Choosing Blindness, Choosing Ignorance.

A/N: Uther thinks himself as an all-knowing king. How can he say that when he does not even know his own children? In choosing blindness, he chooses ignorance. Introspective one shot. Canon.

Disclaimer: Property of the BBC. (HA! Like that idea's going to stop Merlin fanfiction.)

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He wasn't blind. Uther may have been many things, but he'd ruled the kingdom for too many years not to be suspicious of those around him. It was those who surrounded him that had the most opportunity to wreck him. So he watched them all vigilantly. Even if those around were his own children.

Arthur was changed, and perhaps a time ago, he would've said it was for the better. He'd was less pig-headed, but perhaps a touch too fond of the servants. Uther could see him winning over the people with ease, and sometimes, sometimes, could see the prince-soon-to-be-king who would lead an army into war. The change showed he was growing into manhood, ready to take the mantle of responsibility.

Now though, there was a distance between him and his son he didn't feel before. A growing chasm as they fought over more things—ideals he thought he'd taught to his son. Like no mercy to Mercia fighters who'd wandered into their lands, no lenience to the families who could not match their annual tax of grains and gold, no freedom to those who practised magic.

Perhaps the king Arthur would become would not be the king Uther wanted him to be. The idea unsettled the reigning monarch more than he would admit and the stress grew bags under his eyes and thinned out his hair to the point where his crown could not hide his baldness.

Then there was Morgana, who he had upturned the country for in his quest to find her and right her to his side. Of course he missed her, missed the daughter he could never claim. She was spirited and beautiful and was so like her mother and the friend he betrayed it ached at his heart. The year she disappeared changed him, made him appreciate her more, with her stubbornness and utter loyalty to what was right.

Except it did not go unnoticed that the year she was gone had also changed her. Morgana was outwardly the same, still elegant and graceful, but now she whispered treacherous things in his ear. She laughed bitterly when she thought no one could hear and smiled viciously when she thought there was no one watching. He'd heard rumours; a discomfort amongst the servants that the king's ward had changed. Her kindness had morphed to cruelty and a once outgoing nature changed to seclusion.

Still, he kept her close and closed his eyes and ears to the changes. She'd always been loyal to him, even though she occasionally wavered to Arthur's side. But in the end, she was his and his alone. She had his blood in her veins, and though she would never be fit to claim the name Pendragon, she was as good as his daughter as Arthur was his son.

He wondered over how the kingdom would turn out after his death. He wondered whether magic would gain its grip over the lands once more. Then he'd look at Arthur, whose eyes had aged too much for a man so young, and then at Morgana, pale and haunted and whose twisted red lips promised something poisonous.

With his children at his stead, the world he built would hold for decades to come. However they acted, they were his and they would honour his wishes. Of that much he could assure himself.

Uther knew he could die in peace, knowing the world would be rid of magic.

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A/N: I hope I characterised him well. There are bits I'm just not quite happy about, but I really wanted to get this off my desktop (where it has been staying, stagnant, for a few weeks now).

A review would be loved~!