He really didn’t mind going to the tailor regularly with Mairead. It was something she enjoyed doing for him, and he liked to see her enjoy herself. And, he had to admit, she did have good taste while working within the confines of what he didn’t prefer to wear.
But when the tailor started slipping in tunics with puffed sleeves, under the excuse that “it’s what was in fashion”, Gawyn would take none of it. He grabbed a fistful of the damn things and stalked to the tailor’s shop in Hightown by himself, a dark cloud over his face. He had always specified he did not like such sleeves after the first time a tunic with them was offered, and he expected his request to be honored, considering the money he kept giving the man for his business. The door to the shop flew open (harder than he actually intended), the bell jangling painfully as it slammed into the wall. The assistant in the shop jumped at the sound and sight of him looming in the open doorway.
“C-can I help you, uh, serrah?” the assistant stammered, immediately getting up from his seat behind the wooden counter that served to partition a foyer-like area from the circular fitting room.
In answer, Gawyn dumped the tunics onto the counter, expensive fabrics rumpled against one another. “These need to be altered or replaced.”
The assistant swallowed hard and lifted a hand as if to rummage through the pile of tunics, but then snatched his hand back like it was a hot stove or a viper ready to strike. “Is… ah, what is it that’s wrong with them? I’m sure we’ll be able to fix whatever–”
“The sleeves,” Gawyn interrupted, placing his hands carefully on the counter and leaning forward just slightly, knowing exactly how imposing that small motion was. “I specifically asked for no loose sleeves the first time my lady brought me to your master. He appears to have forgotten that… incident.”
There really had been no ‘incident’, though Gawyn did not elaborate nor mention that fact. This apprentice didn’t need to know.
“These need to be altered,” he repeated, albeit more slowly than the first time. “Or replaced.”
Wiping his palm on his white tunic as Gawyn’s gaze never left him, the apprentice just nodded several times, rapidly. “Yes, yes–of course. Ah, let me–let me get my master for you.” He turned and fled from the counter to the back of the shop.
Gawyn straightened and took his hand from the counter and looked around a bit while he waited. It really was a simple request, he groused to himself. If they had just not tried to foist ridiculous, foppish fashion on him when he simply needed functionality, this wouldn’t be happening. He scowled a bit at the shirts on display, noting the places that would catch or most likely be torn if the wearer would be caught in a fight. He snorted to himself as the tailor came to the front, sans apprentice.
“Ah, yes, serrah Hawke, how can I help you?” Even as he asked the question, his voice trailed off a bit when he saw the crumpled pile of tunics. Gawyn swore he saw the man’s face blanch a little. “There is a problem with your shirts…?”
Letting out a controlled breath loud enough for the tailor to clearly hear, Gawyn said, “I have already told your apprentice boy twice. I would rather not repeat myself a third time.”
The tailor swallowed and tore his eyes from the tunic pile back to Gawyn, who was at least a head taller than him. “I understand your complaint, serrah,” the tailor obviously struggled to maintain a confident tone to his voice, “but this is the height of fashion right now, and your lady did ask me quite specifically to ensure that you had the most–”
“Serah.” The single word stopped the tailor mid-sentence, his mouth snapping shut. “Who am I?”
For a moment, the frightened look that passed over the tailor’s face told Gawyn he thought it was a trick question, but then he replied, meekly, “The… Champion of Kirkwall, messere.”
“That’s right. And what does the Champion of Kirkwall do?”
The tailor’s mouth opened and shut a few times, nothing coming out, before he shook his head. “Champions… Kirkwall…?”
“I became Champion of Kirkwall by defeating the Arishok in single combat,” Gawyn started. “I would have thought that could go unspoken, but I’ve already started saying things I didn’t think I had to, so why not add one more?” The tailor knew better than to answer that question, so Gawyn continued, folding his arms across the expanse of his chest. Even without armor he cut an imposing figure, and he knew it. “Think about that battle. What if I had been wearing the ‘height of fashion’ then? How many more times would those sleeves been caught by a Qunari blade?” His eyes grew even more flat in their gaze, never wavering on the tailor’s face. “Perhaps this city would be under Qunari rule, even now.”
The tailor tried stammering an answer out, but Gawyn held up his hand and stopped him from attempting further speech. “It’s very simple.” He drew the words out slowly. The man before him was very nearly quaking in his boots.
“No more loose sleeves,” Gawyn said, shifting his weight just slightly. “No more problems.”
A soft ding sounded from behind him as the door, which had shut after Gawyn’s volcanic entrance. “I wondered where you had wandered off to,” Mairead’s voice came as she walked up to him. She took in his stance, the set of his jaw, the look plastered over the poor tailor’s face. Noting the tunics on the counter, she turned to the tailor and smiled, though little humor was in it. “Problem?”
Gawyn half-turned to her and smiled, his face relaxing just a bit. “Not at all. I was just having a friendly business chat over a misunderstanding.” His gaze slid back to rest on the tailor, who looked unsure whether to be relieved at Mairead’s arrival or more worried. “Right, serah?”
The tailor took a moment to register the question, but once he did he immediately nodded. “Y-yes of course, messere! Just a misunderstanding. I will get to work on fixing it right–right away.” The smaller man hastily grabbed the pile of tunics and fled to the back of his shop.
“What,” Mairead said as Gawyn turned to her, unfolding his arms and leaning in to press his lips against her forehead, “was that all really about?”
“Sleeves,” he replied simply, with a shrug. He moved to the door and they left the shop.