I send you this letter because Tommy doesn’t know where the right cufflinks are, and I left in too much of a haste to remember to tell him. Remind him to not use the crystal ones for everyday wear. You get far too grubby for that.
I haven’t much else to say. Just tell Tommy where your cufflinks are.
Ianto Jones, Jr
Did you write that from the train to London? Ianto. You were supposed to be thinking about things other than work.
Tommy has been informed. He’s a good kid. He’s nothing like you, though. You always give my shirtsleeves a nice tug when you’re done to make sure they sit right. He just leaves them. I know it’s not important and isn’t really required, but… it doesn’t feel right without it, now.
Your downcast Jack
P.S. How are you, Ianto?
I did write from the train. I am not sorry about it. Your appearance and how you present yourself to the world is important to me. I take great care in dressing you well and in making sure you are taken seriously. I’ll not have Tommy muck it up because he gave you the wrong cufflinks for the wrong occasion, thank you very much. So, I will write on the train if I must.
If you’re really missing it that much, just tell Tommy it’s a sharp tug on the shirtsleeve once you have your jacket or waistcoat on (though if he caves to your demands of only the waistcoat, throw him out and get Andy. He knows naught of dressing you—or of being a valet—but he certainly won’t be bullied or encouraged by you). I am sure Tommy will be more than happy to oblige. He is eager to please, as I’m sure you know.
Ianto Jones, Jr
P.S. All the better for having written you, sir.
I’m glad that my looks are important to you, though I’m not sure whether to be offended (by your implication that I would otherwise be dull, drab, and not taken seriously without you and your care) or pleased (by the implication that you care this much about me). Ianto, how the hell am I supposed to take this?
You really shouldn’t be working while you’re away. I know why you are, though. You never face the unpleasantries head-on, do you? You always distract yourself with one thing or another. I’m your distraction. Yet again, I don’t know if I should be flattered or insulted. Flattered, because it’s me you are distracting yourself with, or insulted,
because is that all I am to you? A distraction?
Please don’t try to unearth that one. It came from a pocket of hurt somewhere in me, and I regret it. I don’t care why it’s me you distract yourself with. I know London is hard on you, so if all I am to you is the thing that keeps it from being so daunting, then I cannot complain. I want you happy, Ianto. And if I can’t make you happy, then I’ll settle for at least not unhappy.
And I think you missed my point. By a lot. Or perhaps completely.
I don’t give much of a damn about the shirtsleeves, Ianto. I give a damn about you. It’s not the position of the sleeves I miss, it’s not the action I miss, it’s you. The way you make sure I’m at my best. The way you kiss me when you’ve finished. The way you smile when I say something incredibly inane as you do so. God, your smile. Half the time, you wear that goddamn mask you put on for the rest of the world to see, but I know you, Ianto. I know your smile. Those are always real smiles. I miss them. I miss you.
Ianto. I have a surprise for you. I know you are in London for business —well, not “business,” but that’s the word I shall use—but I felt that this little diversion was worthy of your limited time. It may make you smile, which is always a bonus.
I hope you like it.
P.S. That’s a lie and we both know it.
P.P.S. I have contacted a florist in London. One of the best that I know. If you’d like to take flowers to her grave, go to Halloran’s.
You were right! I did like him! And very much so. He was sweet. A bit flustered, but very sweet. And rather intelligent, too. Kept up with everything I said, understood it all, and then, on top of that, added his own thoughts. Correct thoughts, I might add. Your Mister Jones is a clever one. Keep him close!
Speaking of his cleverness—he had this brilliant idea that I rather enjoyed. It involved a large insect and a murder mystery. I am warning you now: I think I might have to borrow him in the future. This directly contradicts my statement of “keep him close,” but I think certain allowances must be made to that statement, right? I shall steal him from under your nose if I have to.
Overall, I enjoyed his company and I daresay he enjoyed mine. I hope to see him again in the future! (Again, I will steal him if you won’t permit this. Don’t test me, Jack—you know I would.)
With all my love,
P.S. We have plotted out your demise. Consider yourself thoroughly warned!
I’m not certain whether to be cross with you or to thank you.
Yes, your diversion did make me smile. Martha Jones is perhaps one of the most wonderful people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. You were right. She is charming. She and I got along very well, if I do say so myself. It may be that we’re both Joneses. Or possibly that we share a liking for one certain sop that we both know.
In any case, I would like to meet up with her again, if you will allow me some time off for it. I shared with her a small idea that she thought was interesting. While I have nothing more to offer her than the bare husk I already told her about, she thinks I could help her with this one. I haven’t the guts to tell her I know nothing about writing.
Regarding the contents of your letter, now…
Jack. You are conceited. You know that?
But why can’t it be both? Perhaps I both care about you and your looks. Perhaps without me you would not have those looks.
I’m not sure about happy. At least, not right now. Maybe when I return, I’ll have something more to say on the matter but now… I hate London, Jack. I went back to the manor. Or, where the manor used to be. It’s still a pile of ash. Smaller pile, now, because they finally bothered to clear it up, but there’s still nothing there. I mean, I know Marchioness Hartmann didn’t have an heir and didn’t leave the place to anyone in a will, but you’d think… no, I suppose not.
I don’t know, Jack. This place makes me tired, deep inside somewhere. I can’t explain it. Martha Jones’s visit made it better, for a short while, but the tiredness is beginning to seep back through. It follows me everywhere. I keep closing my eyes and seeing flames. Even when I blink.
Right, sorry. That’s enough of that.
Don’t worry, sir. This isn’t the end of tugging your shirtsleeves. I’ll be back to do it again soon enough.
Ianto Jones, Jr
P.S. I’ll be fine.
P.P.S. Thank you. Lisa always loved lilies.
I told you that you would like her, didn’t I? I’m glad you got along well. I have a feeling that any Jones is worthy of my affections, but especially the two of you (and you especially extra). So, I’m very pleased that perhaps the two most important Joneses in the world could get along splendidly.
I am a bit worried about you meeting up with her again, though. You see, she wrote me, as well, and I have the distinct feeling things were said about me. You wouldn’t have anything to say on that, would you?
Aha! See, I have you there. I have no qualms with being called egotistical. It just goes to show I have something to brag about.
Ianto… I’m sorry. There’s not much more that I can say than that. I can’t make you feel better over letter. At least, not in the way I know how to make you feel better.
And you don’t have to apologise for this. Never apologise for this. I care about you, alright?
Well, then. Come home sooner to tug my shirtsleeves.
Your demanding Jack
P.S. I’m not sure I believe you.
P.P.S. You’re welcome.
P.P.P.S. No spending time with Martha until I figure out what the pair of you have conspired.
What the hell did you say about me.
I am glad that the two of you got along like a house on fire, but I know a conspiracy when I see one. What is going on? What has been said? What demise am I to face? What is to become of me? Martha, this won't stand. If I must hold Ianto hostage until I figure out the truth, I will. No Jones reunion until I have answers.
I did tell you he was smart, didn't I? Smart as he is handsome—which, as you can now verify, is incredibly so. So, you can see why he's my valet. All of my staff must be both smart and attractive.
Give your family my love.
P.S. It better not be poison in a bowl of cold mashed swede or something like that. I hate that stuff.
I haven’t the faintest idea what you’re talking about. Ms Martha Jones and I would never say things about you. And conspiracy? What must you think of us, sir? I dread to think.
Never mind the rest of this letter, I’m coming home. Nothing I can say here will convey anything worthwhile. I have done what I came to do in London, and now there is nothing here for me but dread and that tiredness.
At any rate, I’ll be home to tug your shirtsleeves. And more. Stop whining.
Ianto Jones, Jr