Your presence is requested
at the marriage of
Lord John Smith
Miss Rose Tyler
Saturday morning on of June the twentieth
at the hour of noon
at St Andrew's Parish Church, Inverurie
Reception to follow
I am still cross that you did not get me that invitation. I understand why I did not get an invitation (class again!), and I am also cross about that (though not at you), but I am still cross because you are going, and I am not. I’m your valet, Jack! How the hell are you going to button yourself up without my help? Ross? I think not. He will be far too busy helping preparations. So, I am very, very cross with you. I hope you break your wrist buttoning up your shirt, sir.
Since I will not be going with you, I am sending this letter along with your trousers so that you can keep this with you at all times to remind yourself how cross I am.
Ianto Jones, Jr
P.S. Do not actually break your wrist. Please. Do not.
First of all, rest assured, for I will not be breaking my wrist.
Second, there is a reason you are not going along. You will be even more cross at me after I tell you why, so I do need you to know it was for a reason. A big, important reason called “Ianto Jones’s life.”
You did, in fact, receive an invitation, as per your request. I burned it. I plan on telling my dear cousin, the Doctor, that you are too ill to be travelling at the moment, to spare your public face. He will, undoubtedly, send you a letter to wish you well again, because that is how he is, and I expect you to tell him you are sorry you missed the wedding due to a flu, as that is what I shall tell him you have.
I can feel your rage even as I write this. I don’t want to make you angry, Ianto, but I do want to keep you safe. There are people that will be here that I do not trust. Not only do I want to save you from meeting these people in the first place, but I want to save you from what they could bring down on you should they find out… certain things. If you were to have come along with, you would have had to have spent your time hiding in the shadows. I know you can act completely professional. I’ve seen you do it. The thing is… Ianto, I cannot trust myself around you. I do not want to risk you because I cannot withhold my affections for you. Had there been any other way—had there not been those people there—I would have let you come, and we would have had a wonderful time. But I am not losing you because I made a mistake. I am too fond of you for that.
I have said my part. You may be angry with me now. But I hope you can find it within yourself to forgive me.
Your repentant Jack
I have been finding it hard to write what I want. I understand you did what you believed was right. I cannot fault you for that. But I do not believe it was necessary to leave me behind. I have always been adept at fending off your advances when it is prudent to do so, and I would have been perfectly capable of doing so while staying at your cousin the Lord Smith's, especially in front of a crowd of complete strangers. I do not believe that any of those people could be so malevolent or conniving that they could find us to be lovers when we would be remaining abstinent. I know you’re undoubtedly thinking (as you usually do in these situations) “but you don’t know them like I do!” in which case, you are right, and I defer to your judgement. But there comes a point when you are just paranoid, sir, and I believe that may be the case this time.
However, as what is done is done, I am at home and relaxing. In your bed, of course. The rest of the staff have finally stopped complaining about it. The rest of the staff that knows, anyways. You pick the worst butlers, sir, let me assure you. Owen (I refuse to call him Mr Harper when he isn't around) is a twat. And you cannot quote me on that, because I may get fired, and then you will never see me again.
I have enclosed my response to the Lord Smith. But be sure to thank him for me by word of mouth, too. He is outstandingly kind, your cousin.
As I write these words, I think I am finding myself less and less cross. More than anything, I think I am just missing you. (Do not take that to the heights I know you will. I still am not a sop.)
Come home soon, please. Your bed is lonely without you.
Ianto Jones, Jr
Dear Lord Smith of Garioch,
This is a rather informal note, for which I apologise dearly. I am currently ailing of a flu and cannot think straight.
Despite your kind and gracious invitation, I am unable to attend the wedding of yourself and the lovely Miss Rose Tyler, as due to the aforementioned illness. I am horribly saddened by this, and therefore must convey my regards to you and your betrothed through note and through your cousin and my employer, the Earl of Glamorgan. He is generous enough to pass along my best wishes and my sorrow in my stead.
I truly wish I was there to congratulate you myself. I am certain your wedding shall be one of the finest. Your bride certainly is.
Ianto Jones, Jr
If my bed is lonely due to my absence, you can only imagine how mine feels. It is unfamiliar, unwelcoming, and uncomfortable, and it does not have you in it. I cannot sleep. I miss you.
I am afraid I looked something akin to the undead when I attended the wedding; I had so little sleep that I think I had dark rings around my eyes and my skin must have been pale. I do not want to imagine what I looked like in that picture I took with the Doctor. Perhaps, the next time I take you to visit, he will have it out, and then I can show you how I look when you are not around. Miserable, deathly, exhausted, dismal, dreary, etc. My point is, the wedding was horrible without your presence in the back, where you were supposed to be. Maybe I do regret not bringing you along, just a little. Though not that much. You are safe at home, and that’s what matters.
The Doctor did get your letter. His wife (the newly minted Lady Rose Smith) thinks you’re sweet. I wanted to tell her just how sweet you are, but that’s only for me to know.
I don’t know what else to write. You see, I still am a sop, and therefore I am consumed by missing you, and it’s cumbering my ability to think.
I am supposed to wait until they have returned from their honeymoon, and then I am to spend another week with the newlyweds, and then I will be home. It feels like forever.
P.S. Ignore the spots on the paper. It was water. I’m not saying where from.
Dear Ianto Jones, Jr,
You are outrageously sincere and (as my wife says—for she is my wife now) sweet, you are. My cousin has done well in hiring you. Pity you won’t be joining us, for it would have been nice to spend some time in your company. I don’t mind spending time with staff, you know. This whole nonsense on classes, it’s just ridiculous. Why should I spend time sitting with stuffy old men who know naught, when I could be sitting with those who know a thing or two about the world? And on that matter, I thought I told you to call me the Doctor! Only those stuffy old men think it fit for my title to be “The Right Honourable” this and “The Viscount Smith of Garioch” that, and I have already said my piece on the matter of stuffy old men.
Sorry. I do have the tendency to ramble, as my Rose often says. I’m meant to thank you, and tell you to get well. So, that is what I am doing. Thank you, and get well, Mr Jones.
Doctor John Smith
P.S. Mr Jones, you poor, dear man! Thank you for your kind wishes! Get well soon!
Tyl Smith, sorry. It’s still a little new!
Sir, you astound me. Sometimes, I think you to be a callous person; other times, I think you to be an average person. But never in all my life did I think you to be the sort of person to sit and weep over a letter to your valet.
You are pathetic.
Ianto Jones, Jr
Is that really all you got from my last letter?
Ianto Jones, Jr
You know, you end your letters incredibly formally for one who begins them so informally.
I think the wedding is what turned me into this sappy, morose man. It will either end when everything stops being about weddings or when I get to see you again.
I’m coming home soon, though it still feels forever away. I promise not to cry over this letter, as you are clearly object to such signs of my affection. But my bed is still miserably lonely, and I have never gone this long with this little sleep. I know I used to say I didn’t really sleep, but that changed with you. You’re comforting.
One and a half more weeks, Ianto, and then neither bed will be lonely. It will just be one happily occupied bed.
I begin like this because I want to. I end the way I do just in case my father ever has the audacity to contact you. There are two Ianto Joneses. I do not want you to confuse us. That will end rather badly.
And I never said I objected to your signs of affection, just that they made you pathetic. So. You know. Be a little more pathetic.
Ianto Jones, Jr
If your father ever contacts me, I will certainly be able to tell that he is not you, simply because of the following:
He will not begin the letter so informally, because he does not know me like you.
He will most likely ramble on and on about useless things, as he (and not you) is wont to do.
He will probably be asking for money, which means that it is certainly not you.
He does not have legible handwriting, and therefore I will not be able to tell who it’s from in the first place. And you have very neat handwriting.
So, rest assured, I will be able to tell if Ianto Jones Senior ever writes to me. Though I am not certain he could write to me, anyway. I believe drink has addled his brain to the point where he no longer knows anything but drink. Though that is not my place to say (and even though this is also not my place to say, you should still try to care about him, just a little).
If you want me to be even more verbosely pathetic, you could just say. I’d willingly do that for you. You know how loquacious I can be; why would I not take every opportunity to be even more so? Especially when what I am talking about is you. You are a wonderful muse,
Ianto Jones. Ianto Jones, Jr. (I just know you’d smack me for not adding that, when we were just talking about your father.)
I miss you. Terribly. But I’ll be home soon. I think I will actually be getting home the day after this letter arrives. Place it on the bed beside you and pretend it’s me, and then you’ll only have one more restless sleep until I’m there, in its place, holding you and never letting you go.
And then doing some things to you that I’ve been desperately wanting to do ever since I left you.
But not before I’ve kissed you and held you and gotten a good night of rest with you.
Your pathetic Jack
P.S. Your father wouldn’t contact me, anyway, because I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know where you work.