C. Cowboy: here it is at last! After two plus years, the final chapter of Sacrifice full of action, comedy and romance is finally here. I hope you've enjoyed the long, way to long, ride. And I'd like to know what your favorite parts were up until the big The End at the end of this chapter. Enjoy this final chapter, and don't forget to review!
Disclaimer: the song in this chapter is 'My Sacrifice' by Creed.
Chapter 10 FINAL
Adam was taken to the center of town and quickly chained to a large pole on a stage. He glanced around at the large crowd that was gathered to watch the event, before finally turning to his father.
"Now, let the people decide what you deserve," Randor smiled, "Now you'll pay for all the times you made a fool out of me and your people." He then turned to the crowd, "Ok do your worse!" He said gesturing his hand to the buckets of stones around the stage. After a few moments of total silence, the king's patience was beginning to wear thin, "Give him what he deserves!"
Slowly an old woman hobbled out of the crowd and approached the chained prince, "Prince Adam, are you really He-Man?" she asked in her trembling old voice. Adam responded with a weak nod, and she gave a small smile, "My grandsons were off playing a year ago, when Skeletor's monsters attacked. You came out of nowhere and scooped them up and took them to safety. I have waited so long for the chance to say thank you. So … thank you, He-Man, thank you so much."
Then a girl no older then twenty-five walked out of the crowd, "He-Man, my husband is a Royal Guard, we had just got married when he was sent to a fort toward the Dark Hemisphere. Evil Lyn had him hurt badly and was about to finish him off when you saved his life, I don't know what I would have done if I had lost him, He-Man, thank you so much!" she said moving in to give him a kiss on the cheek.
A shy little boy followed her, and he glanced up at the prince, "My daddy and mommy were in a caravan that was attacked by the Snake people … they were gonna be sacrificed or something, but you saved them and brought them back home personally, thank you."
Then a former Royal Guardsman Adam knew, hobbled toward the prince, "Hey, look, I'm not the smartest cookie in the world, and when I got jumped by Trapjaw that wasn't my finest hour, but if it wasn't for you I would have lost more then my leg. And if I hadn't have been hurt I probably wouldn't have been there to see my first son be born. Thanks pal!"
It went on for what felt like hours, seems like every life Adam touched as He-Man was taking the opportunity to show their gratitude. Adam was more then a bit embarrassed by the attention and found the ground very interesting. When finally a familiar voice spoke up, "Thank you, you've done so much for me. You've been watching over me my whole life even when I treated you horribly and when I didn't know it was you. You never left me once. You gave me my mother, brought my true parents together, and not only brought my best friend back to me but gave me something much more then friendship." Adam looked up in awe at Teela standing before him, her cheeks burning red, "I don't deserve you, never have. But I don't care if it takes the rest of my life, I'd like to repay your loyalty toward me with as much if not more loyalty toward you."
"Teela …" Adam said looking up at his girlfriend as if it was the first time he'd seen her.
"Oh give me a break!" Randor cried, stomping toward the box of stones, and beamed one at Teela hitting her in the shoulder, "That was the most pathetic sight I have ever seen!" he then walked up and slugged Adam in the face, adding another bruise to the cheek and causing a small trail of blood to slide down from his cheek. "You little brat! You never once stop making a fool out of me, do you? Defeated countless times by a BOY! A boy and a stupid magic sword, do you have any idea what that makes me feel? Do you? Answer me brat!"
Adam and Teela along with the entire crowd stared in confusion at Randor, wondering what he was even talking about.
"I can answer that question, Keldor, you feel like a complete idiot right?" a second Randor said, standing at the other end of the street beside Orko and the other Masters. "You ok, Teela?" Randor asked, the girl who was cradling her shoulder.
"I'm ok, but … what's going on?" She asked looking from Randor to Randor.
"Skeletor decided after I destroyed his home he'd take over my life and take residence in my home as me," Randor stated, then a sad expression crossing his face, "I've been forced to watch everything up until when Orko found me and helped me get out. Perhaps if I had been a better husband, father and king my people and family would have noticed the difference. I can't fix things that have happened, but I'm planning on taking this second chance with my boy. So you better just step away from the stage and we might not give you the death sentence, Skeletor."
"There are a lot of innocent people around here, Randor," Skeletor/Randor said backing away, making a havoc staff appear from nowhere.
"Oh, I'm not going to do anything, nor are any of the Masters," Randor smiled, drawing a sword from the sheath on his back. "Teela!" the king called and threw the Sword of Power toward the couple.
The redhead easily caught the sword and used it to free Adam from his chains. "All charges made by Skeletor under my name have been here by proclaimed null and void!" Randor announced before smiling at his son, "Now do that thing you do to change and kick his ass."
The false Randor began to back step from the prince who was now gripping the Sword of Power and giving the masked Overlord of Evil a sinister smile. "Now … Now Prince Adam, lets not be hasty …"
"I'm not going to be Hasty, Skeletor," Adam grinned, "I'm gonna do this nice and slow so I can enjoy this." He said before raising the Sword of Power over his head, "BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL!!"
In a flash of light Adam was instantly transformed into the trimmer, more powerful version of his alter ego. "I HAVE THE POWER!!!" He-Man bellowed as electricity ran over his bulging muscles. He quickly sheathed the Sword of Power, and smiled at his father's look-a-like. "Let's dance."
"H-He-Man!" 'Randor' whimpered, trying to keep space between himself and the most powerful man in the universe. "Have you been working out … um …"
He-Man jumped forward and grabbed the counterfeit king by the face and slammed him through the wooden planks of the stage they were standing on, sending splinters and pieces of wood flying.
Skeletor rose from the hole, his magical disguise shattered, revealing his blue skin and skull-like features under his hood. "Curse you, Prince Allen!" Skeletor spat, drawing his twinsword.
"For the last time," He-Man said, grabbing Skeletor's sword arm, and whipping him over his shoulder, hitting a wooden pool with the small of the Overlord's back. "My name's ADAM!" He said before lifting the dazed wizard off the ground by the hood.
"You see that?!?" Randor said putting Stratos in a tight one armed hug while pointing at He-Man and the now screaming Skeletor with his other hand, "That's my boy!"
"You … really are a coward, Adam …" Skeletor forced out from He-Man's strangle hold, "Always hiding behind He-Man …"
"I'm not hiding behind anybody." He-Man spat.
"Then take me on without all those powers," Skeletor said, his eyes glowing red.
He-Man looked thoughtful for a moment before throwing the overlord to the ground and drew the Sword of Power again. He held the blade above his head and said in a loud voice, "Let the power RETURN!" He called and in a flash of light the sword closed down and He-Man was replaced by the teenaged Adam. "You wanted a fair one on one. Lets do it." Adam said taking a fighting stance Teela had tried to teach him and he had pretended not to have learned.
Skeletor's eyes grew brighter. "Let this be our final battle, He-Man." he growled before the two locked swords.
The sounds of swords striking echoed through the city, as every eye in the city was on the duel to decide the war that has gone on for years. Skeletor was surprised to find Adam's skill not only equal to that of He-Man but with his smaller side, much more agile.
Skeletor separated his sword into two blades. This seemed to even the score but Adam still held his own even without the power of Grayskull.
"Adam!!" Teela yelled before drawing her sword and throwing it to her lover, who caught it in mid swing, and began an assault on the overlord that could be considered a graceful dance.
Adam spun and swung the two swords, sending Skeletor on the defensive. "How can this be? You're just a BOY!!" Skeletor yelled, trying to deflect Adam's attacks.
Skeletor's blade managed to get through his barrage placing a large cut across the boy's chest but that only slowed the teen for an instant, before he hit harder and faster then before. Skeletor couldn't defend fast enough and one blade flew from his hand. Adam hit him in the face with the butt of the Sword of Power, and before Skeletor could steady himself Teela's blade slide through Skeletor's wrist sending the hand and sword flying across the stage.
"It's over, Skeletor," Adam said, bringing Teela's blade and the Sword of Power to the kneeling villain's neck.
"It'll never be over," Skeletor spat, glaring up at the young boy who beat him. "You know, were not so much different. Both of us have sacrificed everything for power."
"I'm nothing like you," Adam growled, tempted to swing the sword and take the skull off the madman's shoulders.
"Is that not what you did?" Skeletor chuckled, ignoring the pain in his bleeding arm.
"You're right but there's one difference," Adam said, nodding toward Roboto and Fisto to approach. "I found it wasn't worth the sacrifice. All this taught me is I'm Adam first He-Man second. " He sheathed the Power Sword. "And I think I just proved I don't HAVE to be He-Man to beat you, old man."
"You'll never be rid of me, Adam," Skeletor yelled as the two Masters picked him up by his arms. "I'll be back, and this time I know who you are and how to hurt you." He said turning his head to glare at Teela.
Skeletor never knew what hit him. Adam was before him in a flash and a moment later Skeletor's bare, bony jaw was shattered by Adam's fist.
"IF you decide to escape, Keldor," Adam sneered, "You can come after me all you want, but if one hair on her head is harmed, you'll lose more then a hand." he threatened glaring into Skeletor's now fearful red eyes.
"Get him out of our sight before he bleeds all over the place," Randor said approaching the scene.
"Father …" Adam started, only to squeak when the King pulled him in a bone crushing hug.
"I knew it, somehow I think I always knew it. It just never made sense, you were brave and almost arrogant up until the time He-Man arrived." Randor said pulling away then looking over Adam's shoulder, "Looks like someone else wishes for your attention."
Adam turned only to have a pair of lips crushing against his. Adam and Teela shared a hard kiss, not caring who was there watching them. When Teela pulled back they both blushed at the loud applause and whistles. The blush vanished from Teela's face as she saw Adam's bleeding chest, "Adam! You're hurt!" She gasped, drawing his mother's attention as well.
"Adam, we must have this looked at," Queen Marlena said as she approached with her husband in tow. "Someone call Dorgan!"
"Nonsense!" Randor said slapping Adam's back so hard he almost fell over, "That's but a flesh wound! He's a man, it'll heal."
The twin death glares Randor received caused him to blink in confusion, "Did I say something wrong?"
"Yes," Teela glared.
"Adam, will always, ALWAYS be my baby, and no one especially you, will let any injury go unchecked, am I clear, Randor?" Marlena pressed, as she and Teela gripped Adam's left and right arms.
"Duncan will agree with me, right, Man At Arms?" Randor said looking back, "Man At Arms?"
"FATHER! MOTHER!" Teela gasped, as the group saw Man At Arms and the former Sorceress enjoying a celebratory kiss of their own, "NOT IN PUBLIC!!!"
"Um … Mother?" Ramman asked scratching his head as the other Masters stared also in confusion, "Dat Teela's Mama? Duncan, I didn't know you were hitched!"
"No, Ramman," Teelina grinned wickedly at Man At Arms, "He's not married … yet."
Duncan suddenly turned deathly pale as Makenek, Buzz Off and Ramman said in unison, "DAAAAAMN!"
"One thing troubles me," Stratos said as he approached the royal family and Teela. "Skeletor was here … where are his minions?"
On a simple road side, a few miles away from the border of the Dark Hemisphere, A group of mutants sat on a formation of rocks. Evil Lyn laid on a large rock sunning, in an attempt to rid her pale complexion to better hide her identity in the Light Hemisphere. Tri-Clops, Clawful, Trapjaw, Twobad, and Whiplash were playing cards, and Beast Man sat on the side of the road holding a sign that read 'Will hench for food'.
A speeder quickly zoomed past throwing dirt in the feral mutant's face. "This sucks! How come no one's even actin' like they're gonna stop?" Beast Man whined.
"If I saw something as ugly as you, I'd not stop either," Evil Lyn said, hopping off the rock and stepping toward the side of the road as another small speeder approached. She stretched out her leg in the road and stuck her chest out as the small two person craft went past and quickly slammed on its brakes.
Lyn slinked to the side of the craft, and smiled down at the single twenty-something year old male occupant, "Hey baby, what ya doing out here with those guys?"
"I only know them from work, we recently lost our jobs so we're all on the street," Evil Lyn said, faking a tearful look, "Would you be willing to help a girl who's down on her luck? "I'd be more then willing to thank you … in the best of ways…" she said, winking seductively.
"Sure thing, sweetie," the guy grinned, "Hop in!"
Evil Lyn nodded and said a quiet thank you and climbed in.
"Hey, what about us?" Clawful asked, as they watched the speeder start up. Evil Lyn answered by showing a specific finger to them before the speeder took off.
The group watched after the speeder as it disappeared in the distance. Finally Trapjaw broke the silence. "I really hate that bitch."
"Who's for another game?" Twobad asked, looking at the others.
"Sure, deal me in this time. Clawful, it's your turn to hold the sign." Beast Man said.
"No, I don't want to!" Clawful whined.
"Rock, Paper, Scissors?" Tri-Clops asked.
"Ok, on the count of three!" Clawful chimed.
"One, two, three!" Whiplash said as the group played the game. All of them but Clawful choosing rock.
"Awe, man!" Clawful groaned, "I never win that …"
Several weeks passed, and peace has settled across Eternia. The moons were shinning down over Eternos Castle as King Randor approached his wife who was standing on the balcony overlooking the massive courtyard.
"Nice night," Randor said as he stood beside her.
"Very," Marlena smiled, not taking her eyes off the courtyard. "Randor?"
"Yeah, Marlena?" Randor asked looking down at his wife. "Do you think Skeletor's going to stay in prison?"
"I hope so, but I'm not lowering my guard." Randor said following his wife's line of sight to a couple on a blanket in the courtyard. "Even if he does break out someday, Adam will stop him. As he always has."
Marlena then sighed at the couple now locked in a passionate embrace below them. "I'm so happy for them, I knew it would happen sooner or later."
"Me too, my dear," Randor smiled, rubbing his beard.
"Do you think Adam learned anything from all this?" Marlena said, a hint of worry in her voice, "I'd hate to think he'd do anything so foolish as this again, and again for nothing …"
"I don't think it was for nothing," Randor stated.
"Oh?" Marlena asked curiously.
"Yes," Randor nodded, "Back when I was a boy on my father's farm, one thing he taught me stuck out more then anything else. He taught me that for good things to happen, sometimes it takes a sacrifice. Adam made a sacrifice. It was a mistake, but look at what it caused. The war is over, our family bond is now stronger then ever, Teelina and Duncan reunited, and Adam and Teela have declared their own feelings for one another. Despite the pain it caused, I think his sacrifice was worth it. And I believe he knows it."
"I'm sure he does …" Marlena said turning her attention to the couple, and then quickly looked away blushing, "By the Elders, you'd think a former Sorceress of Grayskull would show some restraint!"
Randor laughed heartedly, "Way to go Duncan," he chuckled, "I wonder, Teelina has spent all that time cooped up in Grayskull and is still that flexible, yet you … I'm not finishing that." He said catching himself.
"You don't think I'm that flexible?" Marlena asked, turning her eyes on the King, her lips quirking upwards slightly.
"Um …" Randor said back stepping away from the queen.
Marlena slinked toward the king, "Perhaps I can prove my lord mistaken."
Randor started to open his mouth to reply but couldn't as the Queen pounced him, pushing him inside the open bedroom door.
Inside the castle, in Prince Adam's private room, Cringer sighed in the corner of the room, not happy at the young Captain who had stolen his spot on Adam's bed.
"Adam?" Teela asked as she traced the bandage across the Prince's bare chest.
"Yeah, Teela?" Adam asked as he looked down at his lover cuddling in his arms.
"Why did you do it?" she asked, raising her head from his shoulder.
"Do what?" Adam asked, blinking in confusion.
"You know, silly," Teela rolled her eyes in frustration, "Pretended to be dead. And don't tell me 'the world needed He-Man'."
"Remember what happened the last battle before I 'died'?" Adam asked, staring at the ceiling.
"You were late getting to the fight," Teela said, "You couldn't get away from your dad's meeting so we had to fight without He-Man."
"Partly right," Adam said as he hugged the girl tight to him, "You were hurt, when Duncan said you were hurt, I freaked. I still had nightmares about the time Tri-Clops almost killed you. I don't think I could handle you getting hurt again."
"So … you gave up everything 'Adam'…everything that you really are …" Teela said in understanding and awe, "For me?"
"I had to protect you," Adam said as he leaned forward to kiss her forehead. "No matter the cost … or the Sacrifice."
"Thank you …" Teela said rolling on top of him, pinning him down, "But if you ever pull a stunt like that again …" she said playfully, though her eyes were deathly seriously. Whatever her threat was though, was lost in their kiss.
Hello my friend, we meet again
It's been awhile, where should we begin?
Feels like forever
Within my heart a memory
A perfect love that you gave to me
Oh, I remember
When you are with me
Above all the others
This brings tears to my eyes
We've seen our share of ups and downs
Oh how quickly life can turn around in an instant
It feels so good to realize
What's in yourself and within your mind
Let's find peace there
When you are with me
Above all the others
This brings tears to my eyes
I just want to say hello again
I just want to say hello again
"Duncan! Welcome back to Eternos!" Randor said happily to his old friend.
"Great to be back, Randor," Duncan greeted just as happy, "Is that Prince Adam beside you? My, has he grown! I can't believe he's already five!"
"He's still four for around five more months." Randor said ruffling Adam's hair making him blush.
Adam then noticed a young girl not much older then him, with long red hair, hiding behind Duncan's leg.
"Hello! My name's Adam, what's yours?"
"Teela…" she responded shyly and gasped when Adam grabbed her hand.
"Come on! I'll show you around the palace!" He said as they ran into the castle, hand in hand …
Cause when you are with me
I am free
Above all the others
This brings tears to my eyes