This is my first ever He-man fic, though I have wrote other fan fiction such as The X-Files, Smallville, and wrestling. (I have a lot of interests, lol.) I decided to write this because I'm always searching the web trying to find fics that actually focus on Adam and his "relationships" with the important people in his life. I'm not saying they're not out there, but they are rare. This story has a little bit of everything in it: romance, action, torture, humor, etc. Also, this fic focuses on the 80's version of the MOTU, but I might make slight changes here and there for literary purposes, but they'll be subtle, I think. I'll go ahead and admit that I don't know how this fic will turn out yet, so it'll be an adventure for all of us. I hope you enjoy it enough to respond and tell me to keep going. Thanks.
He loved days like this. The day was warm with a slight breeze blowing just enough to make it comfortable, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky to hint at a chance of rain. It was the perfect day to find a nice shady spot and just relax in the serenity Eternia had seemingly found. Prince Adam looked back at the palace walls of Eternos behind him, almost expecting to see Teela run out and get onto him for missing yet another combat lesson. Of course, it could always be worse. It could be Man-at-Arms running out to tell him Skeletor was attacking the Widgets Castle again, or even the Sorceress using telepathy to tell him Skeletor found another possible way of taking over Castle Grayskull.
He shook his head at the palace, sighed, and turned back to look in front of him. Cringer was already ten feet in front of him walking towards the Evergreen Forest.
The prince immediately jogged after the large green and yellow tiger saying, "Wait, old buddy. Where are you running off to in such a hurry?"
Cringer stopped with almost pleading eyes. "I w-want to get away from here before Trap Jaw sh-sh-shows up and tries to shoot at us, or Evil Lyn tries to turn us into frogs, or whatever else she can think of. I could use a break, Adam."
These words surprised the young prince. Even though Cringer had never particularly liked their obligations and duties to Grayskull and all of Eternia, he never really admitted to wanting to run away from them either. "I can't blame him, though," Adam thought to himself. "He-Man and Battlecat have made an appearance everyday this week. I think Skeletor is trying to wear us thin…and it's working."
Adam reached down and scratched behind Cringer's ears. "You're right, old friend."
Cringer's eyes widened for only a second before asking, "I..I am?"
Adam nodded. "Yeah, I know He-Man and Battlecat have been so busy recently. It's time we got away from the palace and just relaxed. How long as it been since you and I just spent a carefree day doing nothing but what we pleased?
Cringer smiled and said, "Now, you're talkin'." Without giving Adam anytime to say anything, he eagerly ran towards the forest.
"Hey, Cringer! WAIT UP," Adam yelled as he smiled and ran off after his companion.
Marlena watched her son run after his pet from a high tower behind the palace walls. She had been worried about Adam over the past few weeks. He hadn't seemed like his usual carefree and go-lucky self. He always seemed exhausted and stressed, moreso than usual, but that didn't make sense for a boy who spent all his time having fun and being lazy. No, it didn't make sense at all. For the thousandth time, Marlena couldn't help but wonder what her son did every time he went away from the palace. What on Eternia kept pulling him away? What happened that always made him return tired and ready for a nap even though he knew it would upset Teela, and more importantly, his father? In other words, what was he hiding?
She didn't like the thought that Adam was hiding something from her. She had told Randor and the entire court several times in passing that Adam would always be her child, and she meant that. She hated to think that Adam, her own child, felt as though he couldn't trust her, that he couldn't talk to her about what was going on in his life. She shook her head to clear it of her thoughts. Contemplating her son's life always gave her a headache, because she could never quite figure him out. She used to be able to read him like a book. She dropped her head and looked down at her hands feeling absolutely confused. "Oh, Adam," she whispered to herself, "Why won't you let me in?"
"Did you say something, my dear?"
Marlena turned around and saw her husband stroll up to her. He put his hands on the guardrail around the terrace and looked out onto his kingdom.
"Nothing important," Marlena answered softly. "I was just talking to myself."
King Randor smiled and said, "Careful. We don't want everyone to think they have a queen who has conversations with herself."
Marlena knew he was trying to be funny, but in her opinion, it failed miserably. She looked over the lands her husband was studying and wondered where her son was. She nodded slowly just to acknowledge Randor's statement.
Randor glanced at his wife. Her posture was so rigid that he was sure she was going to snap in two at any second. Her shoulders were held so straight, but it wasn't an attempt to make herself look proper or stern. It looked like she was trying to hold herself together. This was obvious from her facial expression she was about to break down any second; she had a look of concern on her face. Her lips were slightly turned downward and her eyes seemed to run across their lands as if looking for something she knew should be there but was missing.
He stepped closer to his wife and put a strong arm around her waist. Marlena immediately looked up at him in response. Randor turned to face her slightly, raised his other hand, and cupped her cheek. "What's wrong, Marlena? I've noticed you haven't been yourself recently. You're so quiet, even when we're alone, like something's on your mind."
Marlena couldn't help but laugh at the irony. "I guess we're too peas in a pod," she muttered to herself.
Marlena looked back over the lands and fanned her left hand out as if the motion would explain everything. She held her hand out for a second and paused, unsure if she should really tell her husband what was on her mind.
The king wasn't going to give her much choice. "Marlena," Randor pushed softly.
She looked up, smiled, and said, "I was talking about Adam."
Randor looked down into the queen's eyes and asked, "What about Adam?"
"Well, surely you've noticed, since you've noticed the exact same thing in me. He's been so out-of-character recently."
Randor pulled away from his wife and laid both of his hands on the guardrail. He looked as if he was in deep thought, but then he shook his head slowly and said, "No, I haven't noticed anything different with Adam. In fact, I've barely seen him over the last few weeks. He's always skipping our meetings, and when he does show up, he's late. He's always sleeping or running off having his so-called 'fun.' I swear, Marlena, I don't know what I'm going to do with that boy sometimes. I wish he would take his royal duties more seriously…No, I don't think our son has been out-of-character. If anything, I think he needs to be a little out-of-character. Maybe he'd improve. Maybe he'd…" Randor trailed off as he saw the expression on his wife's face.
Marlena was staring at her husband like he had grown a second head. "I can't believe you," she said loudly, flapping her arms. Then she quieted down and shook her head. "I don't know," she whispered after a few seconds of silence. "Maybe it is just me. I just feel…so confused when it comes to Adam, recently."
Randor turned his back towards the kingdom and leaned against the railing to face the queen. "What do you mean?"
"Randor," she said sadly, "I feel like our son is a complete stranger to us. Do you ever stop to wonder where he runs off to all the time? And, I'm not talking about just during battles. Like now, where he is? And, he's always so tired when he's here at the palace, but why? What's he doing that's tiring him out so much? I just…I don't know. I just hate the fact that our son doesn't talk to us like he used to. Remember when he was younger? He used to tell us everything. He used to talk about his future. He used to be such a lively young man. What's happened?"
Randor sighed and shook his head. "I don't know," he admitted. "I've always summed up Adam's laziness to being exactly that: laziness. I've never really wondered about where our son runs off to all the time while he's out having fun. I figure he's always out at the pond fishing or sleeping under a tree somewhere…" He scratched his chin and then said, "But it takes Teela hours to find him sometimes, and if he were in those places, she would find him almost immediately. I don't know where he goes or what he does, Marlena." He trailed off with a look of concern flashing across his features.
After seeing his face, Marlena quickly rushed into her husband's arms and cried, "Do you think we're losing our son? Do you think we've already lost him?"
Randor held her tightly and shook his head. "No," he said firmly. "We haven't lost him, but I do think it's time he and I have a little heart to heart and talk about this."
Randor walked into his friend's workshop and immediately smiled. Duncan had his hands in the air, waving them frantically as he talked to the little Trollan who always seemed to get a raise out of the usually calm Man-at-Arms
"Orko, if I told you once, I've told you a thousand times, stay out of my workshop! You always manage to destroy something! Now, you've destroyed my latest invention which would help He-Man keep a constant eye on Castle Grayskull. Do you realize how many weeks this puts me back?"
"I'm sorry, Man-at-Arms," Orko said softly, pleading for the older man to forgive him.
The king cleared his throat and immediately got their attention.
"Your Majesty," Duncan said after turning to Randor. "Is there something I can help you with?" He was immediately alarmed because the king rarely made unexpected visits to his workshop.
Randor nodded and said, "Yes, there is, Duncan. I need to talk to you about something rather important." He looked at the other individual in the room and said, "Orko, why don't you find Teela and tell her to find Prince Adam. I need to speak with him."
"Oh, right away," Orko said energetically, as he moved his fingers frantically and disappeared.
Once Orko was gone, Man-at-Arms was at his king's side and put a hand on his shoulder. "Is everything alright, Your Majesty?"
Randor looked at Duncan and said softly, "I honestly don't know, anymore, Duncan."
Man-at-Arms squeezed his shoulder, but Randor immediately pulled away and walked to the other side of the room. Duncan stayed put and watched Randor walk around nervously. "Marlena and I had a talk about Adam this afternoon."
Duncan swallowed roughly. He knew in his bones that this could be bad, very bad, but he didn't say anything. He knew his job was to lend an ear to his king and not interrupt.
"She's very worried. She asked some questions this afternoon that I never even bothered to ask. I think the reason I never did was because I was scared." He looked into Duncan's eyes and said, "I was scared to know the truth. I was scared of what the answers might be, that my son is…"
Duncan stood there waiting for Randor to go on. He waited for what seemed like an eternity. "What is it, Your Majesty?"
Randor walked up to Duncan and looked straight into his eyes. "Adam is hiding something from me, isn't he?"
Duncan froze. Never before had King Randor or Queen Marlena cornered him with such questions concerning their son. He never even saw it coming. Why were they asking him? How much did they already know? The king looked at him with such hopeful eyes. What could he say? He knew he couldn't tell him the truth. He had promised Adam and the Sorceress never to reveal the secret, but he had also sworn his allegiance to the king. He shook his head and cleared his throat. After a second, he looked down slightly, so he wouldn't have to make direct eye contact with Randor.
"What makes you think Adam is hiding anything, Your Majesty? I see no indication…"
Randor sighed and walked away. "I don't really expect you to have answers, Duncan. I don't even know if I expect you to understand. Teela is so different from Adam. She's always so open to you. She talks to you about all her problems. She has always went out of her way to make you proud."
"Are you saying Adam doesn't make you proud?"
Randor whirled back around to face Duncan. "I'm not saying that at all. Adam does make me proud. It's just that I'm starting to wonder why Adam never talks to me or Marlena anymore. He's always out supposedly having fun, and yet, when he returns, he never speaks about any of it. He's always so tired and worn down, but why? Is it really just laziness? I'm not so sure, anymore. Marlena and I hate to think our son is keeping secrets from us…which is why I have decided to speak to him this afternoon."
"What are you going to say," Duncan asked worriedly.
Randor shrugged and said, "I don't know, Duncan. I just want to look into my son's eyes and know that he's telling me the truth. I want to assure Marlena and myself that he isn't hiding anything from us and that we're not losing him."
Duncan frowned but firmly stated, "You're not losing him. Of that, I am positive."
Randor nodded slowly and whispered, "I hope you're right."
Adam followed Cringer deep into the Evergreen Forest until the tiger finally stopped at a large tree, circled around in place several times, and settled down. Cringer immediately closed his eyes as Adam walked up to him and Adam said, "I guess I know what you want to do, today."
Cringer's only response was a wiggle of his tail and a yawn.
Adam laughed. "Who am I to argue?" He sat down, leaned back, and used Cringer's side as a pillow. He closed his eyes and tried to lose himself in Dreamland. Just as consciousness was about to slip away, Adam heard a high-pitched laugh that he could belong to only one person: Skeletor.
After hearing the laugh, Cringer immediately woke up, as well, and whispered, "On second thought, Adam, let's go back to the p-p-palace. They might need us there."
As the tiger stood up, Adam shushed him and crept over to some nearby bushes. He pushed a few of the branches aside and saw Skeletor, Beastman, Evil Lyn, and Trap Jaw circled around a large ball of bright light. Each of them held their arms up as Skeletor chanted, "I, Skeletor, command you, Magic Orb, to grow from our hate! Grow so big that even Castle Grayskull will crumble before your might!"
Adam watched, horrified, as the bright yellow orb turned black and immediately floated into the air and started growing. When it reached the size of a Windraider, Adam turned back to Cringer and said, "Come on." They ran a few yards, and Adam quickly reached behind him, grabbed the Power Sword, held it up, and yelled, "By the Power of Grayskull…"
Instantaneously, Prince Adam transformed into He-Man, and Cringer was now Battlecat. He-Man ran to Battlecat, climbed on top of him, and said, "Come on, old friend. We have a date with Skeletor."
Battlecat let out a loud yell and ran as fast as he could towards the orb that was already big enough to be visible from this distance.
Skeletor heard Battlecat's cry and said, "What was that?" He turned and saw his enemies rushing towards him.
"He-Man," Skeletor cried, as they came to a stop before him. "I didn't expect you to know about my plan so soon. No matter. My plan will work out better than anticipated. You're too late, He-Man. This present is meant for the Sorceress of Grayskull, not you."
Skeletor raised his Havoc Staff and said, "Magic Orb, fly to Grayskull and let the Sorceress feel our might. Today, we shall not fail."
The orb flew into the sky and tore branches off the trees as it went.
He-Man knew he had no time to deal with Skeletor and his minions. He jumped off of Battlecat and ran after the orb as fast as he could. Battlecat was following from behind. He-Man could hear Skeletor's laugh and he increased his speed. His muscles began screaming at him for release from the abuse he was now putting himself through, but he tried to ignore the pain. He knew he had never put this much effort into running before, but the orb was still ahead of him. He wasn't going to make it.
He-Man continued to run, but he closed his eyes for a second, concentrated, and said, "Sorceress."
The Sorceress's voice came to him and her concern was evident. "He-Man? What is wrong? I sense great pain and alarm from you."
He-Man looked at the orb and said, "I need your help. Can you bring me to the gate of Grayskull? A magical orb from Skeletor is on its way to Grayskull to tear it down."
The Sorceress' voice was strained as she said, "I will try."
He-Man knew the Sorceress was his only hope now. He could see Grayskull in the distance and the orb was gaining in speed and size. "Come on, Sorceress," he begged. "Do it."
It seemed like the it was taking forever, so He-Man focused all of his strength and all of his energy into running. He was finally gaining on the orb, but suddenly he disappeared and found himself on the bridge of Grayskull. He watched as the orb lowered itself to the ground as it sped towards him. It was going to try to ram the drawbridge.
He-Man's muscles were still screaming at him but he crouched down and prepared to catch the orb. He knew he could not let the orb past him. He had no other option. The Sorceress was at the window and said to him, "Don't worry, He-Man. I shall help you." The orb finally reached the bridge of Grayskull and zoomed across it. It finally collided with He-Man's massive arms.
He-Man pushed the orb with all of his might. Every so often the orb would make him take two steps back but then he would quickly regain the distance he lost. Soon, He-Man was grunting because of the sheer effort and strength he was giving to keep this orb from destroying Grayskull. He-Man knew he couldn't keep this up for much longer. He could feel himself tiring and his muscles were begging for release. Just as he thought he was going to drop, a bright white light came from behind He-Man's shoulders and took some of the pressure of the orb off of him.
"He-Man," the Sorceress called out. "I cannot hold it for long. We need to destroy it and destroy it now. You need to use all your power and strength in one instant. It's the only chance we have."
He-Man couldn't speak. He could only nod and he hoped the Sorceress saw it. Immediately, He-Man dropped his arms from the orb and in that second, the Sorceress used her powers to hold the orb in place while He-Man mustered all the strength he could and gave the orb one powerful punch. The orb exploded and shook the ground for miles around, but Grayskull remained unscathed.
Once the orb was gone, He-Man looked around for any sign of Skeletor. When he saw none, he immediately closed his eyes and fell into darkness.
The sky was growing a dark purple as the sun set. Teela walked into the palace from the courtyard with a look of frustration on her face.
"Did you find him?"
Startled, Teela jumped and looked behind her to see her father walking up to her.
"No," she said angrily. "I cannot believe Adam! He's always disappearing, and it's always my job to find him. What am I going to say when I tell the king I can't find his son? It's not only going to be bad for him, but for me, as well. I'm his bodyguard. I'm supposed to be with him at all times when he leaves the palace. Do you think he cares about that at all? No! He seems to take pleasure in doing everything he can to defy me and his father."
Duncan shook his head and said, "Teela, he is the Prince of Eternia, so he isn't 'defying' you. Maybe the boy wanted a break and decided to spend some time alone. He has every right to it."
"A break from what," Teela said sarcastically. "From everyone getting on to him about his goofing off? I swear, Father, sometimes I could strangle him." She paused for a second and said, "Well, I guess I better go ahead and tell King Randor that Adam is nowhere to be found…again." She stomped off towards the throne room while Man-at-Arms rubbed under his chin and thought about the day's events.
He hadn't seen Adam all day, and that was very unusual. Normally, he would come to him to talk about the latest feat He-Man had done or what was troubling him. He hadn't heard a peep all day long, nor had he seen Cringer. He didn't know if he should be worried or not. It was very likely that Adam did decide to get away like he had just explained to Teela. Adam and Cringer had been very busy this week dealing with Skeletor's foolish antics day after day. They were both probably very tired. If only he knew for certain…
Man-at-Arms turned in the opposite direction of the throne room and decided to go to Prince Adam's chambers. Maybe Adam had managed to sneak inside the palace without anyone noticing him. As Duncan reached the doorway, he suddenly lifted his right arm to his forehead. He felt the Sorceress reaching out to him.
"Duncan," she said, "There is no need going in there. Adam is not inside. He's here at Castle Grayskull."
Silently, Duncan asked, "Sorceress, why is he there? Is there something wrong?"
The Sorceress ignored his questions. "Come to Grayskull, Man-at-Arms. Adam needs you."
Duncan spun around so quickly prepared to run but quickly stopped when he came face to face with King Randor. "Sire," he cried, "You scared me half to death."
Randor nodded and said, "I'm sorry, Duncan. It's just that Teela hasn't been able to find Adam. Have you seen him; is he in his bedchambers?"
Duncan shook his head and quickly said, "No, Your Majesty." Duncan turned his head, sighed, and looked towards a nearby window, which was pointed to the direction of Castle Grayskull.
The king followed his gaze. "Is something bothering you, Man-at-Arms?"
Duncan nodded and said, "I just learned of something that needs my immediate attention, Sire. I don't mean to run out on you, Your Highness, when you need me, but this is an urgent matter."
Randor nodded, reached up, and squeezed the man's shoulder. "Go, Duncan. We can discuss Adam and this urgent matter later."
"Thank you, Your Majesty," Man-at-Arms said and nearly ran away from the king.
King Randor watched his man-at-arms leaving, sighed, and whispered, "Well, Adam, it looks like we won't have a mediator when you return to the palace." He went to Adam's bedchamber and slipped inside. He'd stay there all night if he had to.
Man-at-Arms stood before Castle Grayskull and shivered. The place had never been very cosy like the palace, but something was different tonight. It gave off an ire of discontentment. Something was wrong, very wrong. As he approached the entrance, the drawbridge lowered suddenly without warning. He was shocked to see neither the Sorceress nor Adam greeting him.
He walked into the castle and it was eerily quiet. He looked around and was halfway expecting Skeletor to jump out at him any second. "Sorceress," Man-at-Arms yelled. "Adam!"
Suddenly, the Sorceress' voice could be heard. "Over here, Duncan."
Duncan followed the voice past the Sorceress' throne room into a bedroom. He was shocked to find the Sorceress sitting on the bed watching over a sleeping He-Man. Battlecat was on the other side of the bed watching He-Man intently. The animal didn't look up or make a sound to acknowledge his presence. He went to the bed and looked at He-Man. Even though he was sleeping, he looked very tired, almost like he hadn't slept in months.
"What's wrong with him," he asked and immediately cringed. His voice sounded foreign even to his own ears. It sounded weak and afraid, too afraid to ask because it would make this all seem to real.
The Sorceress looked up and said, "He's very tired, Duncan. Skeletor attacked Grayskull once again this afternoon, and it's put a strain on him. He had to use more power than he's accustomed to frequently in a short period of time today. His body is exhausted."
Duncan swallowed and with a shaky voice asked, "Is that all? Is he okay?"
The Sorceress nodded. "He's going to be very sore and tired for a while, but he isn't injured, if that's what you mean." She looked back at He-Man and brushed her fingers against He-Man's cheek.
He-Man opened his eyes and it took him a second to focus them on the Sorceress. "It's time to go back to the palace," she said.
He-Man slowly got out of bed and once again he felt the now familiar burn of his muscles screaming at him. He let out a groan and stood up. He finally noticed Duncan was in the room and slowly started making his way towards him. Once he reached him, He-Man leaned back to the bed, picked up his sword, slowly held it up and said in a weak voice, "Let the power return."
Man-at-Arms quickly grabbed one of Prince Adam's arms and threw it over his shoulder. The prince opened his mouth to protest, but Duncan shook his head, slipped left arm around Adam's waist and said, "You're exhausted and I'm not taking any chances of you falling over. Let's go home, son."
Adam didn't utter a word. He let Duncan help him to the AttackTrac, and Cringer followed, also not saying a word. Once they were inside, Prince Adam laid across the backseat and closed his eyes. Cringer laid down on the floor in front of him and never took his eyes off of his master.