Author's Notes: Hi, everyone. Here is another of my one shots, this time focusing on He-man and the Masters of the Universe. I was looking through the He-man section of this site and found there were no fics dedicated to Cringer, Adam's cowardly yet friendly tiger. I had always wondered what his life was like before Adam found him as a cub. This fic explores what his life might have been like before becoming Adam's pet. I hope you enjoy it. Any constructive criticism is welcome.
The stars shine brightly across the Eternian night sky as I gaze at them on the balcony of Adam's room. I feel a gentle breeze whip around me and touch every inch of my body. I listen to the soft breathing of Adam sleeping in his bed. Sounds of different animals echo through my mind. I let out a long yawn and smack my lips. I wish every night could be as peaceful as this one. Sadly, I know that isn't the case. Eternia is in the middle of fighting a brutal war with Skeletor and his Evil Warriors. It has been going on for so many years that it is taking its toll on everyone, especially Adam and me. I pray every day that the war will end because it pains me to see Skeletor tormenting innocent Eternians and doing whatever it takes to gain entry into Castle Grayskull to access its mysterious secrets.
I didn't have a very easy existence before Adam, Teela, and my other friends at the Royal Palace of Eternia came into my life. I was born in a valley located several miles from the Evergreen Forest. I was the smallest in a litter of six cubs. I don't know anything about my father because he died nearly a month before my birth. My mother was an incredibly sweet tigress. Her smile never ceased to bring a light to my eyes. She was quite protective of my two brothers, three sisters, and me. She never let us out of her sight for long. Being the runt of the litter was hard for me. I was also scared of everything, including my own shadow. My siblings called me names and played cruel jokes on me. They thought it was funny to pick on someone who couldn't defend himself. They even believed they could get away with it. However, my mother always caught and punished them for their teasing me. It made me feel wonderful to see my brothers and sisters having to go to bed earlier than I did. My mother ensured I got my fair share of the meals by keeping the best bits for me. She also took me to places that were dear to her heart. I loved her so much. I thought I would always have her by my side. Fate had other plans in mind.
Two months after my birth, a terrible plague hit my homeland. Many residents died from various illnesses. My siblings were among the casualties. My mother and I were forced to leave and seek a new home. We sought refuge in the Evergreen Forest. We were able to find plenty of food to eat. It seemed we would be all right. That was not to be the case three weeks later. My mother had gone out hunting and left me alone as she usually did. I went exploring, and a saber cat attacked me. I squealed in fright and ran away. The saber cat chased me everywhere, eventually cornering me at a bush. It swiped its paw, leaving four claw marks across my back. I cried out painfully and stumbled into the bush. The saber cat tried to get at me, but my mother came to the rescue. I heard vicious snarling and fighting. Everything became quiet without warning. I saw the saber cat standing over my mother's body. It turned its attention toward me. A mysterious animal call scared it off. I mewed loudly as I crawled out of the bush. Just then, Adam appeared. He smiled at me and told me he wouldn't hurt me. I approached him and licked his hand. Adam picked me up and took me to the Royal Palace of Eternia.
Adam brought me to Duncan's laboratory. I was weak from blood loss. Duncan wasn't optimistic at my chances for survival, but he went on to treat my injuries. I recall his soothing voice keeping me calm as he bandaged me up. I made a complete recovery within a month. Adam begged his parents to let him keep me. Randor and Marlena were unsure about having a tiger living in the palace. They relented after some hard thinking. I adapted happily to my new home. Unfortunately, Teela and her friends loved to tease me, just as my siblings did before their deaths. They called me a real cringer. That led to me receiving my lasting name. Adam told the Sorceress that I embarrassed him sometimes. The Sorceress insisted that he should have much more patience with me, for I would be very important to him in the future. I didn't understand what that meant, but I would someday.
I hadn't been living in the palace for long when Adam and I decided to explore the Tar Swamp against the wishes of Duncan. We had much fun on our expedition. Unfortunately, we became stuck in one of the pits. We tried to pull ourselves out of it, but it was a futile effort. We started sinking slowly. I cried out in fear. Adam picked me up and cradled me against his chest. He prayed for a miracle. Just then, Orko appeared out of nowhere. He used his Magic Medallion to free us from the pit. He told us that he was from Trolla. He explained he was caught in a storm that landed him on Eternia. Adam and I thanked him for saving our lives. I was forever grateful to Orko. Orko returned with us to the palace. He became one of my closest friends. I often spent time with him in his room or elsewhere.
More than a decade later, Adam, Teela, Duncan, and a group of archeologists were assigned to an expedition to the Tikon Jungle, where it was discovered that a temple contained great danger. For some reason, I didn't want to be without Adam. I ended up going with the team. Adam and Teela opened a crack in a temple's door partially, releasing a Gedge monster. I saw Adam run off as the Gedge terrorized the archeologists. I decided to follow him. I watched as he transformed into He-man. It surprised the heck out of me. He-man told me to calm down and pointed the Sword of Power at me. Lightning shot from the tip and hit me. It caused me to grow three or four times my size. Crimson armor formed on my back and over my face. The lightning vanished. I roared loudly and raised my head high. I was Battlecat the fighting tiger. He-man couldn't believe it. He and I realized what the Sorceress meant by my being very important in the future. He-man mounted me. We raced toward the Gedge without hesitation and led it back into the temple. Duncan sealed the entrance with explosives. I felt great inside at succeeding in my first battle.
Since that fateful day, I have proudly fought at Adam's side, aiding him whenever I can as Battlecat and myself. It took me a while to get used to being Battlecat. However, Adam helped me through it. Sometimes, I don't like becoming my alter ego. I try to sneak away, but Adam usually catches me. My life took an unexpected turn sixteen months after I became Battlecat. The Sorceress summoned Adam and me to Grayskull for a mission. She told us that we needed to find the rightful owner of the Sword of Protection. Adam and I wondered who it could be. The Sorceress couldn't tell us any more than that the sword was meant for someone with a very special destiny. Adam and I went through a dimensional gate leading to Etheria. We decided to get lunch at the Laughing Swan Inn in Thaymor. Three Horde Troopers entered and disrupted the peace. They threatened the bard, but Adam took action. Bow and Kowl had been watching us from a distance. Bow joined Adam and defeated the Troopers. He and Kowl introduced themselves to Adam and me. Bow invited us to the Whispering Woods and declared we were part of the Great Rebellion. Spragg gave me a nice scare along the way. Adam and I met Glimmer minutes after our arrival. I didn't sound optimistic about the rebels at first. Seeing their determination at wanting to restore freedom to Etheria changed my mind.
The peace didn't last long when Madame Razz and Broom arrived to inform everyone that the Horde had placed all of Thaymor under arrest. Bow suggested surrender was the best option to avoid any injury. Adam encouraged him and the rebels to fight. Glimmer agreed to this, and we were soon in Horde territory. An attack began, but Mantenna pinned the rebels down with his stun beams. Adam and I arrived on the scene as He-man and Battlecat. While Spragg and I took care of Catra and Mantenna, He-man pursued Adora, the Force Captain of the Horde, into a room. I heard yelling and realized He-man was in trouble. I wanted to go after Adora and the Horde Troopers that had taken him prisoner, but Glimmer ordered a retreat back to the Whispering Woods. Madame Razz and the twiggets used their magic to locate He-man. They found he was a prisoner on Beast Island. Madame Razz conjured up a flying ship. We were on our way to Beast Island. Hordak shot us down. However, Glimmer saved us with her powers. After fending off some Horde Troopers, we got He-man free and escaped from Beast Island. I don't ever want to go that place again because it gave me the creeps.
My and Adam's stay on Etheria took an incredible turn. During a journey to the Fright Zone for unfinished business, Adam learned Adora was his twin sister and that she had been stolen from Randor and Marlena when she was a baby. The Sword of Protection had been meant for her to use to become She-ra. Adam told everyone about it after he and Adora returned to the rebel camp. Adora declared she wanted to join the Great Rebellion, but some rebels were skeptical. Glimmer expressed concern over her mother, Angella, being held captive by Hunga and the Harpies at Talon Mountain. Adam and Adora volunteered to rescue Angella. The mission ended up being successful with He-man, She-ra, and Swift Wind bringing Angella to Glimmer for a tearful reunion.
Adam, Adora, Spirit, and I headed to Eternia after everything was settled. Adora visited with her parents, Duncan, and Teela, but she couldn't stay. She and Spirit had to return to Etheria to free it from the Horde. Adam and I followed her. Spirit sensed something was wrong. Adam and Adora saw Horde flyers heading toward Bright Moon. They became He-man and She-ra. Spirit and I transformed into Swift Wind and Battlecat. We headed to the Whispering Woods to lead a mission to liberate Bright Moon from the clutches of the Horde. The mission was successful and proved to be a major victory for the Great Rebellion. The rebels were incredibly happy, as were He-man, She-ra, Swift Wind, and I. Unfortunately, there was also great sadness because She-ra couldn't return to Eternia with He-man and me. He-man and I bid her and Swift Wind farewell as they went to join the rebels in their celebration at freeing Bright Moon. In my heart, I knew we would meet again someday.
I will always treasure these memories of my past in my heart. The bad memories tend to frighten me when I think of them. If I didn't have the bad, I would never know what the good ones were. Several people have had an incredible impact on my life. Adam is the one who has affected my life the most. He was the first real friend I had ever made. He has always been there for me, especially when there were trying times in the war against Skeletor and his Evil Warriors. He would die to protect me from harm, as would I with him. I love him to pieces. I don't what I would do without him.
Strangely enough, Teela has influenced my life in more ways than one. She has helped me to become less cowardly through training me to defend myself when I felt threatened. She has saved my life more times than I could care to remember. Many people believe that she is nothing more than a workaholic that spends her time scolding those who want to relax and have fun every now and then. They also think she doesn't express any emotion whatsoever. I know that neither of these assumptions is true. Teela is just as fun loving as anyone I know. She loves to play hide-and-seek with me. She'll even let me lay my head in her lap when she rests underneath a tree in one of the courtyards. She shows emotion, though she tries not to do it too much. I know Teela cares about me. She doesn't always know how to show it.
Orko has had a profound impact on my life. If it weren't for his saving Adam and me in the Tar Swamp, there would be no He-man or Battlecat. I will be forever grateful to him for being at the right place at the right time. I can talk to Orko about things I am unable to tell anyone else. He makes me laugh when he tries to conjure a spell and messes up, causing accidents to happen to Duncan or making duplicates of himself. I am the first one he comes to whenever he has a problem or feels uncertain about a situation. I can only wonder what will happen to Orko once Skeletor is gone from Eternia for good.
Of my Etherian friends, Bow, Adora, Spirit, and Kowl have influenced my life the most. Bow and Kowl were the first ones to welcome Adam and me to Etheria when we arrived there. They never hesitated to let us help them deal with the Horde. Bow's positive outlook on life has helped me to put my past behind me and look toward the future. Kowl's wisdom has given me much inner strength. He never ceases to amaze me with his determination to stay strong for his friends and himself. Spirit's courage has given me the reassurance that there is no shame in being cowardly and that everyone is afraid of something. He has helped me to see that just because one is brave doesn't mean one isn't scared. Adora is always willing to give me advice whenever I feel unsure about something. It brings warm feelings to my heart at seeing how much she and Bow love and care for one another. I also know that she won't be at peace until Hordak and the Horde are gone from Etheria for good. I wait for the day of her permanent return to Eternia.
Sleepiness begins to overtake me. I let out a long yawn and head inside. I curl up beside Adam's bed and put my head on paws. I feel a hand scratch my ears. I look up to see Adam gazing down at me. He gives me a warm smile. I lick him on the cheek. Adam ruffles my fur and hugs me tightly. He turns over and goes to sleep. I stretch my spine and lay on my side. I lick my lips. I shoot a glance toward the stars that seem to sparkle one at a time. I close my eyes. The chirps of crickets come in soft tones, filling my mind with warm thoughts. Maybe there is hope Eternia will be at peace someday.