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Stable Chats

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With the recruits taking on the task of learning how to fight on their mounts, Cullen thought it was best to join them. Knight, his favored mount, hadn’t seen much action since the completion of the Skyhold stables and while Cullen hated to do so, he had been neglecting in taking him out for air. Best rectify that before the horse came for him in the night and chomped down on his head with his massive teeth.  

As he strolled through the stables, he picked up the familiar tittering of someone talking among themselves–or, rather, talking among the neighs and huffs of the surrounding mounts and answering as if they were having a normal conversation. 

“–do not fret. I know, you are lonely. It’s a shame; you are so fast, too. You would do well out in the field. He does not think about that, does he? Fool shem.”

Cullen furrowed his brow as he stopped and listened. He knew that voice. Was that. The Inquisitor

“Oh, how about I take you out after I am done with your hair? I know a field you would like. It makes Hulk very happy to go there.”

Was she…talking to a horse? By herself. He looked down the stalls to where he saw the white shock of hair he had come to love like know and yes, she was very much alone. Very much combing through Knight’s hair. Very much talking a mile a minute.

And very much…smiling.

Oh, and it was a beautiful, content smile, too. Like nothing he had ever seen on her usually expressionless face before. It flipped his stomach and involuntarily he stepped forward to get a closer look, only to make far too much noise for his liking and swiftly hide himself in a stall and out of her view before he could think how ridiculous that was. 

What was he? A child?

It’s his horse, can’t he just–

“What? No walk? Oh, you want Cullen, yes?”

Cullen flushed as she said his name and knew that, no, he really couldn’t ‘just’ do anything while she was around. 

“It is very kind of you to be so loyal. You are a good friend to him, even if he is the thoughtless sort.”

Cullen heard Knight make a sound that was undeniably akin to a laugh and he really did not know what ticked him off him more–the Inquisitor insulting him or his own bloody horse agreeing with her. 

“Yes, quite so. Irrational. Loud. Prejudiced. Overemotional. He gives me a headache much of the time. He talks and talks and believes you should listen because he is right. He is not but it does not appear to matter to him. Filling the air is what he does. Like…like a cawing raven but less inclined to give one the message tied to its leg.”

Knight sighed in agreement again and Cullen burned to the tips of his ears. He was irrational? She was comparing him to a…a shrill bird? Why? Because he didn’t bend to her needs or falter under her near dead gaze? This was ridiculous–here he was hiding from her, listening to her list his flaws to his own mount, and–

She sighed wistfully, “…but you like him. In spite of how confusing he is, you like him. He must be kind to you…Very calming. When he is not yelling, he has a pleasant voice. I want to hear the nicer voice of his a lot more than the one he uses to the others. If you trust him, he makes you feel safe. Yes. He’s very safe. I like when he is kind…when he smiles.” 

Oh, Cullen thought as his heart suddenly started to hammer his chest–his shimmering anger boiling into something else–all engulfing warmth that spread from his head to his toes.

Oh.

“You are a fortunate one to be loved by him.” 

Oh, sweet Maker, he was going to throw his heart up at this rate. Cullen pressed his body against the stall wall and listened as Eurydice’s moved around. 

“All done. Do you really wish to not come for a ride with me?”

He heard Knight whine and there was a soft cute giggle–and Cullen etched the sound into his brain, because he was sure he would never get to hear it again.

“As you were, then. I will ask Cullen to take you out soon. Do not tell him of the extra apples I gave you, yes? Yes.” He heard the creak of the wooden door on the other side of the stable opening and when the Commander hazarded a peek, he saw that she was gone. He sighed with relief as he sunk down the stall wall, slapping a hand over his overheated face.

And over and over again, like a overjoyed thirteen year old boy, all he could think was: she likes me!