Alistair sat in Evelyn and Cullen’s chambers, speaking softly with Evelyn while Cullen took the time to buff some scratches off his armour as he sat in the middle of the floor. The King often spent time in their room when the day wound down in the evening. Cullen got the impression that perhaps Alistair was lonely, needing someone to talk to. Alistair and Evelyn actually got along famously. Their jokes were horribly off colour, of course, and they had begun to bond over cheese and wine. Cullen sighed. It made him slightly irritated in an irrational way, but no, he wasn’t jealous, the were just friends. He refused to give anyone the satisfaction of knowing that he sometimes felt significantly unwound when Evelyn spoke with certain sorts of men.
He turned his mind to the Deep Roads. The expeditions into the Deep Roads were big affairs. He was running Rylen and Charter ragged in preparation. He wished Ankel had not been killed. It was a shame. They lost a good man who would have proven invaluable in the Deep Roads. Now the most senior Warden in Ferelden, besides Solona, was sitting opposite his his wife making some horrible cheese-related pun. Cullen wasn’t really listening. “Cullen!” Alistair called. Cullen looked up. Evelyn was sitting opposite Alistair with her hand over her mouth as she tried not to laugh.
“What?” Cullen said, fearing where this might go - someplace dark and full of agony, no doubt.
“What cheese can be used to soothe a savage bear?”
Cullen braced himself, drawing a breath over the sound of Evelyn’s stiffled laughter. “Really, Alistair?” he muttered.
“A camembert!” Alistair grinned as Evelyn burst into laughter.
Cullen made a disgusted noise shuddered, smiling even as he winced. “Andraste’s mercy, Alistair Theirin, that was bloody horrible,” he couldn’t help but chuckle.
“I know!” Alistair grinned. “I know loads more!”
“How do you make sheep’s cheese?”
“Ewe’s milk!” Alistair ducked the scouring pad thrown at his head. Evelyn leaned over her chair, giggling through her hand, red in the face from laughter.
“You once took blows from two dragons that I know of - did you get hit in the head too hard?” Cullen asked, grinning despite himself. Damn Alistair and his infectious grin.
“Three dragons, actually, but I’m totally fine!” Alistair said. “Okay one more-”
“I’m going to hit you if you do.”
“No you won’t,” Alistair said, picking up the scouring pad and tossing it back to him. Cullen caught it. “What happened after the explosion in a cheese shop?”
Cullen shook his head, bracing himself.
“De brie was everywhere.”
Evelyn’s laughter burst from her lips as she leaned over the armrest of her chair.
Cullen buried his face in his hand and laughed despite himself. “I don’t know what’s worse,” he laughed into his hand. “The fact that you made that joke or the fact that the woman I married is laughing that hard at it.”
“Hey!” Evelyn stopped laughing.
“Told you I could make him laugh,” Alistair grinned. Evelyn laughed and tossed Alistair a gold piece.
“Maker’s breath, you both,” Cullen chuckled. “Was I but a pawn in your game?”
“Never a pawn, my love,” Evelyn grinned. She leaned her elbow on the armrest and looked at him impishly. “You’re my number one Cullenary delight.”
“Maker!” Cullen blushed and laughed.
“See, that’s what happens when you bring Cullen off to foreign lands. You get Cullen-ized.”
“Once they stick a flagpole in you, it’s too late. You’re a Culleny.”
“Stop, for pity’s sake!” Cullen groaned despite the grin, blushing to the roots of his hair.
“Ooh, does that make me a Cullen-ial?”
“I’m going to lay down here in pain, excuse me,” Cullen moved to curl up on the floor.
“We really should cut back on the puns,” Alistair said.
“Shall we try Cullen’ them down?” Evelyn grinned.
“Argh,” Cullen said as they high-fived and near collapsed with laughter.
There was a tap on the door. Cullen saw Leliana walk in, donned in her simple leathers and doublet that she wore to travel. “Maker’s breath! What is going on here?” she asked, seeing Cullen curled on the floor and Alistair and Evelyn beside themselves with laughter.
“Leliana!” Alistair greeted her warmly.
“Save me,” Cullen groaned.
“We were trying to in-cull-cate a sense of humour in Cully Wully,” Evelyn grinned at Leliana.
“Argh,” Cullen said from the ground.
Leliana tittered as she shut the door behind her. “Well, I can see that’s going well. Once he’s done writhing in pain, maybe he might find that funny.”
Evelyn laughed and went to Cullen, drawing him up and giving him a kiss.
“Do I really have no sense of humour?” he asked her, feeling a little embarrassed about being kissed in front of an audience.
“You make me laugh all the time,” she grinned. Then she shrugged. “Or maybe I’m laughing with you because I’m trying to get into your pants.”
“Evie!” Cullen exclaimed, feeling the heat of the blush spreading from his cheeks to his chest.