weatherfeather (weatherfeather) wrote in camelot_drabble,

Between Two Extremes

Author: weatherfeather
Title: Between Two Extremes
Rating: G
Pairing/s: Arthur & Uther
Character/s: Arthur, Uther
Summary: It's time for Arthur to make a decision, but Arthur is holding back for reasons he has yet to voice. Uther talks to him and supports him.
Warnings: anxiety, life choices, crying, parent-child relationship
Word Count: 796
Prompt: #245 “enough”
Author's Notes: I pictured this a few different ways. One was canon, and the list is of brides. Another was in a modern setting, and the list is of universities. Arthur's age is fairly dependent on when and where the action takes place. Whatever works for you is how I want you to read it.

"Enough is enough, Arthur!" Uther shouts in frustration. "Either you choose one of these options, or I will choose for you!"

Arthur looks down at the list again, but he doesn't really see the words there. None of them mean anything to him.

"How can I possibly be expected to choose? This is my future, my entire life, that will be effected by this decision. It's not like I can take it back later," Arthur argues.

Uther resists the urge to pull out his hair. "Arthur," he says, "making a decision like this means you are an adult. It means you are capable of making decisions for yourself and your life."

"But I'm not! I mean I am, but I don't want to! Nothing here inspires me to want it! How can I possibly choose something I don't want?!" Arthur's face is red with the beginnings of frustrated tears. He is desperately holding them back in an effort to continue to look in-control.

Uther, of course, sees that Arthur has lost control already. He tries to help Arthur keep his dignity by continuing the conversation. "Arthur, listen to me. Not being passionate about a choice does not mean that a decision cannot be made. Not being passionate about any of the options you have before you does not mean that you don't still have to choose something."

Arthur sniffles.

Uther continues: "You have your life, Arthur, and you have to make things happen to it by choosing things. You don't have to be passionate about every choice you make. You only have to expose yourself to new possibilities by going in any direction. You only have to live attentively so you will recognize the feeling when you find that you are passionate about something."

Arthur makes no reply. He only stares down at the paper, though his eyes look through it.

Uther takes one step closer. He goes on in a quieter voice: "Can you see what you are passionate about right now? Because it is clear to me that you don't want to waste your time. You want to do what will make you happy. You want to do only what is worthy of the time you will spend doing it. Is that right?"

Arthur is still looking down, but he nods slowly.

"You will have to spend some time on things that do not meet those standards. Everyone does. But that amount of time might be shorter than you think. You, Arthur, are capable of handling the choices you make and the responsibilities that go with them."

Arthur says, "I'm scared."

"Of what?" Uther asks.

"That I won't know what I'm doing. That I'll miss opportunities or be taken advantage of. That I'll choose something I don't like only to give it more time than it deserves. That I'll end up somewhere I don't want to be, but that I'll keep giving it chances to be better. That I'll waste my life in dissatisfaction." The paper beneath Arthur's face has a few drops on it now.

Uther puts a comforting hand on Arthur's shoulder. "We can make a plan for that, Arthur."

Arthur finally looks up at his father. His face is wet, and he looks miserable.

Uther wraps Arthur up in a hug. He doesn't say anything while Arthur cries.

When Arthur has calmed to the point of infrequent sniffles, Uther starts up where he left off. "If it's an assessment of your satisfaction compared to your effort put in, we can write a test for that. A questionnaire. You can fill it out every time you want. It is important to check in with yourself even when you get busy with other things."

"’Kay," Arthur says.

"We can set a time limit on things, too. Maybe do the assessment no more than once a week and no less than once a month, if you want. That way, you'll have time to let things happen in between, but not so much time that you get stuck in unhappiness without feeling like you have a way out," Uther says.

Arthur sniffs wetly.

"Furthermore, whenever there is something you don't understand, whether it's something someone asked you to do or something someone said, you can always come to me and ask about it. We can figure it out together. Okay?" Uther asks.

"Okay," Arthur says.

Uther thinks of something else and says, "And you can always ask the people around you. They've been at the beginning like you are. They've been scared. Generally, people want to help. Okay?"

Arthur doesn't reply.

"Arthur, you are not alone," Uther says.

Something in his father's tone makes Arthur start to believe him. "Okay," Arthur croaks.

Uther hugs him tighter. "It's not going to be so bad." Uther soothes.
Tags: *c:weatherfeather, c:arthur, c:uther, pt 245:enough, rating:g, type:drabble

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