He couldn’t stop holding her. His perfect little sister. “Mum, she is getting so big.” She had fought her nap hard, not wanting to take her eyes off of Eggsy, but no matter how they fight it, 14 month olds need sleep. “Daisy, one day I am going to show you all the best trouble to get into,” he promised. He looked up and saw his mum taking yet another photo. “Mum,” he sighed, exasperated. “That’s enough.”
“Before you leave I am getting a photo of you holding her in uniform, young man,” Michelle warned. “And before you complain, you want a photo of that, go viral, you’ll never lack a date again. Oh! We should do the so very casual, look I fell asleep with a baby against me while shirtless picture.”
“Mum!” Eggsy would have yelled but he wasn’t waking Daisy. “Are you mental?”
“You barely date, this might help. Get internet people all over you, offering to marry you. It happens.”
“Do not pimp me out, I’m fine.”
“When did you last date?” Michelle put her phone down. “Hmm, David a year ago? That was a month. I only know his name because of that very unfortunately timed arse dial that happened.”
Eggsy flushed. “We were never to speak of that again.”
“And it was Brigid before that,” Michelle said. “That was a whole three months.”
“Mum, you know how busy I am,” Eggsy replied. He reluctantly put Daisy down in her play yard and they went to the kitchen. He put on the kettle. “I’m away 10 months of the year, with another in extra training, that’s no life for someone to want.”
“People manage. I managed.”
“Yeah, but were you happy?”
“I loved your father so much. It was worth it. Somebody will think you are worth it. Or they would if you got out there more when you were on leave. Speaking of, just showing up at my door? When you weren’t due for another two months?”
Eggsy shrugged. “Thing happened.”
“Made Corporal, won a pretty big marksmanship competition, got some extra leave and a bit of bonus money.” Eggsy really hoped his mother’s squeal didn’t wake up Daisy. “Don’t fuss.”
“Excuse me?” Michelle smacked his shoulder and gave him a huge hug. “I am going to 100% fuss. Eggsy, that is huge. Oh baby, I am so proud of you!” Eggsy cursed when the hug grew so tight he was having difficulty breathing.
“Mum, skip arm day a bit, you are making some of the guys I work with look puny.” Eggsy was feeling light headed. “Mum, serious. Let go.” When she did he took a deep breath. “What the hell are you lifting these days?”
She grinned. “Mum arms,” was all she said. “Bet my gun show is better than yours.”
“No, you just want me to take off my shirt so you can get creepy photos to pimp me out to your friends cousins or little brothers or something.” Eggsy made them both tea and they sat. “Not that big a deal.”
“Darling, it is a very big deal. How long are you home for?”
“I have ten days,” Eggsy replied and dunked the bag up and down a few times and reached over and tossed it in the sink. “You mind me kipping here?”
“Of course not,” Michelle insisted. “Imagine you’ll want to spend some time with Jamal and your friends though.”
“Yeah, a bit,” Eggsy agreed. “Mostly just want some quiet.”
“Quiet happens here, sometimes.” She grabbed her phone and sent a quick text. “There, Sean is going to pick up your favourite takeaway for dinner. Even a bottle of champagne.”
“That sounds like fuss.”
“Try and stop me,” Michelle said.
“So you and Sean...it’s all good yeah?” Eggsy liked the guy, though he had appeared long after Eggsy had joined the marines, so hadn’t spent a lot of time with him. But his mum seemed happy, and he loved Daisy to bits, so it was pretty good.
“It is,” Michelle promised him. “Sean is very good. And a wonderful father. Different than Lee. Quieter. But union job, steady, plus being an airline mechanic, he gets really good ticket offers. He’s talking about all of us going on vacation, one of your visits.”
“That could be fun,” Eggsy agreed to make his mum happy. They chatted about his promotion and what he could about his job with the ATG, which wasn’t a heck of a lot. When Daisy woke he waved his mum off and spent the afternoon with her. Dinner was great even if the way his mum kept gushing was embarrassing. He spent a couple days just resting and playing with Daisy and on the weekend he crashed at Jamal’s and they went clubbing and he could have hooked up but he didn’t really feel like it. His civilian clothes were all a little off. Not quite in fashion and he thought about shopping but he wanted something different than what he had always bought.
He went to Marks and Sparks and bought some denim and vests and it was okay but still not right. They looked good, but not as good as he did in his dress uniform. He didn’t want to parade out and about in that, it always caused a lot of bother, but he wanted the feel he got when he wore the gear.
Eggsy decided to go into Harrods and immediately walked out again. Place felt too big and wrong and just a whole whack of no. He hadn’t grown up poor poor, but there hadn’t been a lot of spare money ever, and the clothes in Harrods felt needlessly upcharged. He wanted nice but nice that felt worth it.
Eggsy headed back to his mum’s house, that had been his grandparents’ place before they moved to a retirement community and Sean was on the ground, making Daisy fly on his feet. “I know Mum does not like that.”
“Certain things are for mums, and certain things are for das when mums are out getting their hair done,” Sean replied and made plane noises and Daisy giggled. “Daisy is safe.”
“Innit more about your back than Daisy’s safety?” Eggsy asked.
“What heating pads are for,” Sean said and kept flying Daisy who kept giggling. “Good outing?”
“No,” Eggsy admitted. He put his few purchases down and went to the kitchen and came back with a beer. “I mean, got some stuff. But not what I wanted.”
Sean brought Daisy down and set her on the ground next to him. When he tried to get up he groaned. “Uhh, Eggsy, little help?”
Eggsy snorted and went over and hauled the man up. “Might want to grab one of those heating pads.”
“And a beer,” Sean agreed. He put on a dvd for Daisy and she squealed when Elmo began to dance on the screen and she shook along with the muppet. Sean came back and plugged the heat pad in and settled against it on the couch with Eggsy. “Fuck that feels better,” he sighed. He tapped his bottle against Eggsy’s. “Cheers.”
“Cheers,” Eggsy echoed.
“So what had you wanted?” Sean asked.
“Nice clothes?” Eggsy shrugged. “Wore my trackies to the club the other night and didn’t really love them like I used to? So wanted different. Got some, but not exactly what I wanted. Tried Harrods but that place is just a whole lot of fuck no. It’s all tacky and expensive.”
Sean nodded in agreement. “What about a tailor shop?”
“What like Savile Row or such? Can’t fucking afford that.”
“Fu!” Daisy tried to say. “Fu, fu, fu!”
Eggsy’s eyes widened in horror. “Oh god, Mum’s going to kill me.”
Sean snorted. “I mean I don’t love that either, but a bit funny.” He settled back into the heating pad a little bit more. “And no can’t afford to get everything there, but like one or two things? I’ve done it.”
“On a mechanic’s money?” Eggsy looked at him. “How?”
“Chief mechanic. And got a Christmas bonus. Went and got two pairs of trousers, didn’t I? Them shops some of them, have a what you call it, ready to wear line. Go in, get off the rack but they still fit it to you. Cheaper, but you get the couple pieces that last. I’m don’t gain a stone, I’m set for all weddings and funerals for the next few years.”
“They weren’t dicks to you? Shops like those are always dicks to us.”
“Nah, skip any that carry the sign that says a royal shops here and all they care about is your money.”
“Not a bad idea, thanks,” Eggsy said. He watched Daisy. “You don’t mind me being here?”
“Nope, you are Michelle’s kid and Daisy’s big brother. And what I can tell, a good man. This is your home, yeah?”
“You willing to help me stop Mum’s crusade to get me a date?”
“Eggsy, I’m sometimes on a runway jogging out of the way of planes getting ready for takeoff. Hasn’t scared me in a couple decades. Getting in your mum’s way when she gets that determined look in her eyes? Hell no.”
“So much for masculine solidarity.”
“You are a marine, you get plenty of that day to day. You are fine. I should start on tea.” Sean tried to get up. “Or I’ll watch a little more Elmo. Scintillating dvd, only watched it thirty times so far. Might have missed something.”
“I’ll get tea going,” Eggsy offered. He kissed Daisy’s head on the way by. He got a few things going and then sat at the table with his laptop and googled tailor shops. There were a bloody lot of them. He narrowed the parameters a bit, and poked about. He figured no webpage, no way did he want to shop there which removed a good few of them. He did as Sean suggested and removed the ones that had royal patronage and then removed the ones that absolutely no prices on their webpage. No price he definitely could not afford. He had it down to half a dozen places when he heard his mum come in and got busy with family matters.
In the morning he took a look at the places after he was done taking Daisy to the park. A couple were blech and sounded snooty, and then one had potential but the clothes were just a bit too boring. Sure he wanted classic but not old man.
The Kingsman webpage didn’t suck. It had prices on stuff like cuff links and ready to wear listed with make an appointment for bespoke. But they had a look book as they called it and yeah they had a few basic things but then other things too. Blue plaid trousers, an orange smoking jacket, and a leather waistcoat. Mix of classic and cool. It felt right.
He thought of the bonus he got and how much he had socked away in savings. He figured why not go the whole route just once in his life. Doubtful he could swing a full suit, but maybe trousers, shirt, and waistcoat. Bet he’d look pretty good in that. You couldn’t book an appointment online which was a bit annoying but he could make one phone call.
Eggsy scrolled the webpage a bit more as he called. He wondered if this was a stupid idea, but it felt right.
“Kingsman Tailors,” the voice said. Sounded pretty posh.
“Uh, yeah, hiya,” Eggsy cleared his throat. “Sorry. Corporal Unwin. Eggsy.” Oh god, they’d never let him through the doors. “I was hoping to book an appointment.”
“Of course,” the voice said and the tone didn’t change at all which Eggsy appreciated. “What were you looking for?”
“Trousers and maybe a shirt. Waistcoat? Or two pairs of trousers, one classic, one a bit more flash? Not really sure, my first time doing this.” Eggsy figured he was sounding like a moron. “I was hoping I could look at a few options and then figure it out?”
“That is not a problem,” the man reassured, “And very common.”
Eggsy breathed a little easier. Okay maybe this could be saved. He thought of his bonus cheque and why the fuck not, right? “I don’t care about the cost,” he said. They always said that in movies and on the telly. To sound important. He hoped it made him sound important.
“I see,” the voice had a slightly different inflection. “Cost is no object to you?”
“Yeah, no object,” Eggsy agreed though it was definitely a fucking object. He decided to repeat it. “Don’t care about the cost. I just want the service.”
“Of course sir, and we are happy to provide the best service in the city,” the man said. “Now we had a cancellation for tomorrow. A three hour window, that should suit your needs I believe. Would one o’clock be acceptable?"
“Fuck yeah,” Eggsy said and winced. “I mean, yes that is acceptable.”
“Thank you, Corporal. We look forward to meeting any and all of your needs.”
“Sure, see you tomorrow.” Eggsy hung up. “Well, damn.”
Looked like he was going to be getting some fancy togs. Three hours was a long time, but not like he knew how long a bespoke fitting took. He need to make sure that he didn’t wear the pants with the hole in arse cheek.
That’d be embarrassing as hell.