C. Cowboy: Hey, this is my third He-Man fic. First off this has nothing to do with the other two, and also just so you know I'm not abandoning them; I just thought I'd start another one to combat my case of writers block. Anyway, I hope you like this one! Read and review, I really really like feed back!


Disclaimer: I do not own any of the MOTU characters. That would be Mattel I think.

Chapter 1: It's for the best…

Eternia…Eight years ago…

"HELP ME!!!" the Nine-year-old Teela yelled in fear as she dashed through the forest just out side Eternos Palace. She had gone out exploring on her own, and stumbled across a hungry wolf, which was now pursuing Teela to have her for dinner, literally. 

"HELP ME, ANYONE, PLEASE!!!" Teela begged as tears ran down her face almost as fast as her legs moved, barely keeping her ahead of the hungry animal.

Teela was looking back toward the wolf's glistening fangs, and didn't notice the large tree root she was running straight toward before her foot got tangled in it and she fell hard on the ground. "HEEEELLLLP!!!!"

Then out of nowhere, a large flash bomb landed between her and the wolf, exploding, and scaring the animal away.

"W-What?" Teela asked looking up to see, the eight-year-old Prince Adam, and his pet tiger, Cringer, looking down on her worriedly.

"You ok, Teela?" Adam asked.

He was answered by Teela leaping on him and hugging him tight. "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"  She squealed as squeezed the life out of him.

"Don't worry about it, Teela." Adam stuttered blushing bright.

Teela then tried to stand up, but cried out in pain when she put wait on her ankle.

"Teela, you ok?" Adam asked worry all over his face.

"N-no…" she sniffed, "I… I hurt my leg… I was so sc-scared… I thought… I thought it was going to h-hurt me…" Teela whispered between sobs as she held her ankle gently.

Adam then slowly placed his arms under the bend of her knees and under over her back just above her waist, and slowly picked her up. Adam was quiet stout for an eight-year-old. Both he and Teela had been trained for years by her father, Man-At-Arms, and Adam had taken the training eagerly, and was much better of a student then she was. 

"Wha…" Teela gasped her face turning a bright pink.

"You… you don't have to be scared of anything hurting you, Teela." Adam stated starting to blush himself, "You're my best friend, and I'm never going to let anything hurt you, ever."

Present day…

"Teela? Daydreaming of me, are you?" Adam asked causing the seventeen-year-old warrior jumped from her seated position at the base of a tree.

"Yeah right!" Teela scoffed knocking the sixteen-year-old backwards landing on his rear, "Why would I daydream about a lazy coward like you?" Teela snapped a little more hatefully then she meant to. 

She caught the hurt expression on his face and smiled timidly at the young prince, "Sorry, Adam, you just startled me." She yawned while stretching out her arms above her head, "and I wasn't 'daydreaming', I was reminiscing. You sleep on the job enough for the both of us." She stated in a more playful tone. 

"It's ok." Adam murmured lightly, obviously still a little hurt from her earlier comment, "Oh yeah! Man-At-Arms sent me for you."

"Oh, ok, lets go then." She stated standing up stretching her legs as she began to walk at Adam's side.

"You owe me." Adam stated with a smirk.

"What?" Teela blinked looking at him confused.

"You were using my nap spot. That's a day's watch for every hour you stayed there, and you were there for at least three hours." Adam stated with a smile.

"Huh? How did you know I was there for at least three hours?" Teela asked not sure if she should be angry with him or to tease him.

"Cause I was watching you for three hours, Teela," Adam stated, "you looked so peaceful, I didn't want to disturb you."

"You… were watching me?" Teela asked with a sudden blush.

"Umm…" Adam started trying to say something, but couldn't do anything but turn a bright red, "Not like that, Teela, it's just, um, uh, Man-At-Arms!" Adam yelled happily as he spotted his mentor walking toward them.

"What kept you two?" Man-At-Arms asked, making the two blush brightly.

He chuckled lightly at their reaction, "What ever the reason, you both have work to do."

Adam and Teela both looked up, the excitement of upcoming adventure shinning in both their eyes.

"Teela, you're to lead a group of Defenders up to check out a strange behavioral change with the slime rats in the great plain, Adam, you're to join your father for a diplomatic meeting with the Dukes of the kingdom."

"Oh." They both sighed in unison, all hope for fun and excitement shot down as fast as Evil Lyn hitting on Skeletor.

"Get a move on now!" Man-At-Arms said cheerfully at the two disappointed teenagers, "If you hurry you'll both be finished by dinner time."

They both sighed, and started in different directions.

"Teela." Adam said as he stopped for a second.

"Yea, Adam?" Teela asked looking back toward him.

"Be careful, ok?" Adam asked looking slightly timid.

"Thanks." She whispered turning a slight pink, before turning and leaving.

A few hours later…

Adam set in the meeting room, propping his head up with his hand. He didn't know how much longer he could stand the diplomatic bore fest. He would have been much happier if he was in his He-Man form fighting at Teela's side. He really enjoyed it, fighting at Teela's side. The only thing that would be better if he could fight as Adam, and not have to pretend to run and hide and then actually hide behind the 'mask' of He-Man.

His thoughts were interrupted as Man-At-Arms threw open the doors and ran in, "YOUR HIGHNESS!" Man-At-Arms yelled spooking Adam so much it caused him to fall backwards with his chair.

"What is it, Duncan?" King Randor asked with concern.

"Skeletor's forces have ambushed Teela's unit! I have already sent all the remaining Defenders as back up, but we could use another hand or two, may I borrow the Prince?" Duncan asked looking at Adam who just pulled himself back to his feet.

Randor looked at Man-At-Arms, "Why?" he asked narrowing his eyes at his son who has proven a coward many times before, "So he can follow you, then run at the first sign of battle, leaving his friends, and dishonoring the royal family's name?" Randor said coldly, "No I think he would be more useful here."

"But Your Highness!" Duncan begged.

"No Buts, you go and aid Teela, Adam will remain here. If he doesn't wish to partake in battle, he will partake in the political side of the country."  Randor stated setting back down.

Adam glared at his father, and gripped the handle of the Sword of Power and was already repeating the magic words that would change him into He-Man in his mind over and over.

Duncan looked sternly at Adam and shook his head 'no'. "Very…well, Your Highness." Duncan said with a bow and turned to leave.

Adam then shot to his feet to follow, but Randor placed his hand on his son's shoulder and forced him back down into his seat. "You've made your decision. I am in a way glad you won't be putting yourself in danger."

Adam shot his father a glare then looked down at his feet in defeat.

Around an hour later, the meeting was finally let out, and Adam shot out at full speed. He ran out to where Cringer was napping and jumped next him. He was alone now but he really didn't care at this point if anyone saw him or not, "BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL!!!!" Adam cried out as he raised his sword over his head.

In a flash of light Adam and Cringer were replaced by He-Man and the massive Battle-Cat.

He-Man didn't even bother with saying 'I have the power' but immediately jumped to the saddle on Battle-Cat and the two shot to where Teela and the others were ambushed.

He-Man and Battle-Cat arrived just as Skeletor's minions retreated.  But it really didn't looked like the Defenders were victorious. Several were injured, including…

"TEELA!" He-Man cried out as he leapt off Battle-Cat and dashed to where Duncan was wrapping her injured side.

"You're… late…" Teela grunted as Duncan tightly wrapped her side and ribs.

"Sorry, I was… delayed" He-Man said, growling the last part glaring slightly at Duncan, "Well… I see you won't be needing me." He-Man said angrily turning and walking into the forest with Battle-Cat walking behind him sadly.

"He-Man?" Teela sighed looking at his slowly retreating figure.

"Don't worry." Duncan said standing up. "You go with the others back to Eternos. I'll talk to him."

He-Man walked into the forest and as soon as he knew he was out of earshot, "DAMN IT!!!" He yelled punching a tree splintering it. 

"Temper. Temper." Duncan said walking up to the most powerful man in the universe.

"It didn't have to be this way." He-Man stated his back to his mentor.

"He-Man, Adam, don't blame yourself." Duncan said softly.

"Duncan, none of them had to be hurt, if I would have been there then none of them would have been hurt." He-Man growled, "Skeletor's fools are no match for me, everyone knows that. But I can't be here every time someone needs help, and be a coward prince at the same time!" 

"Adam, you know no one can know Adam and He-Man are one and the same." Duncan stated the all too familiar rule.

"Who says they have to know." He-Man said looking up toward the sky in thought.

"What?" Duncan asked not understanding.

"Troop moral is down, isn't it Duncan?" He-man asked emotionlessly.

"Yes…" Duncan asked not liking where this was going.

"What if say…" He-Man started turning to face Duncan with a smirk, "A martyr was to fall in the line of duty."

"What?" Duncan asked eyes widening, "Who?"

"Public opinion of Adam is as low as any other political figure in the history of the planet." He-Man stated, "If Adam was to sacrifice his life, fall in the heat of battle, and prove he was never a coward. Not only will not a single person miss him, but moral should sky rocket."

"You… can't be serious…" Duncan gasped in disbelief.

I'm 'dead' serious, Duncan." He-Man said coldly.

"Adam… you can't…" Duncan pleaded, "What about your parents? What about Teela?"

"Father and Mother have pointed out how much a disappointment I am." He-Man stated then finding the ground interesting, "Teela used to be my best friend, but… she thinks I'd turn my back on her on a dime now."

He then looked up at Man-At-Arms pleadingly, "I need your help to pull this off."

"I… I don't know, son." Duncan said mind racing and fighting over to help him or stop him.

"You said it yourself, 'as long as there is evil in the world, there will always be a need for He-Man'." He-Man stated, "This way, He-Man will be available twenty-four seven. And once the war's over, He-Man will find Adam trapped in another dimension or something."  

"Ok… but I need to think." Duncan finally said with a sigh.

"Thank you, old friend." He-Man said with a smile.

"I hope you know what you're doing, Adam." Duncan sighed.

"Won't be Adam much longer." He-Man said as he saddled Battle-Cat.

Duncan turned and watched him ride back toward the palace. "I hope you know what you're doing…" 

The next morning,

"ADAM!! GET UP, YOU LAZY JERK!!!" Teela yelled causing Adam to tumble out of bed on top of the snoozing Cringer. Cringer jumped out from under Adam and dashed out the door.

"Morning to you too, Teela." Adam groaned. 

She was apparently sore from the injuries from the afternoon before, and decided to take it out on Adam.  

"What is wrong with you anyway?" Teela yelled getting in Adam's face, "Do you honestly not care about this country or any of your friends??"

"Teela I…" Adam started, as he got to his feet.

"No, don't start with that. You are nothing but a pathetic coward, you know that, Adam?" Teela growled, "The Defenders, including myself and Father, who is like a Father to you so you say, were almost killed yesterday. Where were you, hiding behind your daddy! You damn coward, you call yourself our friend and ally, MY friend, my BEST friend and ally? Bull shit Adam, and you know another thing, I wouldn't care right now if you'd just drop off the face of Eternia!"    

"Teela… let me explain!" Adam begged only to be slapped across the face.

"I can't stand you, anymore. You used to be the closest thing to a brother I had." Teela growled at the shocked Adam,
Now I don't know you anymore."

Teela was expecting a fight. That was what this was about; she was sore and ached from the bruises and cuts, and nothing made her feel better then a good full-blown argument with Adam. She was expecting Adam to fight back, and argue, like he always does.

Instead he shoved her to the side so hard she stumbled on to his bed, and he ran out of the room, and she could have sworn there were tears in his eyes.

"Adam…" Teela whispered in surprise. She jumped to her feet and turned the way he went, "Adam wait… I didn't really mean all that! Adam!" but it was too late, and he was gone.

Her mind screamed to follow him, and apologize, but her body wouldn't move. She merely set back down on his bed, and began to cry into her hands.

Meanwhile in Man-At-Arms' lab…

"Duncan!" Adam yelled running in to the lab rubbing his eyes, "Have you come up with a good plan yet?"

"Yes, actually." Duncan said sadly, "Are you sure you really want to go through with this?"

"Teela just convinced me." Adam whispered sadly, "Lets do this as soon as possible."

"Ok." Duncan said, "I was afraid you'd say that, and I've already set the plan in motion."

"Ok so what do I do?" Adam asked nervously.

"I've announced that I'll be showing my prototype super cannon tonight." Duncan explained as he pointed to the over sized tank-like 'gun', "Only we know that it is only that it is actually nothing but a hologram projector. Without a doubt Skeletor will try to take it and use it on He-Man and or the capitol city. All we have to do is have you start the fight as Adam, then have you sneak away and change into He-Man. As soon as Skeletor steps on the control platform it will project a prerecorded 'movie'. A holographic version of you will be seen crawling up the cannon and as Skeletor hits the fire button, it will begin to overload, and finally explode. He-Man can get Skeletor off, but Adam will not be so lucky, and when the cannon explodes, the only sign of Adam with be a broken, burnt copy of his sword which I have placed inside the cannon ready to be thrown out during the explosion."  

"Perfect." Adam said with a smile.

"Are you sure about this, Adam?" Duncan asked again.

"Just say…" Adam said looking down sadly, "I'm fulfilling Teela's wish."

Later that evening, Duncan, Teela, Adam, and Randor stood next to the 'super cannon out in an open field just outside Eternos.

Duncan then looked down at Adam, "Are you one hundred percent sure about this…" he whispered receiving a sad nod from the young prince. Adam turned and saw Teela walking a little away from the group and slowly walked up behind her.

"Teela?" Adam asked sadly.

"Yes, Adam?" Teela asked nervously, still remember how she cute him into pieces earlier. "Adam I need to say…"

"Listen Teela," Adam said placing a finger on her lips to silent her, surprising her, "I know you hate me, and I can't blame you for that, I just want you to know… no matter what… you are and always will be my best friend. Always."

"Adam…" She whispered sadly when he surprised her again, by kissing her on the cheek. "Adam?" she asked as her cheeks turned a rosy red, but only saw him retreating toward her father.

"They're coming." Duncan said as a silent buzzer on his wristband began to go off.

"Lets get this over with." Adam sighed as he gripped his sword.

"Remember, don't go too early; don't want 'Adam' appearing out of the blue." Duncan whispered. Silently preparing the remote control of the self destruct system on the 'cannon'."

"So this is your new weapon, Man-At-Arms?" Skeletor hissed as he leapt off Panthor not far from the group.

"Should we call back up?" Teela asked as she leapt to her father's side.

"No time." Duncan growled, readying his armcannon. "We can handle him and his cronies."

It was fair odds; Skeletor came with only Beast Man, who was surprisingly knocked out by a few swings of Adam's sword.

"Ok, now it's just one on three!" Adam said, earning shocked gazes from Teela and Randor.

'Stage one is complete.' Duncan thought, "Teela! Stay with the King! Let me and Adam take on Skeletor!" He ordered as he dashed to the Prince's side.

Adam and Duncan jumped at the Overlord of Evil and both thrown in two different directions. Duncan landed near Teela and Randor and Adam landed close to the cannon, and quickly ran to the other side of it as a hiding place.

"Time for stage two" Duncan whispered as he saw energy fly from behind the cannon signifying Adam's transformation.

Duncan quickly hit a button on his belt starting the holographic image of Adam working on an opened compartment on the side of the cannon.

"Now I will use this cannon on you, Randor!" Skeletor growled, earning a knowing smirk from Duncan.

Skeletor then climbed onto the control platform on top of the cannon. "Oh I have a better idea!" lets aim this at Eternos!" Skeletor chuckled as the machine turned and the barrel pointed toward the capital city.

"Adam! You have to get inside and pull the power cord!" Duncan mock ordered as the hologram 'climbed into the open compartment'.

"Didn't your mother tell you not to play with other people's toys with out asking?" He-Man asked climbing up behind Skeletor. 

"Watch me destroy the capital city and know you could do nothing to stop me, He-Man!" Skeletor yelled as he hit the trigger and looked for the city to explode but saw nothing. "What the??" He yelled angrily as he continued to hit the trigger.

'Twenty seconds' He-Man thought to himself before punching Skeletor. "Skeletor you fool, you've overloaded it, and it's going to explode!" He-Man yelled as he hit Skeletor again hard in the face knocking him off the platform.

Skeletor scrambled to his feet and climbed on Panthor and escaped a moment later, while He-Man jumped off the platform and landed near the opened compartment, "ADAM! COME ON! IT'S TOO LATE! IT'S GONNA BLOW!" He-Man yelled as he ran toward the others.

He-Man got to the others; Teela glared at him then turned back to the cannon worriedly, "Adam's still in there! Something's wrong, we have to go and get him out of there before it…"

Just as those words left her mouth the cannon exploded into a massive explosion, turning the center of the open field into a large crater, threw the four to the ground.

Duncan and He-Man were the first up, and they both ran to the crater as if they were looking for any sign of Adam, while Randor and Teela looked on in utter shock.

"He… he gave his life… trying to save Eternos…" Randor muttered eyes glazing over slightly.

"It… it's not true… it can't be… it can't be true…" Teela whimpered as she crawled back to her feet and ran into the crater, calling Adam's name.

"You wanted this." Duncan stated at He-Man's sad expression.

"No… oh… oh no…" Teela muttered as she slowly brought a broken half of a sword out of the rubble, "oh no, please no…"

Then one phrase that Adam once said to her came to her mind and continued to repeat over and over again. 'You… you don't have to be scared of anything hurting you, Teela. You're my best friend, and I'm never going to let anything hurt you, ever.' 

"Adam… please… please no…" she said between sobs, as she dropped to her knees.

Randor and Duncan both went to the grief stricken girl, and tried to comfort her uncontrollable sobs, as He-Man continued to look over them. He removed his sword and looked into its shimmering reflection, "It's for the best…" He told himself, as he closed his eyes tight, "It's for the best…"

To Be Continued…