Title: The Letter
Characters: Jack, Ianto
Spoilers: Exit Wounds, CoE Day Four, maybe.
Summary: Jack finds a letter addressed to him in Ianto’s flat as he packs some of Ianto’s things.
Word Count: 581
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Tosh had left a video message to be found in the event of her death. She’d tied it into the computer system so it would be triggered by the final logout procedure. The three remaining Torchwood members had watched it and cried. Yes, Tosh, you did good. You died a hero and we’re going to miss you so much. It was fitting, it gave them a final glimpse of the Tosh they’d known and loved so much, something to temper their memories of her last moments, when all they could see was the blood and then how still and silent she became.
Computers, they were Tosh’s thing; there’d been nothing she couldn’t do with them, but Ianto was more old-fashioned, his tastes running towards good quality paper and, when appropriate, a fountain pen and ink. Ballpoints were fine for filling in forms, but they weren’t exactly classy.
It wasn’t that he didn’t know his way around a computer; he’d been pretty handy with them even before Tosh had taught him some of what she knew. But they didn’t speak to Ianto the way they had to her, and besides, a letter somehow seemed more tangible, more real, so that was the medium he chose for his final words. He decided he’d put it somewhere in his apartment, somewhere no one, not even Jack, would look until after his death.
He made notes in advance, so he’d say everything he wanted to without having to keep rewriting it. Then, when he had it all worded just right, he picked up his pen, pulled the smooth, thick sheet of high quality paper in front of him and wrote what would need to be said:
Cariad. I’m so sorry for leaving you this way; I know how much it tears you apart to lose someone you care about. If there was any way in the universe I could have spared you this, I wouldn’t have hesitated…
Jack read the letter from start to finish, feeling a lump in his throat and tears pricking at his eyes.
“You know, you weren’t meant to find that,” a quiet and familiar voice said in his ear as warm arms wrapped around him from behind. “Trust you to go snooping when my back was turned.”
Jack wiped away the tears. “I wasn’t snooping, I’m helping you pack, and it just fell out of one of your old diaries. Besides, it’s addressed to me!”
“I wrote it just after we lost Tosh. There was so much I’d never had the chance to tell you back then, I wanted to make sure that even if I never got to say it out loud, I’d still get to tell you. Sentimental, that’s me.”
“It’s a beautiful letter, but I’m glad it’s never going to be needed.”
“I found the one way in the universe to spare you losing me, and I don’t regret it, not for a second. Of course, it means you’re going to be stuck with me for a very long time…”
Jack turned in Ianto’s arms and smiled at him.
“Oh, I think I can live with that. In fact, I’m looking forward to it!”
“Glad to hear it.”
“But I’m keeping the letter. It’ll remind me never to take you for granted. I could have lost you so easily, and this would have been all I had left. Just this once, the universe gave instead of taking away, and I’ll always be thankful for that.”