Disclaimer: I don't own He-Man or any related characters. Wish I did, and then I wouldn't be broke right now. Sighs.

Special Thanks: Fusion Blaster and Jareth Leonine for the ideas and inspiration, and Jareth for beta reading for me. Enjoy!

Betrothed

Adam's lungs were on fire as he ran through the great forest as fast as he could. He was almost to the small lake in the center, and he had to move faster.

He finally made it to the large oak tree, and leaned against it, breathing heavily. He brought his hand through his sweat-dripped hair, "Yes …" He said between heaves, "I won!"

"Beat ya!" a feminine voice chirped above him. 

"Teela!" Adam cried, as she back flipped out of the tree, to land in front of him. She smirked up at him with a triumphant look in her green eyes, "How did you get here first, I even had a head start!"

"I actually exercise, Adam," Teela said looking away, "I don't spend almost every waking hour fishing or laying around like a piece of furniture."

"Ouch …" Adam whispered looking down, his fingers running along the Sword on his back that caused most of the tension between the two best friends.  

"I will admit," She said giving him a genuine smile, "You are getting better, you actually almost won this time. Even made me sweat … a little."

"I did huh?" Adam smiled, looking back noticing she was standing very close to a deep incline into the lake. "How about I help you … cool off!" He yelled as he shoved her hard backwards, causing her to tumble into the deep lake water.

"ADAM!!!" Teela screamed as she splashed in almost ice-cold water.

 "That make you feel better, Teela?" Adam laughed, but after a few seconds without Teela returning to the surface, Adam started to worry, "Teela? You ok? Teela, that's not funny!"

Adam then ran to the boat dock out on the water, "Teela! C'mon! Please be ok …" but he please were cut short as two small hands grabbed his ankles and jerked him into the water.

"Teela!" Adam cried surfacing, and looking wide eyed at the widely grinning Teela.

"That make you feel better, Adam?" she asked, ignoring the red bangs plastered over much of her face. 

"Oh, now its on," Adam said dangerously, grinning as broadly as Teela, and the two began to wrestle in the water.

The two wrestled till they made it to the sandy shore, and began rolling half on the land and half in the water. Till finally Teela pinned his shoulders down and had both knees planted at either of his sides, "Pinned ya," she chirped cheerfully.

"Oh yeah?" Adam asked, before pushing her off and they started rolling along the beach again.

Teela finally stopped them both in the exact same position, "Pinned ya again."

"I'm not beat yet," Adam grunted throwing them in another rolling fight, and this time Adam landed on top, literally laying on her. "Ha, third time's a charm! Told ya I'd win."

"I still have you two to one," Teela smirked up at him.

"I still won."

"Did not."

"Did too."

"Did not."

"Did too," Adam repeated again unconsciously easing his face toward hers.

"Did not," Teela retorted quieter, tilting her head slightly and slowly closing her eyes.

Just as their lips were about to meet, Adam felt himself being jerked off of her, and thrown hard onto the wooden pier. "Looky what we have here, boys," Trapjaw laughed looking at Adam trying to get back to his feet, "Looks his Royal Cowardice has himself a girlfriend."

"Yeah," Whiplash chuckled, "We can tell who wears the pants in this relationship."

"Yeah!" laughed Clawful, who then looked at Whiplash in confusion, "Which one is it?"

"Shut up and get um," Trapjaw barked, "I'm sure Skeletor will be happy if we bring him the Prince and Man-At-Arms' daughter."

Teela dove at Adam's side and helped him to his feet, "Come on Adam," She said pulling her staff, "There's two of us and three of them, but I think we can take these thick headed morons. Right, Adam? Adam?" she asked looking and a look of deep hurt crossed her face when she saw him running into the woods. "Adam …"  

Teela looked down sadly for a moment, before jumping out of the way as Whiplash's tail crashed through the wooden pier.

She landed but a blast from Trapjaw's armcannon grazed her back knocking her down.  "Heehee, we got her now," Clawful said, reaching toward Teela with his large claw. But as it was about to clamp her, a large hand gripped his arm.

"Keep those claws to yourself," He-Man said gripping his arm tight, "Not polite to treat a lady like that," he said as he slung the mutant like a rag doll. Then sending him flying into the lake.

"Ok you two, I'm in no mood to play," He-Man growled glaring at Whiplash and Trapjaw, "We can fight, and you can get hurt or you can run and we'll call it a day. It's up to you."

Whiplash and Trapjaw looked at each other and gave each other a nod, then turned to the Guardian of Grayskull and glared into his blue eyes, "We'll let you off easy today, He-Man," Trapjaw growled, "We'll meet again though, you can count on it!" they then both turned tail and ran as fast as they could. 

"You ok, Teela," He-Man asked offering her a hand.

"Yeah … fine," She sighed sadly, "I'm just fine."

"Adam … I …" He-Man said trying to find some excuse to keep Teela from being mad at him.

"I don't care," She sighed walking toward the palace, "If you see him, tell him I'm on the way home."

He-Man watched her go before sitting down on what's left of the pier, "I'm sorry …" He whispered, looking at his own reflection in the Sword of Power.

---

"Happy Birthday, Adam!" Orko the court jester chirped happily floating around the sulking prince as he walked into the palace.

"Yeah, it's a real happy one," Adam sighed not even looking at his friend.

"C'mon, Adam!" Orko said making some musical instruments appear out of thin air, and made them begin playing a cheerful melody, "You're seventeen years old today, you're at age, today's your big, big day!"

"Whatever," Adam sighed, "I just want to find a snack and go to bed."

Adam then walked into the great hall of the palace and almost jumped out of his skin at the massive "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" yell. Adam looked around and most of the people he didn't know, but he did spot all of the Masters and his Father, Mother and Man-At-Arms at the farthest table, signaling for him to come to them.

"Happy Birthday, Son," King Randor said with a bright smile, "Today, by Eternian Law, you become a man. Despite some issues we've had in the past, I am truly proud of you, Son," the King said, but grunted with the Queen elbowed him in the side.

"Happy Birthday, Adam," Queen Marlena said walking around the table, and kissing her son on the cheek.

"Thanks, Mother, Father," Adam said, looking around the Masters. "Where's Teela?"

"She said she was tired and went to her room," Duncan said, patting Adam's shoulder when his face went downcast.

"Come with me, Son," Randor said signaling Duncan, "We have something very important to talk about."

"I've already sent Orko to fetch my daughter, Your Highness," Duncan said as the three left the party.

"What's this about?" Adam asked walking between the two older men.

"I'll tell you all about it, Son," Randor said with a bright smile, "I am sure you both will be most pleased with this."

"Orko, what this …" Teela said, as Orko drug her around a corner, "Oh hello Your Highness, Father … Adam."

"Hi, Teela," Adam said, flinching at her cold look.

"What's this about?" Adam asked looking away from Teela's glare.

"Ah yes," Randor said smiling at Duncan, "Yes, Man-At-Arms made a very special arrangement, what was it, Duncan? Ten years ago?"

"I believe it was thirteen, Your Highness," Duncan added with beaming smile.

Adam suddenly felt a sick feeling in his stomach, "What … kind of arrangement?"  

"Adam, you know, I won't always be here," Randor said growing seriously, "And someday you must take my place as King."

"I know I know," Adam rolled his eyes, "I have to learn responsibility. We go through this daily."

"It's not quite it," Randor said the smile that scared Adam returning, "You see, son, to be the King, you must also have a Queen."

Adam suddenly stopped walking, and went into a coughing fit.

"So …" Adam said finally settling himself, with the help of Teela patting his back.

"So you're saying he's going to have to start dating or something?" Teela asked, suddenly taking an interest in the conversation.

"Well not quite," Duncan said for the King, "You see Adam's Princess and future Queen has already been chosen."

"WHAT??" Adam screeched, not noticing the shattered expression crossing Teela's face, "If you say that Princess from that weird Kingdom from the north I can't even pronounce its name, the princess with that strange growth on her forehead, you can take this prince crap and-"

"Princess Babatha of the Takaritaraya Kingdom," Randor said narrowing his eyes at his son, "And that wasn't a growth that was a horn, all the females have those. But no, it isn't her."  

"I don't want to marry some stuck up boring princess," Adam screamed, "I don't even want to be told WHO I'm going to marry! I want to marry someone who I actually know and can have a conversation with! Not some pampered dingbat with the IQ of one of Skeletor's men!"

"You and Teela are the best of friends, and can easily carry on conversations," Randor said rubbing his beard.

It took a second for it to sink in, "Oh … no …"

"You … don't … mean …" Teela gulped.

"What we mean is," Randor said beaming at the gapping teenagers, "that thirteen years ago, Duncan and myself made arrangements to have you two to be betrothed. The wedding will be in one year today!"

"WHAT????" Adam cried as he and Teela looked at each other in complete shock, "How? What? NO!"

"Yea, there's no way I'm going to marry HIM!" Teela cried, causing Adam to lose almost all of his rage on the subject. "I refuse to marry now," Teela growled not looking at Adam's now downcast expression, "Especially Adam, I don't want to marry because I'm forced to, I want to marry someone I love. This is not right, and there is no way that you can make me do this, Father. You might have been able to do that along time ago, but those days are long past. You can not make me go through with this!"

"Would you have had a problem being told to marry He-Man?" Adam asked just loud enough to be heard.

"What?" Teela asked turning toward Adam, like the question caught her completely off guard.

"You heard me, Teela," Adam said turning to her, his blue eyes almost glowing with hurt, "Would you rather marry He-Man, instead of being stuck with a coward like me?"

"Adam …" Teela started, but Adam cut her off.

"I know what you're going to say, so don't start with the put downs," Adam said turning his back on the group. "I'm going to bed," He growled, stomping up out of the hallway.

Teela watched after him, then turn and ran in another direction, not even giving the King and her father a second look.

"Well," Duncan said looking at the two different paths the teens took, "That went better then expected."

"Oh it did, did it?" A voice came from behind the two men, making them both flinch.

"I take it you heard the wonderful news, Marlena," King Randor said turning to face his wife with a nervous smile.

"Oh I heard alright," She said giving him a death glare, "You idiots." 

"Your Highness …" Duncan started, but she cut him off.

"Don't you dare 'Your Highness' me, Man-At-Arms," She snapped, "You're the Man-At-Arms of our Country, and Randor, you're the KING for the Ancients' sake!"

"But Marlena," Randor started, but her glare silenced him.

"Shut it, Randor," she shot, "You two listen to me, and you listen good. Duncan you go after Adam, and try to talk to him, but NOT about the betrothing, but about his relationship with your daughter. As you should of done in the first blessed place. And I'll go talk to Teela."

"Shouldn't I be the one to talk to my son?" Randor asked defiantly.

"I think you've done enough, Husband," Marlena snarled, "Besides, you need to pack up your clothing and find yourself a comfortable barrack to sleep in for the next week or so."

"Yes dear …" Randor said, dropping his head and the three went in their perspective directions.

---

"Adam?" Duncan said walking out under the large tree in the courtyard.

"Want to ask when you'll have your first grandchild?" Adam asked hatefully.

"I'm sorry," Duncan sighed.

"Damn right," Adam grunted still not looking up.

"Look Adam, I know you care for my daughter," Duncan said leaning against the tree.

"Of course I care for Teela, Duncan! She's my best friend," Adam said, jumping to his feet, "But face it she doesn't care for me, she cares for He-Man."

"But you are, He-Man," Man-At-Arms retorted.

"No I'm not," Adam said leaning against the opposite side of the tree to Man-At-Arms, "At least in her eyes I'm not." 

"Tell her," Man-At-Arms advised, "I think Sorceress would make an exception on her if you chose to trust her."

"It's not a matter of trust, Duncan," Adam sighed, "I want her to love me for me, not because I'm He-Man."

"You want her to love you?" Man-At-Arms asked, coming around with a sly grin.

"I … well … uh …" Adam stuttered, avoiding eye contact.

"Talk to her," Man-At-Arms advised.

"I don't know …" Adam sighed, "This is going to take time."

"I know, son," Duncan patted his back, "Tell you the truth neither I nor your father expected it to go this well. You and Teela are too stubborn for your own goods. Just think about it, alright?"

Adam nodded, and Man-At-Arms, accepting the response, walked back toward his shop.

---

Teela lay on her bed, staring at the ceiling, and didn't even notice the door open and someone walking in, "May I come in?" Queen Marlena asked standing at the doorway.

"Your Palace," Teela said simply, not even looking her way.

"Is the thoughts of marrying my son so terrible?" Marlena asked, "Or are the rumors of you being in love with He-Man true?"

"Rumors are funny huh," Teela sighed, still staring at the ceiling, "But that's not it, and I'm not in love with He-Man, a crush maybe, but love no. Can't love something that isn't really there."

"What?" Marlena asked in confusion.

"Nothing …" Teela said quickly looking away from her, "That's not the problem, anyway."

"Then what is?" Marlena asked.

"I felt strange … when the idea of marrying Adam came to mind," Teela confessed, "When father and King Randor mentioned Adam finding his queen, I felt like I was staring down Skeletor's forces alone, unarmed. And then," She continued, sitting up resting her arms on her knees, "When they said it was me, it was strange … I felt like my heart stopped for a moment, then it felt like it was going to burst from my chest. It scared me, and I don't scare easy. I don't even know if I really meant what I said or not!"

Marlena sat down next to her and placed a hand on the girl's shoulder, "I don't get it really," Teela sighed, "I used to know him better then myself. I know I tease him, but I know he isn't a coward. He's anything but that for taking everything everyone, including myself, has thrown at him. But he's so damn mysterious now. There's times I feel like he's the same best friend I've known all my life, and then there's times I don't even know him. But not in the frightening way, but in the way that makes me want to know. If that makes sense …"

"Makes perfect sense," Marlena smiled, "So tell me, Teela, tell me about my son."

Teela looked at her questioningly, before crossing her legs, and staring at her hands in her lap, "Adam … He's the only person other then my father who can really make me laugh and cry. Even though he disappears in battle, which does hurt seeing him disappear, I know he'll be there waiting for me when its over. He makes me feel needed, like his whole world would fall apart and he'd waste the rest of his life under a tree if I wasn't there to keep him going, and there's time I feel like its likewise. And no matter how angry I am, how sad, or just upset, if he gives me that one certain 'Adam' smile, it's like it just … goes away." She then brought her hands to her face, "Ancients I must sound insane!"  

"Ever think that maybe, just maybe," Marlena brought her finger to her lip in thought, "You might just love him?"

"Me? Love Adam?" Teela asked turning her head quickly to the Queen then looking away laughing, yet blushing, "That's funny!"

"Just think on that a while, my dear," Marlena said standing up, before giving the young girl she's watched grow up a kiss on the forehead, "Just think on that. And I'll leave you to your thoughts now."

"Goodnight, Your Highness," Teela said as the Queen walked toward the door, "Thanks,"

"Its no bother, my dear," Marlena smiled, "if you ever need to have a girl talk, you know where to find me," she winked, before walking out, and closing the door behind her.

Teela watched the door for a few moments before laying back down, with the words the Queen had said running through her mind. "Do I?" she asked no one in particular, "Do I love Adam?"     

---

Early the next morning, Teela finally decided to end her sleepless night and begin her morning. She sat up, and looked at the side of her bed. If she didn't find a way out of it, next year she'd start waking up with Adam lying beside her. What confused her was that seemed to be less and less of a problem by the hour.

She climbed out of bed and slid out of her nightgown, took a quick bath. She finally got out, placed on her uniform battle skirt, then sat down before the mirror and began to brush the knots out of her long ginger hair. "Queen Teela, wife to King Adam of Eternos." Teela said out loud in an overly noble voice, then looking down with a sigh. But then she began to think about what's at stake. Adam was her best friend. If it didn't work out, as most arranged marriages do, what will happen to the friendship that she treasured? 

"Teela?" came Man-At-Arms' voice at the door, "May I come in and speak with you?"

"No," Teela said coldly, "Go away."

Man-At-Arms came in anyway, and Teela spun around with a death glare, "I'm still your father, you know?"

"At least until you oh so conveniently hand me over to Adam next year, huh, Father?" Teela snapped.

"Teela, it's not like that …" Man-At-Arms said not able to make eye contact.

"Then what is it, Father," Teela growled, "you talk like it isn't a big deal, but this is a very, very big deal!"

"Tell me you have no feelings for Adam," Duncan said, and Teela opened her mouth and immediately shut it. "Tell me you have no feelings for Adam, and I'll cancel the engagement."

"I … I don't …" Teela tried, but looked away, "That's not fair." 

"Life's not fair," Duncan replied smugly.

"Father, this is serious," Teela sighed, putting her hair in her trademark ponytail.

"I know, but I didn't have any doubts about Adam when I made the arrangement years ago," Duncan said staring into his daughter's eyes, "and now I have even less, he's the only one I'd be willing to trust my little girl to."

"Father …" Teela sighed, getting up to hug her father.

"I am sorry, Teela," Duncan said pulling away, "the King and I spoke last night. Talk to Adam, and if after you have a calm civil conversation and you both want to call it off, His Highness and I have agreed to let it go."

Teela looked almost sad by that, but nodded with a weak smile, "Ok, but not yet … I'm still not sure what to say to him," She said looking back into the mirror.

"Breakfast will be ready soon," Duncan said turning to the door.

Teela nodded a good bye, and Duncan gave a smile, "Which ever you two decide, I'm proud of you." He then turned and walked out of her door, leaving her to her still confused thoughts.

 ---

The wind whistled as the sleeping Sword of Power cut through the air, Prince Adam made back flipped then brought the sword around in an angular cut across an imaginary opponent.

"You're quite good son," King Randor said walking out into the courtyard with his son, "Your skills would make you an amazing Master, if you had the confidence to face up to Skeletor and his forces."

Adam gave a momentary smirk, "What do you want, Father, want to push the date ahead?"

"No, nothing like that," He said looking away, then drawing his own sword, "On Guard," he said holding his blade before him.

"What if I don't believe you?" Adam asked tapping the Sword of Power's blade to his father's.

"Doesn't matter," Randor replied making the first swipe, beginning the sparing season.

"Tell you the truth, I don't have a single problem with the idea," Adam said swinging at his father, who blocked the attack with his own sword, "I admit it, if I had my choice, it would be Teela."

"I've known that since you two were six," Randor smiled, crossing blades with his son again.

"The thing is I'm not her first choice," Adam stated, spinning and narrowly missing his father's thigh.

"Oh?" the King asked, diving at his son, in a stab, who easily leapfrogged his father.

"Simple, Father," Adam stated doing a round house slash, hitting his father's blade, "I'm not He-Man. She wants He-Man, not me."

"Sounds like you've decided for her," Randor mused doing a over headed swing at his son, who blocked it easily, "Shouldn't it be her choice who she does and doesn't want to be with?"

"She already has," stated Adam, giving his father a kick, "Everyone knows that."

"I don't," said Randor, "Sure she stares at He-Man's arms, I've even seen Marlena giving his backside a peak once," Randor stated not noticing Adam visibly flinching. "What I mean to say is, Adam, she doesn't know He-Man. Sure he shows up to save the day, but she knows next to nothing about him. You know I used to feel just like you. When Marlena first came to this world, I was positive she was in love with my best friend, Keldor."

"WHAT?" Adam asked almost dropping his sword.

 "Its true, she treated me like the best friend, then when she looked at Keldor the tough mysterious type. But I'll never forget something your mother said to me once," Randor stated with a smile, "she told me you flirt with the larger then life guys, but you fall in love with your best friend." Randor then went for a swing, but Adam countered it, this time the Sword of Power breaking the Randor's sword in half. "Wow, that's a sword, son," He said looking at the broken handle of his sword, "Where did you say you got that sword?"

"Uh," Adam gulped, "Man-At-Arms gave it to my on my last birthday."

"Yes, that's right," Randor said dismissing the subject, "Anyway, you get my idea, son, don't give up on her. Teela just might surprise you."

The King then walked up to his son, and placed his arm around his shoulder, "Come on, its time for breakfast, son. You know I just realized something, you and He-Man fight alike," he stated, smiling ahead of them, not noticing his son growing pale. "Only difference is I believe you could take him, if you fought like you did just now. It is very good for Skeletor that you don't like combat, if you did he would stand a prayer!" 

---

Adam and Randor walked into the dining hall where all the Masters were gathered, Adam took his usual place and noticed Teela and Man-At-Arms were absent.

"Congratulations, my young prince," Stratos said in his usual noble voice, standing up and bowing at Adam and the King.

"Yeah, Adam," Buzz Off cheered, "You're gonna be in for one heck of a honeymoon taming a wild cat like her!"

"Are you kidding," Makenek laughed, "She's going to be the one taming him. It's obvious she already had him wrapped around her pinky for years!"

The room erupted with laughter with Adam blushing madly and Randor even letting out a faint chuckle.

All laughter halted as Man-At-Arms and Teela walked into the dinning hall. "Good morning, all," Duncan said taking his seat, and Teela giving a shy nod toward Adam before taking her seat.

 "Now for your breakfast dinning entertainment," Orko's voice boomed from the doorway, "Man-E-Faces and Orko proudly presents … a grand play!"

"This is a play that was written just last night," Man-E-Faces said proudly, "In honor of two very special young people, ladies and gentlemen, fellow Masters of the Universe, Orko and Man-E-Faces proudly presents:"

Then in unison they proclaimed, "The Courtship of Adam and Teela!"

"Pardon?" Teela asked as her eyes grew wide and her face grew red, while Adam just slammed his forehead onto the table, and proceeded to bang it over and over again.

Teela started to stand but Man-At-Arms grabbed her shoulder and forced her back down in her seat. Causing Orko and Man-E bodily harm would not help matters.

"Can this get any worse?" Adam asked his face still planted on the table. A loud explosion answered the question. "Why me? Why always me?"

"Your Highness!" A guard cried running in, "Skeletor and his forces are at the front gate!"

"Good," Teela smiled, "I really needed to vent some frustration," She said popping her knuckles. Then Adam running down the opposite hallway caught her attention, "Adam!" She cried starting to go after him, but Man-At-Arms grabbed her arm.

"He'll be alright," He said activating his battle armor, "We're needed outside."

"But …" She started, but looked back the way he went sadly, "Alright, I guess. Lets go."

--

"Here come the Masters, Skeletor," Beastman growled as the group ran out and engaged Skeletor's minions in combat.

"Get the red headed daughter of Man-At-Arms, Teena," Skeletor ordered, "We can use the Princess-to-be as ransom in exchange for entry into Castle Grayskull!"

"Teela," Evil Lyn corrected with a smirk.

"Whatever," Skeletor growled, "just get her!"  

"Let me handle her," Evil Lyn said dully, "I'd like one last good fight out of her before she becomes a pampered princess."

Evil Lyn then looked over the melee and spotted Teela whacking Clawful in the head with her cobra staff. "Hello Your Future Highness," Lyn said, giving her a mock bow, "I almost pity you, you know, Teela. It's pretty obvious that your husband to be lacks the proper equipment to give you children."

"What was that?" Teela asked narrowing her eyes and holding the snake-end of her staff toward the dark witch.

"You heard me," Lyn smiled, "Tis sad that the wife has more balls then the husband, but I realize it's not your doing. Shame you can not be with He-Man."

"Do not talk about Adam like that," Teela growled, anger boiling off her.

"Like what?" Evil Lyn smiled, "I just speak the truth, where is he now? Why isn't he by his future wife's side?"

Teela opened her mouth but shut it back, her face going from angry to an almost sad expression.

"That's what I thought," Evil Lyn laughed, "He's probably hiding in his bed room cuddling his little Kitty- UMPH!" she grunted as she fell forward almost on top of Teela.

"That's enough of that," He-Man said coldly looking down at the fallen witch. He then looked back at the other minions and drew his sword, "Ok, who's next?"

"Oh Ancients!" Tri-Klops gulped, "It's the Ex!"

"He's bad enough when he's normal," Whiplash gulped, eyes widening, "He's probably mad now! Run!"

Trapjaw then eased up and picked up the knocked out Evil Lyn then dashed away from He-Man as if he'd be killed instantly by He-Man's stare, then the entire group ran past Skeletor toward Beastman's griffins, "You cowards! He-Man's the other way!" Skeletor barked pointing, "Where are you going, you imbeciles?"

Skeletor then looked back toward the number of Masters and especially He-Man who had the Sword of Power drawn and was marching toward him. "Perhaps retreat is the best option," Skeletor said lowly, back stepping toward the griffins, "You'll be hearing from me again, He-Man!"   

He-Man watched them go then sheathed the Sword of Power. "Well that's a day," He said walking back toward the Masters, "Everyone alright?"

"We're alright," Man-At-Arms stated, standing beside Battle Cat.

"He-Man, before you go again," Teela spoke up, "May I … May I speak with you for a moment?" She asked sheepishly.

"Ohh boy," Makenek gulped as He-Man and Teela walked away from the group.

"This could be good, or it could be bad," Man-At-Arms whispered to Battle Cat, who nodded worriedly.

---

"This about your arranged engagement with Prince Adam?" He-Man asked nervously scratching the back of his head, not noticing Teela's studious gaze.

"Yes it is," Teela said softly, gnawing on her bottom lip slightly.

"So …" He-Man started kicking the ground subconsciously.

"So …" Teela echoed watching his every move.

Teela then said something very quickly that He-Man didn't understand. "Teela, calm down, take a deep breath," He-Man said softly resting his hand on her trembling shoulder, "It's me, you know you can trust me," He said, though he felt like his heart was being crushed in a vise.

Teela breathed deeply, then looked up into He-Man's deep blue eyes, "I love you," She stated boldly.

He-Man's eyes widened and he felt the vise close in and crush his heart, "What?" He asked hoping he heard wrong.

"I said …" She spoke sheepishly, "I love you, I'm in love with you …" She said more, but He-Man didn't hear it. She loved He-Man, not Adam, and it couldn't of hurt more if she had stabbed him in the chest.

"I've got to … Sorceress … Grayskull …" He-Man stumbled backwards, then turning, "Battle Cat!" He called out. A moment later his faithful partner was at his side. He-Man quickly jumping into the armor saddle, and rode off into the distance, vaguely hearing Teela calling after him.

He-Man rode the mighty tiger deep into the great forest, and finally brought him to a stop. He walked toward a gigantic tree and began to punch it with such force that after four hits the tree was reduced to splinters. He continued to punch the stump of the shattered tree till he collapsed to his knees. Then for the first time, the most powerful man in the universe cried.

---

"What have I done?" Teela asked herself as she walked into her bedroom, letting down her ponytail, "I shouldn't have said that, I really shouldn't have." She then turned on the water and began filling up her tub for a bubble bath, "Way he acted, he didn't even hear everything I told him," She sighed as she slide out of her garments and undergarments, then turning off the water.

"How can I face He-Man and Adam now?" she then stepped into the tub and slid down where only her head above her nose was visible. 'What am I going to do?' she asked herself tears dripping into the soapy water. 

She then dunked her own head, to wash her ginger hair then brought her back up above water, and let out a sigh and a shake of the head, futilely trying to figure a way to fix things. But none came, so she settled for doing a fascinating study of her toes as they wiggled above the water level.

---

Meanwhile, Man-At-Arms was fiddling with a new weapon, when Adam and Cringer walked in. Adam was looking at the ground, letting his golden bangs hide his eyes, and Cringer drug along behind him, watching his master worriedly.

"You alright, Adam?" Duncan asked, watching the teenager worriedly.

"She loves … him," Adam said quietly, lowering himself down into a chair.

"What you don't-" Man-At-Arms started but Adam cut him off.

"She told it to HIS face," Adam stated sadly.

"Oh," was all Man-At-Arms could say, as he looked strangely at the young man. "Well," he started trying to think of a way to help, "You ARE He-Man, Adam, if she loves him, doesn't that mean she loves you too?"

"No, we're not the same person, Duncan," Adam said pounding the table, "He-Man always comes to her rescue, while I abandon her and run away from even the slightest hint of trouble. We're totally different in her eyes."

"I don't know about that," Duncan mused, "why don't you just try talking with her. You, not He-Man, and try telling her the truth."

"What happened to no one can know that He-Man and I are one and the same?" Adam asked with the same lack of emotion.

"Exceptions can be made to any rule, Adam," Man-At-Arms stated, giving the young man a smile, "It's almost time for dinner. I was going to go get her, but if you'd save a old man a trip up to her room, I'd be thankful if you'd go and fetch her."

Adam nodded, 'might as well get this over with,' he thought before walking toward the door. "We'll be right down, Duncan."

Duncan watched the young prince leave, before looking at a photograph of Teela on his desk, "Mind your steps, Teela," he spoke as if she could hear him, "mind your steps …"

---

Adam walked up the stairs toward Teela's bedchamber, and unconsciously opened the door and walked in, "Teela, it's about Dinner time," He said as he looked up, "Your father sent me to …" he started but drug off when their eyes met. She was standing across the room, before the bath tube in the corner of the room. She had just gotten out of her bubble bath, and only a few stray patches of bubbles covered her bare tanned skin. And all she did was stare in return.

Blink

Blink

Blink

Blink

And then the two screaming voices echoed through out the palace and most of the city of Eternos.

 A moment later, the Masters battle ready stormed into Teela's bedroom, and were froze at the sight of a mortified Teela trying to cover herself with a towel.

"Son!" King Randor scolded, "This is no way to act before your married!"

"So, the guy got a sneak peak at the honeymoon," Buzz Off shrugged, "What's the big deal?"

The all then broke into conversation over the situation, while Teela stood wide eyed, red faced mortified, while Adam just stood staring wide eyed.

"You, all of you," Teela started her voice growing louder, "GET OUT!!!!!!!"

 This brought an end to the conversations and brought Adam out of his trance, and they all tried to get out of her door at the same time. Once they finally got out and closed the door behind them, they all stood there nervously. 

"Way to go, Adam!" Makenek cheered, but the prince just looked away with red tint to his cheeks.

"That's enough, Makenek," King Randor scolded, "We will all apologize for our intrusion of Teela's privacy. As soon as she's properly dressed."

 A moment later, Teela's head poked out of a half opened door, and her angry eyes fell on her fiancée, "You all may go, apology accepted, but …Adam, get in here. Now."

Adam gulped and his father patted his back, "Bout time you took something like a man," Buzz Off commented but grunted when Man-At-Arms elbowed him in the rib area.

Adam walked into the bedroom, and noticed Teela still had her hair down, but at least was now in a bathrobe. "Sit," She ordered pointing to her bed.

Adam looked at her questioningly, but upon seeing the fire in her blue-green eyes he did as told. "We need to talk," Teela said her voice growing softer.

"About what?" Adam said hurt evident in his voice, "I already know you're in love with He-Man, yet you are being forced to marry me. He-Man told me you told him that." He said, spitting the last part out quickly.

"You're half right, I am in love with He-Man," Teela confessed looking toward the door.

Adam felt sick, he started to stand to leave, but Teela gripped his shoulders and forced him to sit back down. "We're not finished yet," She said forcefully, but then turned toward the door, "This demands privacy," She said opening the door and majority of the Masters and the King tumbled into her room. "Do you mind giving me and Adam a little privacy to speak?" She hissed as they all fought to their feet and dashed out the door.

She then closed the door and walked back toward Adam, "As I was saying to He-Man yesterday," She began, and Adam began looking for a way to escape. "I am in love with him, but do you know why, Adam?"

Adam looked up, even though he really didn't want to know, a part of him did.

"I love how He-Man's smile is higher on one side, just like yours, Adam," Teela stated, looking him directly in the eye, "I love how his eyes sparkle when he laughs, and grow dark when he's serious, just like yours. I love how his hair frames his face exactly the same way as yours, and is the exact same color as yours. I love how when he's nervous he scratches the back of his head and kicks the ground, exactly like you do. And I especially love he's always there for me in a battle, and he's the first one to check on me afterwards." She then rested her hand on Adam's cheek, "You see, Adam, even though I don't know how or why, I love him because He-Man's you."

Adam just stared, did she mean what he thinks she means? "Adam, say something," Teela half ordered half pleaded. All Adam could think is if this was another dream, he never wanted to wake up.

"Does that mean? That you?" Adam stuttered, "You … me …"

"Does this answer your question?" Teela smiled as she pressed her lips to his. Adam froze for a moment before he brought his hands around her small frame and pulled her toward him. She sat down across his lap and ran her hands through his shaggy golden blond hair, neither showing signs of wanting to break the kiss.

Adam finally, through lack of air instead of lack of interest, broke the kiss and looked into her eyes, "So I take it the arranged wedding's still on?"

Teela then looked away then looked back, "Only if you do whatever you do to become He-Man for the honeymoon," Adam grimaced. "I'm kidding, I actually like you better like you are now," She said, moving in for another kiss. Adam kissed her back and pulled her down on her bed, and began to kiss her neck.

"Hey, the King and Man-At-Arms sent me to see if Adam was still alive …" Orko said popping into the room, but freezing in fear at the sight before him, "Opps … Heehee … I'll be going now …" he gulped disappearing again.

"Well," Teela said sitting up, "There goes the mood, remind me to beat the jester up later."

"I'll leave you to get dressed," Adam said standing up, "See you down stairs."

"Ok," Teela said picking up her clothing from her dresser.

"Oh and Teela," Adam said as he started out the door, "Love you."

Teela blushed for a moment, but smiled back at him, "love you too. Now get out of here, before our fathers get bad thoughts."

Adam laughed and walked out closing the door behind her. And Teela threw herself down on the bed.

Then two people on opposite side of a wall said in unison "Yes!"

---

A week pasted by and once again Grayskull found itself under attack by Skeletor's forces. The Masters arrived just in time to cut off Skeletor and gang from getting in firing range of the Jawbridge.

"Adam," Teela called out spinning her staff, knocking the whip from Whiplash's hand, "I thought I saw something over there behind those rocks," She said with a wink, as Adam smiled in understanding, and ran in that direction.

Meanwhile on a tower of Grayskull Castle, the Sorceress watched the battle. "She's quite helpful to him, Man-At-Arms," the Sorceress spoke as Man-At-Arms walked up beside her.

"I always figured she would be," Man-At-Arms stated as He-Man entered the battle and taking Teela's side, "She's strong and faithful … just like her mother."

"Perhaps stronger," Sorceress said, a smile fighting to form on her lips, "Now the Guardians of Grayskull are together, this was fate."

"Any luck figuring out exactly what that means?" Man-At-Arms asked, watching Teela and He-Man fight as near one.

"Yes," She said softly.

"And you won't tell me."

"You know I cannot, Duncan," She said sadly.

"Teelina …" Man-At-Arms started, "Whatever her destiny is, Adam won't let her face it alone. I won't either."

"I know," the Sorceress replied, "That alone makes me happy, but …"

"But?"

"You are quite lucky we only had but one child, Duncan."

"Why's that?" Man-At-Arms asked in mild enjoyment.

"Because if you pulled something like you and King Randor pulled again," Sorceress said, turning around to glare at him, but her eyes sparkled in a way Man-At-Arms hasn't seen in years, "I think you would prefer death to what I would do to you." 

"Is that a fact?" Duncan asked smiling yet back stepping. "Sorceress? What are you? Uh Sorceress? Teelina? TEELINA? NOT THE LIGHTENING!!!!"

--

"What's wrong, Teela?" He-Man asked lowly as Clawful fell unconscious from his blow.

"Nothing, I just thought I saw lightening." Teela shrugged, she then looked and saw the retreating forces. "Well that's it. You guys can head on back," She said looking at the other Masters, "While He-Man and I look for my lost Fiancée." They all nodded and He-Man and Teela disappeared into the forest while the other Masters started back toward the palace, none noticing the missing Man-At-Arms, who was now flinching at the Sorceress's feet.

"That … really hurt …" Man-At-Arms grunted.

She smiled down at him. "Idiot."

"Oh really?" he replied. Man-At-Arms quickly grasped her ankle and with an 'eep' she joined him on the floor, "seventeen years dealing with your temper has given me a little tolerance." before she could reply he pulled her close.

"Adam and Teela may come up looking for us," the Sorceress whispered, eyeing the stairs leading down into the castle tower.

"It'll take them hours to find their way here," He said in a husky voice, "We've got some time to kill."

"And what do you suggest?" She asked, a mischievous smile on her own lips.

"I think we can figure something out …"

THE END