(124-03-15) Patchwork
Summary: Sal brings some items to be patched up by Orsino, although they aren't hers.
Date: April 29/2017
Related: To Make a Dragon-Taming Princess, The Measure

It's a rainy day half a week past her prior visit when Sal returns to the tailor's shop on Kettlebelly Lane. It's early enough that the shop hasn't been open long, or at least that's her best guess. She's wearing the same run-down clothes as last time, the only difference being the less sturdy portions are soaked through by rain, and she's carrying a leather pack slung across her chest. Although the off-duty performer appears distinctly on edge, she's less surreptitious about slipping in the door this time — only because she's holding it open for someone else to slip in closely after her, a round-faced child who comes up just past her elbow and whose sandy hair has been flattened to a wet dirt brown by the weather. He has an immediate look of curious bewilderment at the unfamiliar surroundings and makes immediately for a mannequin, but she hauls him back. "It's a nice shop," she says by way of instructing him to wipe his boots — which are a finer make than the rest of his shabby attire, but a little too snug.

The windows are shut tight against the rain, but the shop is open, a few lamps inside providing extra light in one corner for the seamstresses to work by. Orsino himself is draping something on a dummy, mouth full of pins, but he looks up immediately when Sal and the child come in. Straightening, the takes the pins and jabs them into the mannequin's chest. "Well, hello," he says warmly. "My goodness, you've had to be out in the rain…Can I give you robes to wear and dry your clothes by the fire a bit?"

Sal gives the far corners of the shop a hard narrow eyeballing, as though ensuring nobody untoward is going to come waltzing out from behind a curtain. When it's just the seamstresses and Orsino, so far, she breaks into a toothy grin at the tailor. "Seems ya haven't gotten rid of me yet, eh? Thought I'd take ya up on your offer," she says, gesturing with the leather bag. As for the latest offer, though, she waves a hand and shrugs. "We'll just get soaked again the second we step back outside," she dismisses. "Orsino, this is my pal Cory. It's his clothes what need patched. Cory, this is the tailor." She loops an arm around the boy's shoulders convivially, which is when she notices he's wrapped his own arms about himself, warding off a chill from his wet clothes; it doesn't take her long to accept then. "Maybe just a quick dry," she concedes.

"I'm glad you're here," Orsino says. "Here, come sit by the fire at the very least," he says, and moves that way, stopping to feet a log to bolster the blaze. "Let's get a couple of robes just in case." He calls to the youngest seamstress, who goes behind the curtain wall and comes back with a couple of robes, sized vaguely Lady and Child. "You can put them on behind one of the screens if you like," he says. "And then you can show me what you've brought."

Sal takes the smaller robe from the seamstress and leans down to give a few quiet words to the boy, pointing to the one of the screens. He seems to pay more attention to her than to what Orsino was saying; he takes the nice, dry robe behind the screen while Sal simply sits down on the floor beside the fire, instantly situated in a half crossed-leg pose, one knee up. "I'm all right," she says, happy to simply dry by the fire like she is herself a pile of wet rags. She flops the pack down in front of her and pulls out a few items: a pair of simple dark blue breeches, a simpler pair of dull-hued trousers that have seen better days, and a handsome grey high-collared tunic, well-made but for a black patch mended over the left breast. "He's growin' upwards 'n' sideways at once," Sal explains, sounding a bit at a loss over that fact of life.

"That's just the way, isn't it," Orsino says pleasantly, coming near to inspect what she has for him. "Let's take a look at these seams," he says, reaching to turn one of the legs of the blue breeches inside-out to see if there's any allowance there to let them out. "That gray tunic looks very fine. Would you mind if I changed out the black patch for one that matched more closely?"

"Yeah," Sal responds, only to clarify, "I mean nah. I expect that'd look nicer. I only had black to patch with." The sewing isn't terrible, as it happens; there are signs of minor mending here and there over all of the garments. She stares, brow starting to furrow, at the out-of-place black patch until Cory ambles out from behind the curtain, robed, and shakes her out of her distraction. He deposits his boots and wet outer garments by the fire — all more billowy pieces, more forgiving — and sits down by Sal. Also on the floor, since that's where she is. "I reckon some've 'em might be a lost cause, it's no worry," she tells Orsino.

"Of course," Orsino replies, nodding. "You can't leave a hole to spread while you wait for the right fabric." He looks at them. "Well, I can let out the blue ones, but the other trousers…it would be better to remake them. I can take these apart for a pattern and make a bigger size in a slightly more durable pattern, with plenty of seam allowance so you can let them out for a little while longer yet. The gray tunic will be no trouble, it's meant to last. Can you spare all the garments at once, or is it better if I do them one at a time?"

"We can spare all of 'em for a spell-after all, these just got a wash outside," Sal jokes as she nudges the boy's wet clothes by the fire with the toe of her boot. Maybe jokes. The boy has, meanwhile, discovered a dropped pin on the floor and clambers closer to Orsino to prods it "helpfully" into the blue breeches like it's a sewing needle. Sal drapes an arm over her knee, then, lending her posture a lean toward the tailor. She widens and narrows her eyes. "Sure it's all not too much work?"

"Thank you," Orsino tells the lad with a smile. Then his attention is on Sal. "In payment for you helping me get work from the Whimsy? It's very little," he says. "Besides, I was once a boy driving my mother to distraction by outgrowing everything. I owe a little repayment for that."

Sal immediately laughs. "Well he certainly drives me to distraction, but I ain't his mother," she says, giving Cory's a one-handed shove that is definitely more sibling than parent, particularly when he makes a silly grimacing face in response but smiles brightly afterward. "But I might as well be, I guess; me 'n' you against the world, eh, Cor'?" She nudges the quickly growing boy's pudgy chin with her thumb. The smile she gives him turns onto Orsino. "My estimation, ya repaid your mum enough what with takin' on this shop." Her eyes glimmer and she smirks, as though of the mind that she ought to be rewarded for remembering the tailor tell the story of his past. Eh? Eh? "Thanks. It can't be as fun to mend trousers as it is to make fancy dresses for fancy plays."

"I expect it doesn't matter who you are so long as you take care of him," Orsino says. His smile oftens. "Well. We'll see. If I can keep the business going as well as she did…maybe that will be something." He bends to gather up the garments. "Oh, I don't know. It's much easier. Fancy dresses for fancy plays sometimes lead to a lot of not-very-well-bred oaths being sworn."

Sal barks a laugh. "I bet it does. I don't envy ya — except for the coins." With fancy dresses comes fancy coins, no matter how many unfortunate oaths, she reckons. "We'll dry up 'n' get outta your hair," she says, friendly, but even so, not wanting to overstay her welcome. She better arranges the wet clothes in front of the fire, and her hands are quickly joined by a smaller pair as Cory helps studiously with the simple task.

"I'm glad you stopped by," Orsino says. "It's awfully dull here on a rainy day. Not many take the opportunity to visit the shops."

"You'd think they'd all be used to the rain," Sal says in an acerbic tone that easily insinuates that she thinks much of Oldtown's population must be made up of wimps. "It is bad for business though; nobody wants to stand around 'n' watch a juggler while it pours."

"I imagine not," Orsino says. "But the benefit is that if they say inside, they are saving their money for another occasion, eh?" He winks, then calls one of the seamstresses over to collect the bundle of clothes from him. He tells her he will instruct her on the particulars later.

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