it to the Doctor. The Viscount of Garioch should have a place in Garioch, no? It would have been his by right, anyway, had his mother been born just a minute earlier than mine. Funny, how those things happen… Besides, I do not want to hold onto that place a minute longer than I had to. There was a reason I came to my father’s estate, and not my grandfathers. The title was part of it, but I could not stand living in the place my brother and father died. You used the word “harrowing” in your letter, I believe. Well, that word suits the place. The good news is that I’m finding it to be less so with the Doctor as its head. I could stand coming here every so often for a few weeks, if I know that I will be with him (and his wife, who absolutely enchants me. Don’t worry—I think she enchants everyone. Even you, I suspect). I also suspect that if you had a good reason to return to London, you would hate it less, much like me with Torchwood House. But I’m not willing to test it, not with you. I couldn’t bear to see you unhappy, Ianto; it would crush my soul. To repeat myself—you have the right to need things, and I will respect that. I won’t take you to London. Unlike what you believe, I am capable of handling myself. So, I will ignore what you wrote on it entirely (save for that it makes you sad, though I knew that already).
About your hopes that I am happy, I cannot say that I am, for your offering of your arms at home makes me desperately lonely.
On a more serious note… I will never find peace here. I can find understanding, clarity, and emptiness. Happiness, perhaps, when the Doctor takes away—oh, what I want to say is its harrowing-ness, to mirror what I said before, but I don’t think that’s a word. But never peace. And I do miss you. I always do, when I’m not with you.
I hope you miss me, too.
The Doctor appreciates your wishes. Rose herself isn’t here to accept them herself. I don’t think the Doctor wanted her throwing her back out when we move furniture around.
Your Jack, unhappily alone
P.S. You shouldn’t be worried. Nobody’s coming to strangle me in my sleep. I’m too widely beloved for that.
Dear Miss Sato,
My brilliant, beautiful cook. You know how I love your divine, heavenly, wonderful biscuits.
You also know how I tend to overeat them and get fat.
Did Mr Jones set you up to this?
If so, give him a nice whack with your ladle for me. He knows he’s not allowed to cheer me up by fattening me.
On an unrelated note, Mr Jones has been looking a little on the scrawny side. Those curves shouldn’t dwindle like that. Love handles are meant to be held, Toshiko, and I haven’t been holding much these past few weeks.
P.S. Don’t tell him I told you about his love handles. For whatever reason, he’s embarrassed about them. I haven’t the faintest idea why. They’re one of the best bits about him. (Okay, a lie—every bit about him is the best bit).
P.P.S. Don’t tell him I was talking to you about him, either. That one, I can understand being embarrassed about, because… well… we’re not supposed to talk about this with anyone. But you understand. He should know that by now. So maybe I don’t actually understand why he’s embarrassed. He’s an odd one, our Ianto.
P.P.P.S. Don’t let Mister Harper be too much of a snob.
Sir, I will tell you right now that you should not disregard what I said about London. Maybe I should never have said a thing about it, but I was trying to empathise with you. I was not trying to get myself out of my responsibilities. I really don’t have a right to be needy. I have a duty to you, both as your valet and as your… well, lover, as I believe you have once put it. I will not shirk those duties just because I feel… sad. That is unprofessional and unhelpful. And unkind. Therefore, I will be going to London with you whenever you go again, because I should.
Why wouldn’t I write back? I was the one to write you in the first place.
I’m sorry that you won’t find your peace at Torchwood House. I can only pray that, one day, you will. Until then, I am also sorry that you are unhappy, and I wish I was there to make that unhappiness go away.
But, Jack, what are you doing moving furniture by yourself? What applies to the Lady Smith also applies to you. In fact, I think it applies to you even more so. Since you seem to be forgetting it yourself, I’ll remind you that your back is not fit for that sort of work. It would be rather a shame if you were to injure yourself further. Please be careful. That goes for being strangled, too—I know you think you’re beloved by all, but I’ve met a few people who would disagree. So, be careful. I’m not there to protect you from being strangled currently.
And, despite what you think, I really am not good with words. In fact, I am finding myself to be lacking things to say. This letter is rather uninspired, I’m afraid. I do hope you’ll forgive me for that.
Ianto Jones, Jr
P.S. Why is Miss Sato feeding me extra portions? The sudden special treatment has me, and the other staff, rather suspicious.
Fat never harmed anyone, not even on you. I’m sure that, if they are good on a certain someone, then they are also good on you, too.
Speaking of said certain someone… your Mr Jones is a suspicious man. I can’t even feed him a spoon more of soup or a half slice more of bread without him suddenly turning on his guard and hunting me down with watchful eyes with each move I take. Mr Harper, being Mr Harper, also tried to jump down my throat when he noticed he was not being treated thusly (which goes to show how well I can keep him from being “too much of a snob”), which seemed to make Mr Jones even more suspicious.
So, I believe I am failing in the duties you have prescribed to me. I shall work harder at it, but by God, Jack, nobody can convince that man of yours that he should get (or deserves) more than he has already been given. I didn’t know selflessness could grow to the extent of becoming nearly a bad trait!
Miss Toshiko Sato
P.S. I won’t.
P.P.S You don’t really think you’re the only one who confides in me, do you?
P.P.P.S. Mr Harper is going to be Mr Harper no matter what I do.
If you think for a single moment that I will force you into a place that you feel so unpleasantly about, then you are more wrong than you have ever been in your entire life. I know what it feels like to be in a place where someone you loved left you for good (what have we been discussing, if not that?) and if I could spare you that pain in any way, I would. I will. I do not want to cause you sorrow or pain, Ianto. That would make me so unhappy that I would never be able to live with myself again.
Don't ask me why you wouldn’t write back. You were the one who thought I wouldn’t in the first place.
My back is fine. Stop worrying.
Though I am rather interested in returning home to your protective embrace. To have your arms around me, shielding me all through the night from wayward men who seek to strangulate me—Ianto, that sounds like heaven.
The Doctor is releasing me early. We have come across some wardrobes that we cannot ourselves move, and he is calling in some help. Official, hired help. I’m certain there are people who know how to better move a table than any of our acquaintances. We have already scuffed the floor once, and I don’t think the Doctor wants to do that again. So, I shall be home soon, and then you can hold me and protect me. Or just hold me. Your arms are everything to me.
That also means you don’t have to think of words to write back. It is okay if you have none to say now, because you accumulate some over the next few days, and then say them to me when I return. I don’t expect another Ralph Waldo Emerson, but I would like to hear you say that you missed me. (I would also like to have you show me you missed me, too.)
Your Jack, glad to be returning to you
P.S. I’m not sure. Perhaps she believes you are looking a little on the thin side. I wouldn’t begrudge her for wanting to make you full.
Dear Miss Sato,
Toshiko. I have made a grave mistake. I am afraid of turning to my left or to my right, and of bending up or down. I am returning home soon, so could you save a little ice from the next delivery for me? My back aches something dreadful, and the coolness should help.
Don’t tell that to Mr Jones, please. He will absolutely strangle me if he knew of that. I’m trying to avoid strangulation right now.
As for his suspicions… I don’t know what to tell you. He doesn’t like being looked after. It’s something we shall both have to work on with him.
And what do you mean? Who else confides in
What does he tell you?
Please say that it’s good things. I’d hate to think that I’m not making him happy.
Anyway. Start up the fires, please, because I’m coming home. And I’m in a lot of pain. It would be nice to eat the warm comforts of your labour again. (Some sort of hearty pie would be nice, please?)
P.S. Do not tell him, or I’ll… I don’t know what I’ll do, but I’ll be very unhappy with you.