Is that how you begin letters? I’ve never written you one before. I feel like you’ll undoubtedly cuff my ear for the “dearest” part, but it’s already there, on the page, and I can’t do much about it now. I suppose I could scratch it out. Or perhaps even restart this letter. Though I’m rather fond of it now, so I shan’t do either. Live with it.
I am writing to you because, well, I am bored. Utterly, completely bored. This trip to London was nothing more than wasteful. I don’t care what you say, I can do without another suit. I will be doing without another suit, anyway, because I have left the tailors without so much as a fitting. I know you said he was an esteemed tailor, but there was something shifty about the man. He refused to even think about making anything double-breasted! How could I trust him to make a suit for me when he has that attitude? You know how I prefer my suits double-breasted. I know you’re sneering at that, by the way. I can just tell. Don’t be like that. I know it isn’t very fashionable (or fashionable to you, for that matter), but I do like my suits that way. So, I will not be employing Master Lynch for the making of my suit.
Speaking of suits, how is your father? You seemed worried about his health before I left. I hope all is well with him. Yet again, I know you have that look on your face. He’s your father. You might not get along, but you should still wish him the best for his health. I’m certain he does the same for you. In his own way.
But, as I am now expected to come and be entertained by my cousin, I cannot return to you as early as I hoped. I should have brought you along. The Doctor shall certainly mock me for not having my trusty valet along. Of course, I can’t tell him how much more than a valet you are, now, can I?
That is the good thing about sending this letter to you, though. No one suspects a thing about it. It’s not uncommon for a earl such as myself to write a letter to his valet. I could be asking you to polish up my shoes, for all anyone could care. But you and I know differently. I’m writing to you because I’d like to bend you over and have my wicked ways with you. Or because I’d like you to bend me over and have your wicked ways with me. Either works for me. I’m a versatile man. And flexible. I’m also a flexible man. (Which is a hint, by the way.)
Though, perhaps people should suspect something. A earl and his valet? How more personal can one get with another man? You dress me every day. And also undress me every day, which I like much, much better, but that’s less a part of your valet role and more a part of your other role as my lover. (Is lover a good word for it? I like lover. It suits you. Lover.)
Alright, I know I said I was writing because I was bored, but now I’m not bored, because the Doctor has sent a man. Don't look like that—not that kind of man. Just one who hands me the Doctor's invitations. Though the man is rather attractive. I’m teasing. Don’t hit me over the head with my own shoes again.
Anyway, with that, I must say good-bye.
There. I’ve said it.
P.S. Is that how you end letters, too? I don’t know. I’m keeping it, in any case.
I refuse to write the word “dearest” to greet you, sir. That is absolutely soppy. I am not a sop. Anyone would sooner accuse me of being that strange, leathery, fanged beast you swear you saw (and I still say to you—you were drunk, and it was your own shadow) than of being a sop. Therefore, your letter will begin with “Jack” and only “Jack” because while I am foolish enough to hold any fond feelings for you, I am not foolish enough to act like I do.
As it seems not to have sunk into your thick skull yet again, I will have to tell you once more: double-breasted suits are not in fashion. Double-breasted anything should have been thrown out with the change of the century. I do not care how comfortable you swear they are; they are monstrous and hideous and you look ridiculous. Just listen to a master tailor’s son for once? Please? Though no matter if you listen to me or not, it seems I shall have to write an apology to dear Master Lynch (under the guise of it being under your nose, of course, as we cannot have anyone thinking that I would be so bold to disregard and rebuke you, nor that you would be so foolish enough to let me). He is a good friend of my father’s, and while my relationship with my father is strained, my relationship with those who have been nothing but kind to me in my youth does not have to be the same.
My father is just fine, by the way. Don’t trouble yourself about him. He’s just a drunkard and a slob.
I am pleased you are getting to see your cousin, the Lord Smith. You are always at the most ease when you come back from a week with him
(except, obviously, when you are at ease after a good… bollocks. I’m not writing that on paper.) I hope he is well. Is he still seeing that Miss Rose Tyler of his? I don’t mean to pry, but… well, I suppose I do mean to. I rather like that woman. She treated me as an equal the last time I met her, which is far more than any of your other friends do. Of course, I cannot be truly angry about that. This is the life I chose. I must accept the place I was given in life. Though, much like Lord Smith may think, I wish that place was currently by your side. He always hands you off to that Ross fellow when I’m not with you, and Ross never does your ties right. They’re always just a tad lopsided; always heavier on the right side.
And, yes, alright, I do wish my place was at your side for the very thing you yourself have mentioned. Yes, you are flexible. I know that already. Or have you forgotten that I know that? Perhaps I shall have to remind you when you get back. Sir.
As for my role as your valet… I, too, prefer undressing you.
I’m glad that writing a letter to me has alleviated your boredom, Jack, but really. Teasing me with another man? Shame on you. I’ll have you know I could probably also get women and men any time I want, but I don’t, because you whine. Like a little girl whose mummy didn’t let her go to the fair. So, think of that next time you tease me.
Ianto Jones, Jr
P.S. Again, I am not a sop, and therefore refuse to write “yours.” Plus, I am technically under your employment, and therefore am already yours without being yours, so saying it has little meaning.
Are you calling Shakespeare a sop? I’m fairly certain he has used the word “dearest.” And if Shakespeare is a sop, then all men should be, because he is one of the great men of history.
I want a double-breasted suit. I will get a double-breasted suit. I have made arrangements for a double-breasted suit to be made for me. No, you cannot change my mind. It is happening. (And should you truly write that letter to Master Lynch, then don’t be too unkind to me.)
Be good to your father, Ianto. Some of us would willingly take a drunkard and a slob for a father than the alternative.
The Doctor is delighted that you thought of him. He did titter awhile at me for having “forgotten you behind” (as he was certain that was what happened; I could not convince him that it was a choice that I made, and not an error on my part), but when I told him you had been asking about his happiness, he was touched, and left me well alone afterwards. He is still seeing his Miss Rose Tyler, and he thanks you for asking. I think an engagement might be coming sometime soon, but only time shall tell.
About your concerns about my tie—is it really my tie you’re concerned about? As far as I can see, they’re not too far off your own ties. Ross is doing just fine with me. I am doing just fine with Ross. Stop fussing.
And as for your place in this world… Oh, Ianto. You are worth no less than any other man in this world. In fact, I think you should be more concerned about their places in the world, because they are the lesser men. Truly, you are one of a kind, a treasure amongst men, a ruby surrounded by granite, an orchid in a field of wheat. Alright, that last one got away from me a little, but you get my point. Ianto, you are wonderful. Please, never doubt that.
Now I’m getting mixed messages. Either you’re about to help me remember how good fucking is, or you’re going to run off and shag someone else. Which is it? If it’s the former, well. I shall certainly look forward to it. If it’s the latter, then I fully expect an invitation.
And I should hope you know by now that I’d never do anything with anyone else, not when I have you. Even if I did, then you should know that it would mean nothing in comparison to what I feel with and for you. Again, you are wonderful. In so, so many ways.
Also, I may never have mentioned it to you before, but did you know that you have the most delightful arse? You do, you know. It’s very… ample. It looks splendid in your trousers. And even better out.
P.S. I don’t own you, Ianto. You’re not a thing. You are your own person, and no one and nothing can take that from you. Unless, of course, you were mine, much in the way I was yours. Because I am yours, you know. Very, very much yours.
You know I’ve never read Shakespeare.
And I’m sorry to have brought up unwelcome feelings about your own father (truly, I am very sorry), but this is my father. Or, rather, the man who is supposed to be my father. He didn’t do much fathering to warrant the title in the first place, and he certainly hasn’t done anything to work toward it since. A drunkard and a slob are all he will ever be. Well, that, and a leech. He takes up half of my wages, I’ll have you know, and a good portion of Rhiannon’s, too.
You know damn well I’d never be too unkind to you. Even to take that massive ego of yours down a few notches. Though I am very, very cross that you went and got yourself a double-breasted suit against quite literally everyone’s wishes. Very cross.
Tell the Lord Smith that I am happy he is happy. He deserves it. And if marriage to Miss Rose Tyler is what God has in store for him, then that is fantastic. He is a good man and she is a good woman. I hope they will continue to be happy with each other. (And I’d like an invite to their wedding, if you can get one. I’ll sit in the back, but I want that invitation.)
While I am indeed flattered you think so very highly of me, I must remind you that, no matter what you believe, there is still a way which things go in this world. Those such as yourself are more important, and those such as myself are far less so. We mean very little, despite being the backbone of the society in which your kind lives. I shall say no more, or else I will get far too upset to continue with this letter.
I’d also like you to understand that there was a reason you never became a poet, sir. Wheat and orchids? Do they even belong in the same soil? I’m beginning to wonder if you even read Shakespeare.
I’m not planning on bedding myself with anyone but you. Your sentiments towards monogamy are returned. No, that is a lie; I know you’re not one for monogamy. Or is it marriage you were truly against? I could never tell. My point is that, much like you, I do not plan on having other affairs. I don’t think I could handle it, to be honest. Do you know how much work you are? I wouldn’t be able to put up with you and another lover. (That was a jest, if you couldn’t tell. Though if you’re not able to tell when I’m jesting by now, it is entirely your own fault.)
Sir. I know how good my arse is. I also know what “arse” sounds like on your American-sounding tongue. Nobody believes you’re a Scotsman anymore. Stop trying to prove you are. Just say the American “ass.”
Ianto Jones, Jr
P.S. I know you don’t own me. All I’m saying is, it’s a little distasteful. Perhaps not strong distaste, really, but enough. Though, if it weren’t distasteful at all… I think I would be. Yours, I mean. I’d be yours.
P.P.S. When are you coming home, sir? It’s been a while, and nobody knows when you’ll return. Miss Sato and the kitchen staff are getting tired of setting out food for you on the off chance you’ll return to eat it.
I didn’t mean it like that. But don’t worry. I shall get a book of his finest sonnets and I shall woo you with them, because I, unlike you and Shakespeare both, am a sop.
I do accept your apology, and not just because we have both overstepped. I know you never mean ill when you talk like this about your father, but it does make me a tad angry with you. Nevertheless, I understand you do have your own issues with your father, and I will stop trying to get into your business.
Regarding your wages, I know half of them end in your father’s pocket. I’ve been trying to increase them sneakily, but I don’t want to do it so quickly that it will alert anyone else in the household. While it is true that you are my favourite, it is dangerous for us to play that game, you and me. As for Rhiannon, I can’t do much for her. I can’t very well go and pay her myself, as that would still be far too close to playing the favourites game. Though I suppose you’d get cross with me anyways for trying to pay her out of my own pocket—you always get cross when money comes up between us. I suspect you’re already angry about me sneakily increasing your own wages. But, no matter. I’m doing it anyway. You will just have to live with it. You can pay me back by buying me flowers and pretending they’re from a mistress, or something.
The Doctor thanks you yet again, as does Miss Rose Tyler. And I do have to agree that they make a handsome couple. They do seem to keep each other very happy.
I know you are frustrated about the ideas of class. We can talk about it sometime. I enjoy listening to you be passionate about something, even when said something is as grave as this one. And you know I hold no grudges for you for hating my class, as you bear no judgement against me for being in the class that I’m in. Though I do believe this is the “distaste” you are trying to convey in your postscript, yes? Then, without classes, you would be glad to be mine, is that it? I believe I can live with that. On second thought, yes, I can live very happily with that.
As for your comment on my poetry, I must confess I have the poetic sense of a concussed gull. You’ll have to pardon me for it, as it is one of my few flaws. Speaking of, I resent that comment about my ego. And that comment about handling me—I believe myself to be very fun to “handle,” thank you very much. But most of all, I resent the idea that I wouldn’t be able to read your jest. I know you well enough by now.
On monogamy and marriage… that is to complex for me to express with pen and paper. After you go on your diatribe against class, I shall go on mine against the institution of marriage that the Church of England has in mind. But do not doubt for a second that, just because I am not overly fond of marriage or monogamy, I am not fully and wholly loyal and faithful to you. I am yours, Ianto. I do not know how else to describe it to you than that.
And I am Scottish. Don’t blame me for my mother’s excursions in America. I came back to Britain as soon as I could. Granted, I came to my estate in Wales, not Scotland, but I think we both find Wales to be the better choice. After all, it led me to you, so how could that be a bad thing?
In response to your post-postscript, I’m returning soon. I believe my letter will reach you only shortly before I come back, and therefore do not try to send me one in return. I won’t be at the other end to accept it, and so it would end in the wrong hands. Then again, those hands would be my dear Doctor's, and he knows how to keep a secret, so it shouldn’t end too poorly. You can never know that for certain, though, so best not write at all.
That also means that, by the time you get this, you will not need to tell Miss Sato or the kitchen staff to stop cooking, because I will be home soon. You can tell them that I am deeply sorry for making them work so hard, instead.
Your Jack (fully and wholly)