Title: That First Yule
Character/s: Uther, Arthur, OC
Summary: Uther watches Arthur laugh for the first time at Yule. Canon.
Word Count: ~500
Author's Notes: I still hate Uther. Just saying. Also, I have no idea how much a 2-month old can giggle or laugh, hope I'm not too much off the mark.
Uther was just about to walk into his son's chambers when he stopped in his track at the sight in front of him.
Arthur's nurse - Muriel or something - was bouncing him on her knee, talking in the nonsensical language that only babies understand. Arthur was looking at her enraptured, reaching out to try and grab her face. But that wasn't what had shocked Uther.
His son was laughing.
It was the first time he had heard his son make any noise that wasn't of distress. Uther remembered the first few days he had tried holding Arthur and how it had always ended in at least one of them wailing.
He imagined that that wouldn't have been the case if Arthur's mother had been alive. His wife had had that calming effect on people around her. She would only have to place a soft hand on his arm and Uther would forget whatever he had been angry about - and there were always things to worry and rage about when you were the King of Camelot.
He thought about how it should have been Ygraine holding Arthur and making him laugh now, not a lowly servant maid. Uther would come back from court and join them, beaming with joy at his son and wife. He would have loved them fiercely and protected them from the entire world.
As he watched Arthur let out another peal of laughter, he suddenly felt a shock of rage go through him. This boy was the reason that he had lost the love of his life. How dare he be happy? How dare he laugh like this with abandon? How--
"Oh, Your Majesty," Muriel finally spotted him and hitched a still giggling Arthur up on her hip before coming towards him, causing Uther to pause in his thoughts. "Prince Arthur is in a good mood today," she reported a little proudly, thrusting Arthur towards Uther, expecting him to take his son.
Arthur waved out a tiny hand toward him, looking up innocently with a big smile on his baby face, and accidentally touched his arm. Uther immediately felt his anger melt away, leaving him with an uncomfortable weight in his belly. He looked away from his son, his eyes wandering, looking anywhere but at the maid.
"Good. That's good," he said, taking a step backward. Muriel slowly pulled Arthur back to her chest, looking confused.
"Get- get him ready for the Yule feast. I just came here to see that he gets ready," he said while quickly trying to regain his composure. "And see to it that he has a pleasant disposition at the feast. I don't want another disaster like the last time."
He looked once more at Arthur, not able to help himself. His son was playing with the maid's tunic, oblivious to his father's battling emotions. The sight helped to calm him a little, and he laid a hand on Arthur's head for a moment before all but fleeing from the chambers.