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Dearest Ianto,

I entrusted this letter to Tommy, and hopefully it should reach you in a timely fashion.

Normally, I would not do this. I would usually relay this information to you myself, when you were with me. But you are out right now, fetching my last pair of shoes, and you need to hear this (or read this, I suppose in this case) before you come up to dress me for dinner. And you will be coming up to dress me for dinner, because we have a guest, which is what I’m fumbling around telling you about.

Do you remember Captain John Hart? I know you do, as I whinge about him often.

Well.

He has come to visit Cardiff, he has decided, and needs a place to stay. That place, of course, being Dyffryn House, of all places. I have no idea how to convince him to otherwise find an inn. We are stuck with him until he decides to leave.

This is why I need to reach you first. While, in order to save his own skin, he has to keep his mouth shut about his previous affair with me, he will have no qualms with turning you and me in, should we even make one wrong look in each other’s direction. We will have to be very, very careful here, Ianto. Caution does not even begin to describe it.

I believe we have talked about something like this in the past. You swore then that you could keep a secret, especially this one. Well, Ianto, you really have to employ that secrecy of yours now. Otherwise, we are both doomed.

I wish I had a happier something-or-another to tack onto this abrupt and sudden letter, but I have nothing. All I can say is, I hope this will be over soon, because I dread to sleep on my own in our bed when you are still here, in the castle, with me. That is, perhaps, the loneliest I will ever be in my entire life.

I shall miss you something fierce.

From,

Your disheartened Jack

P.S. Do you even know where your old room is at this point?


Jack,

What the hell is that bastard doing in Cardiff?

Jack, you are far too generous for your own good. If it was me, and right now I really do wish it was, I would kick that farce of a captain out on his arse, tell him good riddance, and send him on his way. However, it is not me. It is you. And sometimes you do not know how to say “no.” You really need to learn to say “no,” else we end up in situations like these.

God, I will tell you now: if he even sneers in the wrong direction, I will punch him. I do not care about consequences. I will.

Anyway.

I am leaving you this note/letter/whatever because I refuse to have such little contact with you when you are just right there. I’ll hide it in your dresser, and hopefully you’ll have gotten the hint I shall be giving you later to find it. If you haven’t gotten the hint, then I am just rambling on to myself. Which would be a pity, really, because what good would that do? Please find this letter. I’d hate to stumble across it in a month or so when I’m cleaning out your dressers again.

You know damn well I can keep secrets like this. I have proven that on multiple occasions, I believe. Secrets are always safe with Ianto Jones, Jr. Nobody would ever get so much as a peep from me, not even in an interrogation. With knives. And pliers. And corkscrews. And… whatever else that hurts.

Point is, if he figures anything out, it won’t be from me. It’s the other staff we shall have to make sure stay quiet.

Particularly Miss Sato, because I half believe she is smitten by the bastard at the moment. Someone will have to tell her what a slimeball he is. I’d do it, but every moment I think about the man I want to gag, so that won’t go down very well.

It’s alright. I have nothing happy to say in return. I do want this to be over soon, too, because I hate your old boyfriend and I hate sleeping in this damn uncomfortable bed. Seriously, why is it that I can feel every last spring in the mattress? God.

Sincerely,

Ianto Jones, Jr

P.S. I did not need you to get Owen to show me where my room was. I can remember things well enough on my own, thank you very much.


Dearest Ianto,

Evidently, he has a job. How John got a job, I shall never understand. He has no work ethic whatsoever.

Unless it’s a very different sort of job…

Never mind, I know what sort of job it is. I do not know why I did not think of that before.

I can’t send him away. That would not be at all smart. Generosity isn’t the motive here; it would be dangerous to refuse him. It’s either he takes advantage of this, or he tears this house apart trying to find a way to smudge my name without pulling himself into the dirt along with me. Guess what he will find, should he do that?

You.

I cannot let him have you, Ianto. Sure, he can have me scorned, locked away, or even… well. I don’t care what happens to me. He can find any last shred of evidence that I am a disgraceful human being that isn’t fit to walk this earth, and he can present it to the world, but I won’t let him ruin your good name. Or your life. That’s what he does, Ianto, he ruins lives. I refuse to let that happen to you.

Do not punch him. Do not even acknowledge him when you do not have to. The more he forgets about your existence, the better.

I did get your letter, as you can see. And I’m not that thick-headed—I can take a hint.

I can’t sneak mine down to your room like you can sneak yours into mine, so I will be handing this to you in person. You will stick it inside your suitcoat; I know you will. I can already picture you doing it. It is a very nice image in my brain—I think I shall hold on to that for some time. Especially after I see it in real time.

Yes, you are good at keeping secrets. I believe you have kept a few from me in our past. I have, of course, forgiven you for everything—not that there was much to forgive, anyway—but it does prove that you can keep one well. And you have kept my own secrets for me, too. I can never thank you enough for that, by the way.

Anyway, keep this one close. Let nothing slip.

(But what kind of interrogation do you think you’re going to encounter? Ianto, no one is going to torture you within an inch of your life, here. I’m somewhat worried now…)

Most of the staff will likely keep their heads down and hold their tongues, as they usually do. I suppose if they are pressed for information, like you evidently think is bound to happen (Jesus, Ianto…), they may give it up, but I wouldn’t resent them for that. Especially as this is unlikely to happen.

I think Miss Sato now fully understands what sort of “slimeball” John is after this morning, don’t worry.

Are the mattresses down there truly that awful? If so, then I’ll upgrade them. Why did nobody say anything before now? I don’t want you all having miserable nights on horrid mattresses!

From,

Your very concerned Jack

P.S. Well, how was I to know you’d remember the place? You haven’t been in the bedroom for well over two years.


Jack,

Christ, do I even want to know what sort of job you are talking about? No, wait. I can answer that myself. I do not. My curiosity does not outweigh my self-preservation, in this case.

I refuse to believe this isn’t also in part from generosity. You work yourself so hard to please others, to make sure others do not disrespect you. Jack, they do not own you. You do not have to please anyone. Please learn to push boundaries for yourself, else you shall wear thin.

I can take care of myself, I will remind you. He can’t do anything to me. Or you. Not when I have anything to say about it. So please, do not worry about me.

Fine. I will not punch him. I will also not acknowledge that he is an existent person when I have to. Not because you told me to, but because I really do not want to acknowledge that he is an existent person in the first place. Happy?

Do not deny it—you can be thick-headed sometimes. I once gave you specific directions to polish your own shoes (God only knows why you wanted to learn to polish your own shoes) and you still managed to cock that up. So, if you had forgotten that letter, I would not have been entirely surprised. Sad, yes, but unsurprised.

Alright, so now I regret stuffing that letter inside my suit. Is that really what runs through those fanciful daydreams of yours? Me, wearing my suit, doing normal things in said suit? That’s very tame, sir.

Of course I would keep your secrets. Your secrets are my secrets now.

That sounds absolutely ridiculous; do not read that.

What I mean to say is: yes, I keep your secrets. You entrust them to me and I would be foolish to break that trust. Worse than foolish, really. And trust aside, I… well, I care about you too much to reveal any of your secrets.

So, suffice to say, anything you confide to me in the darkest of nights, I will keep between me and you.

Hey! I was only saying I wouldn’t say anything to anyone, no matter the case! You know I’m not good with words. I didn’t mean to say I was actually going to be tortured. Unless I was. In that case, the sentiment stands very firmly. Well, it wouldn’t be sentiment at that point, would it? It would be a promise that I would have kept.

Miss Sato indeed does understand what a slimeball he is and has been ranting and raving about it all afternoon. I fear she will continue to rant and rave until… Christ, I don’t even know what until. Sometime. Maybe.

You weren’t to know about the mattresses, because evidently most are fine. My bed was given the worst of the lot because I have not used the thing in years. Do not go out and purchase a ton of mattresses. Do not.

This is what I meant about being overly generous, by the way.

Sincerely,

Ianto Jones, Jr

P.S. I know everything, Jack.


Harkness,

I’ve seen that idiot eye-candy valet of yours sneaking around. Tried following the bastard, but he’s too slippery. Quite the weasel you have there. He doesn’t seem to like me. What nonsense have you been spreading about me now?

Oh, and I’ve been eyeing up those footmen of yours. They haven’t been eyeing me up in return. What sort of weird, non-sexual household do you run? It’s pathetic.

—Cpt John Hart


Dearest Ianto,

See, this is why we need to be careful. John is now suspicious of you. Don’t sneak into my room to give me notes, just hand them to me directly, like I do with you. This is a dangerous game we’re playing now. It’s either we get clever about our moves, or we stop playing altogether.

He can do things to you, Ianto. Do not underestimate him. Granted, I am not frightened, but I am… worried. Very much so. And I worry about very few things.

Yes, please do not acknowledge him. I would say it is antagonising him a bit, but… it’s better than punching him dead-on. I am still warning you against that. I swear to God, Ianto, don’t do it.

I am not thick-headed! Your instructions for shoe-polishing were confusing, okay? That one is not on me.

Please keep sticking things in your suit like that. It isn’t fantasy-fodder; it’s just cute. Tucking letters and stopwatches and pins and buttons and cufflinks and everything else… it endears you more to me. But no, that isn’t what my daydreams consist of. Most of those have me peeling your suit off, or just plain have no suit in the picture whatsoever.

I read it. It was very sweet, and I appreciated it.

And, likewise, anything you have said to me in private moments will be kept close to my heart and never be shared with another soul.

Ianto Jones. Nobody is torturing you. Nobody is going to torture you. Please set that aside and never bring it up again. I hate the very thought of it, and I hate that you think of it.

No torture.

Miss Sato does know when to be well and truly enraged about something, doesn’t she? I do always say it is you quiet ones who snap the loudest, hardest, and longest.

I am not overly generous, Ianto. I care about you. I care about my staff. I can do what I want when I want, and I will not have you stopping me because you’re worried I will run myself ragged, or whatever you think. Because I will not.

From,

Your Jack

P.S. I know you do.


John,

Mister Jones has done nothing to you, so I haven’t a clue where your suspicion is coming from.

The footmen don’t return your glances because you are appalling.

And I really don’t know what you were expecting, but Dyffryn House is not a brothel, and will never be.

Don’t leave me any more notes.

From,

Jack Harkness


Jack,

I am now handing you the note in person. And I know the moment I leave the room, you will tear it open and read it. That is far less of a picture, I’d imagine, than me sticking my letters in my pockets (which I cannot believe I did again).

“I worry about very few things” is the biggest lie written by your hand, and we both know it. You worry about a great many things. You’re a fretter, Jack. You fret and fret and fret. Do not try to deny it—this is the complete truth about Lord Jack Harkness. You just pretend it isn’t and we let you get away with it.

Anyway, John should no longer be suspicious of me. If he still is, that is not my fault.

My instructions on how to polish your shoes were very concise and very clear. I still have no idea how you managed to screw it up so badly.

Like I said, I did it. I stuck that damn letter into my suit coat. Is that all you wanted, or did you want me to spin around and do a backbend as well? God knows why, but I’d do it, if you asked. I do anything you’d ask of me…

I told you not to read that, Jack.

But thank you.

If you are truly that bent out of shape about it, I will say nothing of torture again. I just thought the sentiment would be appreciated… Christ…

You absolutely will run yourself ragged, Jack. You do every time. And then when you finally recover, you get back up on your feet and throw yourself to the world to knock you over again. And that’s why I’m here. To make sure you don’t do that to yourself. If you can’t stop yourself, then I will, and then I will be there to pick up the pieces when I fail because you ignore my advice all of the time.

Sincerely,

Ianto Jones, Jr

P.S. Good.


Jack

Is that really how you shuold talk to me? Nauthgy

Suit boy hot

Suit boyS hot theres many.

Fuck you it should be a brothel.

Leaving to find a brothl

—cjh


Captain John Hart,

This is a note for if you ever return from your brothel. If you don’t, then I’ll remove this from the door in a day and hope I won’t ever see you again after. But, on the slight off-chance you do return, I’ll leave you this:

I have your previous note, which should be enough to incriminate you, sully your name, and discredit your word, should you ever try to take me or my house and staff down. So, do not try. It will get you nowhere.

Which means that, after all these years, I can finally say things I have been meaning to say, but instead I'll stick to those things most relevant after this stay.

Do not drink my Scotch ever again.

Do not insult my staff ever again.

Do not come back ever again.

From,

Lord Jack Harkness.