|A Family Divided
Author: chamita116 PM
[COMPLETED] What if another member of the Royal Family had been abducted with Adora? PG13 for very mild violence. Please read and review!Rated: Fiction K - English - Angst - Chapters: 22 - Words: 57,009 - Reviews: 34 - Favs: 12 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 10-23-05 - Published: 03-26-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2322336
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"She is not going back there!"
Randor paced back and forth in his chambers, face contorted in a scowl, while Marlena sat on the bed and watched.
"This family will not be divided again! I will not allow it!"
"How do you propose to stop it?"
"By forbidding her from going, of course!" Randor snapped angrily. He stalked to the window, crossed his arms over his chest, and glared at the night sky. Marlena crossed the room to stand behind him. She wrapped her arms around his waist, holding him to her, and pressed her cheek into his strong back. When she spoke, her voice was soft and calm.
"She's not asking our permission."
Randor twisted around to face her. "Well, she should be. We are her parents, after all."
"And she is an adult." Marlena gently reminded him.
Randor stared at her incredulously. "Are you actually agreeing with her?" He grabbed his wife by the arms, careful even in his anger not to hurt her, and breathed, "Is this really what you want?"
"Of course not!" Marlena pulled free of his grasp and glowered at him. "This doesn't even begin to be what I want!"
"Then why aren't you protesting it?"
"What good would that do, Randor? She's going to Etheria, with or without our consent."
"So that's it, then?" Randor snapped back. "She's going whether we like it or not, so we might as well just accept it? Is that what you're saying, Marlena?"
"If you'd actually listen to me, you might understand what I'm saying." Marlena whirled away from him and marched back to the bed, continuing over her shoulder, "But, no. You'd much rather yell at me than even attempt to see the logic in what I'm trying to tell you."
"I just don't understand why you're not more upset about this."
"More upset!" Even from across the room there was no mistaking the pure rage stamped across her countenance. "You have no idea how upset I am! How dare you act as if you do!"
"Because you're…" Randor stopped himself from finishing that sentence. He knew it would be a horrible mistake to tell Marlena just how cold and heartless he thought she was being. She was neither one of those things, and he knew it.
Marlena gripped the gnarled wood of the bedpost and glared at her husband. Her shoulders rose and fell, and Randor could hear her heavy, ragged breathing. He walked across the room and stood before her.
"Marlena, my love." He covered her hands with his own and looked down into her face. "Why are we fighting about this? We both want Adora to stay here; and I think that, in her heart, that's what our daughter really wants, as well."
Marlena shook her head. "It may be what she wants, Randor," she whispered sadly, "But it's not what she feels is right."
"She feels guilt about what she did for Hordak." The king sat down beside his wife and sighed. "Acts she could not help committing. Things she should not be held responsible for."
"But I know our daughter, Randor. I know that no one blames Adora more than she does herself, not even those who suffered the most from her actions." She pressed closer to her husband, as if to draw strength from his presence, and continued, "But I think there's more to it than just guilt. Adora said that her destiny lies on Etheria, freeing that planet from the Horde."
"She once thought that her destiny was to fight with the Horde, not against them." Randor countered.
"Yes, because she was tricked and bewitched into thinking so." Marlena returned. "No one's telling her she has to return to Etheria. No one would condemn her for staying here, with her family."
"But she'd condemn herself." Randor said softly.
Marlena nodded. "She's a very determined young woman, Randor, with a very strong sense of honor and duty. We should be proud of her for that. After all, we both know that we'd do the same thing in her place."
"That doesn't make this any easier." Randor grumbled.
"It will never be easy. But Adora can leave here either thinking that we love her despite the decision she's making, or that we hate her because of it. And if she believes the latter, then our family really will be divided once more."
She was right. Randor knew that, and he hated it. If Adora had only been plagued by guilt, then he and Marlena might have been able to dissuade her from leaving. But she thought she was fulfilling her destiny. How could they keep her from that?
Randor sighed wearily. He wrapped his arms around Marlena and kissed the top of her head. "I still don't want her to go."
"Neither do I." Marlena turned and pressed her face into Randor's chest. "But she has to."
Adam also sat on the bed, watching sadly as his sister prepared to leave them all. He knew better than anyone that Adora had to go, and he cursed the Ancients for that. Wasn't one champion in the family enough? Why had it been necessary to give Adora the Sword of Protection? Couldn't his mission simply have been to reunite their family?
"It's my destiny, Adam." Adora said softly. "I'm starting to think that everything that's happened to me is part of some greater purpose."
"And you accept this destiny?"
"Yes." Adora came and joined him on the bed. "Adam, I wasn't given my powers just so I could have the life I've always wanted. When I accepted the Sword of Protection, I was also accepting a tremendous responsibility. I may not have known that then, but I do now."
"You could fight evil here."
Adora laughed. "I think He-Man has things under control. Eternia doesn't need me, Adam. But Etheria does."
"Your family needs you."
"I know that. And the only part of all of this that I regret is not being able to stay here." Her gaze suddenly turned anxious, and her eyes filled with tears. "Do you think they hate me, Adam?"
The prince did not have to ask who Adora was referring to. "I doubt they could ever hate you, Adora. But you saw them at dinner. You know how unhappy this makes them."
Adora began to weep. "I know, Adam. I wish…"
Whatever she had been about to say was interrupted by a soft rapping at the door. Adam went to answer it while Adora dried her eyes. Her brother returned a second later, followed by their parents. Randor frowned. Marlena studied her daughter critically.
"You've not slept at all, have you?" The queen asked.
Adora could not speak, so she simply shook her head. Marlena sighed.
"You mustn't do that, Adora. How much help can be you to the Rebellion if you're falling asleep in battle?"
Adora gaped at her mother. "What?"
"Your mother and I talked about it, and, well," Randor cleared his throat, "While we're far from thrilled about your decision, we do respect it. Following this destiny will make you happy, and that's all we've ever wanted for our children."
Adora walked to him and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Thank you, Father," she whispered.
"It's your mother who deserves your thanks." Randor said gruffly. He clutched her tightly for a second longer, then freed her.
Marlena immediately took his place. "I love you," she said fiercely. She kissed Adora's forehead and sobbed. "We'll miss you terribly, my child. I know you'll be busy with the Rebellion, but you will visit from time to time, won't you?"
"Every chance I get." Adora promised. She pulled away and smiled awkwardly at her parents.
"I suppose you should be leaving now." Marlena said reluctantly. "Do you want us to go to Castle Grayskull with you?"
Adam and Adora looked at each other. "Actually, Mother," Adam spoke for the first time, "I thought I'd go to Grayskull with Adora, and then to Etheria. You know, just to make sure she gets settled in."
Marlena laughed. "She's not going to sleep-away camp, Adam," she said, earning her a confused glance from both husband and offspring. She sighed. "Earth phrase."
"Clearly." Randor responded.
The family made their way to the courtyard, where a guard had Spirit waiting. Adora and her parents shared a final embrace before she and Adam climbed onto Spirit's back. Adora gave a command to Spirit, and the horse began to gallop from the courtyard. Adora stopped him at the gate. She whipped her head around and looked back at her parents. Her mother was leaning against her father, arms wrapped around his waist. Neither had turned from the sight of their daughter's departure. They were each other's strength, Adora knew. She whispered a prayer to the Ancients that she might one day know the happiness that Randor and Marlena found in one another, and a love that could defy the obstacles of time, space, and Fate itself. They waved to her, hands and heads held high. Adora waved back, then urged Spirit forward and out of the city.
Neither prince nor princess spoke during the brisk ride to Castle Grayskull. When the fortress came into view, they slid off Spirit's back and walked slowly to the entrance. The Sorceress must have been waiting for them, for the drawbridge began to lower as they approached. As the ancient wood came closer to the hallowed ground, Adora stared into the swirling blue mist inside. She found reassurance in the fact that Castle Grayskull, the most sacred place on Eternia, was also the bridge to Etheria. Just as it linked the two planets, so also would it forever bind Adora to the land of her birth.
Adora did not know what would happen once she stepped through the portal to Etheria. The rebels would accept She-Ra without hesitation. Would they accept her with the same faith? She knew it wasn't likely. Yet that, too, was somehow part of her destiny.
Adora laughed softly. Destiny seemed like such a chancy thing. It could change in an instant, shifting in the time it takes a mother to leap for her child, or a warrior to lift a sword. It could lie sentient for years, biding its time while lonely men cling to the memories of lost wives and daughters. But it was destiny- unique and undeniable- and Adora's lay in Etheria.
Spirit whinnied as the drawbridge touched the ground. Adora realized for the first time that her steed was probably the only one truly excited about returning to Etheria. She stroked his mane, squared her shoulders, and took a deep breath. In the seconds between inhaling and exhaling, Adora saw Adam walking into another world, not knowing what he would find, guided only by the ideals of truth and honor. She saw Marlena stepping out onto a balcony high above Eternos, unsure if the people below would know her for who she really was. Finally she saw Randor holding out his arms to her, accepting her without question, embracing past, present, and future. Whatever happened now, Adora would always have the love of her family. Each one of them had affected her tremendously, and now it was time for Adora to draw upon the strength of her heritage.
Adora looked at Adam and nodded. She would not close her eyes and hold his hand, as she had done when coming to Eternia. This was her path to follow, and she would do so with eyes wide open. She grabbed Spirit's reins. Then Princess Adora stepped forward and walked into Castle Grayskull, ready now more than ever to meet her destiny.