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Dearest Ianto,

Now I understand what it’s like to be the one left behind. I watched you through the windows, just so you know, and it felt like a bit of my heart walked away with you. It has left me feeling very empty and cold inside.

I assume you are travelling to Newport, yes? Only, when I asked where you were headed, you had spouted “a spot of family trouble” as your excuse. You wouldn’t give me much more than that, but I assume that it is your sister, Mrs Davies, that you are intending to visit. If not, then I hope your sister is kind enough to burn this letter (or redirect it, if at all possible) without reading it. This would become a very awkward situation otherwise.

(And thus, I must add: Mr or Mrs John Davies, if it is one of you that is reading this letter, I kindly ask that you stop now. I shall warn you I am a man of high power, and tampering with my mail is one way to get on my bad side. You do not want to be on my bad side.)

I shall proceed with this letter, in the hopes that it reaches its intended recipient, Ianto Jones (Jr, I know you hate it when I don’t add the Jr).

I don’t normally let my staff take time off without giving a proper excuse or a proper early warning, so I hope that lets you know that you mean more to me than the rest of my staff. Of course, this letter-writing business in itself might have told you that. Or, perhaps, all the fucking we have been doing. (I do really hope the Davies don’t have their hands on this…) Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that you are truly more than a valet to me, if I haven’t made that clear enough to you already.

Also, I’m slightly angry with you, because you left me whilst I was starting to get a cold. Who the hell am I supposed to cuddle up with now? I feel extra awful now. No Ianto and no health. Maybe my body just knows you aren’t here and is throwing a fit. Please come back; it might right itself if you came home to me. And if not, I will at least have someone to hold me and keep me warm as I shiver away.

Sorry. I sneezed on the paper. Like I said, I have a cold.

I have to stop writing because I’m going to sneeze more all over the paper.

From,

Your cold, miserable Jack


Ianto, you fuckwad,

Why the hell didn’t you clear this with me before you left? I had to send Tommy up to deal with Harkness and I can’t spare Tommy for this shit. You should be the one doing your bloody job, not Tommy, you bastard.

Regards,

Mister Owen Harper


Jack,

Are you sure that was your heart leaving that made you feel cold and empty, or was that just your cold getting to you? If I didn’t know any better, I would think that you were just moping around, wishing for someone to coddle you. Oh, wait. I do know better, and yet that is still what you are doing.

Yes, I’m at Rhiannon’s. You are very lucky that I am, because I tell you now, Rhiannon and Johnny would not have burned the letter, nor would they have redirected it (should they have known where I was otherwise, anyway). They also would not have stopped reading at your insistence—or should I say, at your threats? Not nice, sir, threatening my sister. Especially with your “higher power.” That’s classist. You know I hate that. Point is, I’m very glad you scratched out what you scratched out. Even though I could read it (because I know you well enough to pick out your unruly scrawl from beneath literally anything), and even though they could probably get the gist of our… arrangement… through the rest of the letter’s tone, it still would have put me in a very bad situation. So, it is rather lucky indeed that I am here to receive your letter.

For future reference, do not send letters to my sister’s place, especially when I didn’t explicitly say I was going there.

As for your cold, I will be back soon to make you feel better, but not before it cures itself. You will be fine. Soldier on. Stiff upper lip, and all that.

Sincerely,

Ianto Jones, Jr

P.S. Ask Miss Sato for some soup. My mum always made soup for me when I was sick. I’m sure Miss Sato’s will make you feel better right away.


Mr Harper,

Yet again, your inability to create a sentence without bearing less than a single expletive astounds me. I’m surprised you even landed a job with such high prestige in the first place. Do you even have an ounce of civility within you?

I’m allowed my time off, I’ll remind you. I have cleared it with his lordship, and therefore should have it cleared with you. He is your boss, so what he says, goes. And he said I was allowed to go. Therefore, I have gone, and there is nothing you can say or do to change that.

Sincerely,

Ianto Jones, Jr

P.S. He has a cold. Make sure he has enough to do to distract him from that, else he will be downright miserable the entire time.


Dearest Ianto,

It’s not my cold. It’s you. I have had enough colds in my lifetime to know the difference. But yes, I do want you to coddle me. Please come back and warm me up. Please?

How was I to know they would have snooped? I’ve never met them. You won’t let me. So maybe it would’ve been on you if they did read it, did you think of that? Also, I never would have followed through on those threats. Come on, Ianto, you know me better than that! I’m classy, not classist.

Don’t be like that. I do know better than to let slip our affair. Plus, you have always given me the impression your brother-in-law knows naught, so I thought it was safe to be otherwise indiscrete about my favouritism to you. Though maybe your sister is as sharp as a knife, much like yourself, and could have clued him in. Again, how should I know? I never met her.  

And I wouldn’t say it was luck that had my letter reach you. It was my intuition. And my good knowledge and understanding of you. You did say family business. I know for a fact that it never would have been outside your immediate family; you have expressed numerous times how you detest your aunts, uncles, and cousins, and your grandparents are all dead (whose aren’t?). And you wouldn’t be visiting your mother… well, I’ll leave it there. You hate your father more than your extended relatives, so why would you go there? Therefore, the only option was to assume you were at your sister’s. And was I wrong? I’ll answer that myself, as you won’t: no, I was not. I was very right. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

I’m not sure if your warning about sending mail to your sister’s house applies to this letter. If it does, I’m going to pretend it doesn’t. I don’t care. I want at least some contact with you, as you are not home with me this instant to mend my cold, lonely soul. But, if you’d rather return, and doing so spare me the trouble of writing these letters (and the cause of writing these blasted things), that would be much appreciated. You will refuse this, though, so on I write.

Or perhaps not.

All I have left to say is that I miss you. That would get very tiresome very quickly.

Please come home soon.

From,

Your classy, yet cold Jack

P.S. Note taken. Soup was good and helpful. Will be subsisting on the stuff until you return.

P.P.S. What kind of soup did your mother make? Did you like it?


Ianto (read: arsehole),

Fuck you; I can be civil. Now, get back here and distract him yourself, you ninny.

Don’t take that too seriously. Keep your grubby little mitts off him until he’s better.

But do get your arse back here.

Regards,

Mister Owen Harper


Jack,

Seems to me like the thing you need most is to stop catching colds. If you know the feel of a cold well enough to discern it from your melancholy (which I still very much doubt is the case), then perhaps you have had one too many colds. Stop catching those.

I coddle you enough. And you have never had to ask for it. You just whine and then, against my better judgement, I cave to your every last whim.

There is a reason you have not met Rhiannon. I do not want you to. Your world and hers should never collide. And that has nothing to do with class, by the way. That has to do with… Well. My point is, I want your part of my life to keep to your part of my life, and her part of my life to stay well away from it. The two should never mingle. I want to keep you to m I want there to be a separation, that’s all. I believe I am allowed that.

And, on a serious note concerning your threats … I know you, sir. I’m not condemning you to the titles of cruel, vindictive, or otherwise spiteful and hateful, not in the slightest, but I am saying… Jack, you can be a dangerous man. I have seen you. I know you. I do not blame you for it (for we all have our dark sides), and it would never tear me from you (for I know there is always more to you than just that, and even if there wasn’t… it still remains that I care about you), but I know that that side of you exists. You claim that you would never follow through on threats to my sister and her family. Maybe, out of whatever feelings you hold from me, you wouldn’t. But I cannot be certain. I am simply saying… Rhiannon mustn’t be on the receiving end of yours. Please. If I must beg of that from you, I will.

On the lighter note. Classy, not classist? Really, sir. Your poetic skills seem to fluctuate with every letter you send.

I did say “family trouble,” and I’m not so shallow as to not aid any of my slightly-more-distant relatives. Or my father. And my mother… I’d still go to her side, too. So, yes, you did get lucky.

Are you encouraging me to smoke more? Because I remember the other day when you bashed my head with a pillow for daring to light a cigarette in your room. (And, for the record: I had the window open; it was not going to stink up the room.)

I’m not objecting to your writing. I’m not coming home, but I’m also not objecting your writing. That is all I have to say on that matter.

Sincerely,

Ianto Jones, Jr

P.S. I’m not sure how you’ll fare on an all liquid diet, but I’ll leave that up for Miss Sato to deal with.

P.P.S. Tomato. She had a secret recipe. I loved the stuff.


Mr Harper,

And once more, I cannot begin to express my amazement. Really. Can you get through one letter without insulting the recipient? I daren’t think of the letters you send to reputable people. Do you even know any reputable people?

I’ll be back when I’m back. Stop bothering me about it. It won’t change the fact that I am away, and I will be away until I return of my own accord.

And if you leave him miserable until I do return just to spite me, then I’ll remind you of two things:

That will not improve your employer’s opinion of you.

That will make your employer bring his misery to you and thus make you miserable.

I would wish that his misery would be enough for you to see past such petty things, but, clearly, you need more self-serving excuses.

Take care of him.

Sincerely,

Ianto Jones, Jr


Dearest Ianto,

Oh, hum, why have I not thought of that before? You are right. This is all due to my folly. I shall now command my body to stop catching colds.  

Ianto. If there were a way for me to stop catching colds, by any special medicine, ritual sacrifice, or bloody incantation, I would have tired it already. (And then I would have done the same for you, because you are downright wretched creature when you’re ill.) But, alas, there is no such thing. So, on I suffer.

But, as I keep saying, that suffering would be alleviated should you just return home. And coddle me.

I believe that scratched out bit was the beginnings of you saying you wanted to keep me to yourself. How do you think I feel right now? I should like to keep you to myself. Yet, here you are not. You are away. But I respect your decisions, even though I am dreadfully curious and am dying to meet your sister.

Should it help, I’ll apologise for any threats and promise to never make them again. I haven’t much else to say on the matter, other than…

Ianto, I do not believe that there is such a darkness in you. In me, of course. Like you said, I am a dangerous man. Many times, I have half a mind to send you away from me, to keep you safe from the life I live, the company I keep, and the darkness inside of me. But... Ianto, even in your darkest days, you are still good. And you are because you choose to be. You said it yourself once, as you lay in my arms: you are terrified of the rot in your heart and you do anything to keep away from it. And therefore, you are a good person, Ianto Jones Junior. You will never let yourself fall to those terrors. And, should you do so (though you will not), I will be right there with you to haul you up.

And back to that lighter note of yours: must we keep mocking my poetry? Ianto, you wound me.

I never said you were shallow. And I’m sure you would help your fellow man, even should you hate them as you hate your cousins. But your tone implied no urgency, which lead me to believe that it wasn’t a dire crisis. You wouldn’t aid those cousins if it were nothing less than a dire crisis. So, I was still right, and I still know you well. Not. Luck. Why are you fighting this so hard? Is it so horrid that I should know you this well?

You need to stop smoking. I’m sure it is none too good for you.

From,

Your Jack

P.S. Might your sister have a recipe?


Ianto the twat,

Fuck you.

I’m not an idiot. I can take care of my boss just fine.

Regards,

Mister Owen Harper

P.S. He’s feeling better now. He’s still moaning on and on about it, like he does, but he’s just fine. Alright?


Jack,

Sir, I would just like to tell you, because you cannot see it for yourself: I am rolling my eyes at you. You are ridiculous.

Alright, fine. I’m returning home. Not because you asked, but because the small spot of trouble has since passed. Owen tells me you don’t need coddling anymore. But, God knows, you will still manage to eke it out of me.

Thank you for respecting my wishes. But I’m not thanking you for reading my scratched-out words.

Don’t send me away. Please. Ignore everything I’ve said about darkness—I don’t give a damn about it. Just don’t send me away. You gave me meaning again.

I… have nothing to say on myself. Anything I’ve said to you on the matter of the darkness I know lies within me, I have already said. I can’t express it more now than I did then. I know it exists, and I know I’m afraid of it. But I don’t think about it when I don’t have to. Instead, I just… think of you. Because I didn’t lie, up there. You do give me meaning.

I mock your poetry because I care, sir. Perhaps this constructive criticism will urge you to become a better poet.

Alright. You do know me. Is that what you wanted to hear? I’m not fighting you. It’s just that, sometimes, it is a bit daunting to know that I’m. Well. Known. What if someday you should decide that I’m not worthy of being known anymore?

Never mind that. Sorry.

I’ll smoke when I like and there isn’t a thing you can do about it.

Don’t write back.

Sincerely,

Ianto Jones, Jr

P.S. Rhiannon has the recipe. Why do you want it? No matter, she decided to send it along with me, figuring I was in desperate need of it because I had asked. I hope you like tomato soup.


Mr Harper,

You are an arrogant sod and I wish I didn’t know you.

I’m returning home, and not due to anybody’s insistence that I should. He better be completely well again by the time I get there.

Sincerely,

Ianto Jones, Jr

P.S. Thank you.