AN: Okay… so for anyone who reads my other story Memoria… this is what happens when I write on painkillers. And why I waited to finish that particularly serious story. For everyone else… just enjoy the silliness.
The boy was doing it again.
That thing. Where he…moved. Fidgeted, would be the correct term. But Uther could take fidgeting. This was like… was like the kid was being attacked by something. Jerking almost.
From his seat at table Uther could see it, him. Moving.
No actually. It was downright aggravating. The MOST annoying thing that the king had ever, EVER, had to deal with. Ignoring that is.
And his son… well Arthur was egging it on, laughing and throwing bits of food at the boy. Inappropriate. Aggravating. Annoying. Absently, Uther listed all the fitting adjectives in his head. Inept. He managed to count twenty of them before he got bored. And noticed the fidgeting. Again.
Arthur raised his hand, a small piece of cheese in his hand. Without thinking, the king reached up, grabbed his sons wrist and slammed it back onto the table. He put on his best, 'I'm disappointed glare' then returned to staring at his plate. And the boy.
A common, ugly name for a common, fidgeting child. His head hurt.
Physically was in pain from the methodically twitching of his sons servant.
The table was abandoned and cleared early due to his… migraine. The boy and his son disappeared to do… whatever it is that the two of them did. Bicker and gossip like old women most likely. He retired to his study, where he did absolutely none of the large amount of work that actually needed to be done. Because he could stop the twitching from entering his mind.
Was the boy dirty? Infested with fleas?
No. No, his son, while too easy on the boy, was a vain child and certainly wouldn't allow his manservant to not bathe. His own hand, usually so steady, twitched ever so slightly. Uther grabbed the offending digit and stared at it, willing it to be still. After a moment it was.
But the damage had been done. Soon his feet and other hand were jumpy as well, apparently infected by the boy's restlessness. Was such a thing contagious? He need to see Gaius. He left the room, startled to see that it was late, later than he imagined as he walked to the tower where his old friend slept. A guard down the corridor jumped up and down to stay awake. Another infected. Uther steered clear of him, taking the long way around, unwilling to even risk catching more…fidgets.
Sir Leon, coming in from a patrol nodded to him, then shook out his as he walked away. Methodically the knight cracked his knuckles to loosen his hand, clenched from the bridle. Uther jumped away, fleeing down the halls. Had the boy gotten to every member of his staff?
A groomsmen, a maid, even the scullery girl. Everywhere he looked people were… moving. Fidgeting.
Finally he made it to Gaius chamber safely, avoiding the dangerous disease as much as he possibly could. But it was everywhere. His hand was still shaking. Banging on the door for a moment he worried that the boy had actually killed his physician. Perhaps he'd literally shaken apart? But the Gaius answered, not dead or shaking but slumped, tiredly.
Pushing his way in, Uther looked around the dark room, explaining his trouble. His fears of the fidget plague, striking down his castle. Gaius simply nodded and lit a candle.
That was when Uther saw it. Him. The boy. In the room across the room, door open, asleep on his bed. Moving.
He let out a terrified shriek and started backing away. That was when Gaius hit him, hard, on the back of the head. With a pot.
And the next morning, when he came to in his own bed, there was a handwritten note from Gaius, some pain tonic, and glass of water.
And that is the story of how coffee was banned from Britain and why tea became the official drink of choice.