Author's Ramblings: The funniest thing happened to me the other day; I checked my e-mail and there it was, a request to continue (or start) a particular story. I promised to check my notes to write the rest of the story, I also told this particular fan that I would let him/her know what my decision was and guess what?
I haven't even found the notes. I think they were erased when my computer crashed six or seven months ago. Hopefully the notes are in some disk around here and all I have to do it find them.
Again; thanks a lot to alphalover for betaing.
Meanwhile I'll try and finish this particular bit, so enjoy!
Adam was trying to make a thought choice.
Skeletor had overrun the defenses of several cities, the army had been deployed and his father was making a grandiose stand against the evil forces. Man at Arms was having some trouble supplying the weapons needed, but so far they had not lacked a bit, while Teela was trying to get the new recruits trained enough for several ambushes against Skeletor's lackeys. The Sorceress had several spells going on at the same time, all in the protection of the castle of Grayskull and trying to contact Adora so she could come fight against Skeletor…
And none of these things mattered right now.
OH, it wasn't if he should turn or not into He-Man, the Champion had managed to take home several great battles, he'd made more appearances in the last three days than in the last two years put together. Right now the choice he was trying to make seemed rather mundane, really; it was really, really ridiculous.
He was trying to decide whether he should enter the throne room or not.
It was silly really; here he stood under the shadow of a nearby column, and looking at the open door of the throne room. He had been called from a nearby camp/base, in urgent business for the royal couple. Usually such things meant that either one of the regents had been hurt, was missing, hostage and or Ancient's forbid, dead. In his blinding hurry, Adam had left Cringer behind, along with Orko and Man-At-Arm, and he'd heard Teela at some point of the journey, Adora too, but he wasn't sure where or when.
He was only aware that there was soft weeping coming from the inside of the throne room. Slid down to the floor, still hidden, Adam huddled in fear and shame.
"Adam?" Asked a soft voice, making him turn and look at Teela's green eyes. She'd slipped towards him while Adam watched as she hid with him, somehow slipping into the shadows and making herself comfortable beside him. Between the wall and the shadows, between his body and the wall; in the space of shadows, Teela filled the void that the world left. How could she do it? "Adam?"
"I've never been this scared before." But of course she didn't know that, she thought him a coward who ran out to open the way so He-Man could come and save the day. There was no way of He-Man coming over and fixing things up right now. "I can't walk into that room."
"You've got to. I just heard you were called; why were you called?"
"I haven't gone in." He was terrified, he really was. Teela wrapped her slim arms around his shoulders, like she did a year or so ago, that faithful night she spoke sweet nothings to his ear, and kissed his temple. "I can't go in."
"You must, you were call by the council of war."
"What good news could come from that? The last time…" Here he remained quiet, the last time he'd come to the council of war he'd been He-Man not prince Adam, and that wasn't such good thought to share anyway. "The last time weren't good news either." He finished, not willing to share anymore. So he spoke and leaned his head against his knees and hid his face there; the shame was too great to bear and he was too tired to even try to mask emotions as he usually did, so he hid everything from the world. And even from Teela.
But apparently she wouldn't have it. "Adam, listen. Whatever you've got to listen in there, you've got to be strong, you are Prince of Eternos, our future king and leader and regardless…" Of your cowardice, she wanted to say, but instead took a deep breath and leaned her forehead against his shoulder. "…of everything; you are to be respected and helped by those around you."
"I don't want respect." He didn't care of what people thought of his cowardly actions, he knew why things happened. "And I don't want help; I need a break right now."
He wanted to kiss her. The same way she'd kissed He-Man a few nights back, he wanted to return her kiss and hold her tighter than she was holding him right now, but so also wanted her and for so many other reasons. He wanted her and if that was wrong then let him face the world and be wrong, but let him have Teela and be done with.
"Adam?" She asked, trying to leave him, probably to lock her eyes with his, but Adam held her back, and there was a moment of silence.
"No, just…" His head moved, and cradled against her soft shoulder, somehow finding the curve of her neck and hiding there from the rest of the world. The palm of her hand came to rest against the back of his neck and they held each other in the darkness of fear, huddled together in the warmth that was them. How safe was he from the world here, how quiet and in peace! There had been many poets in Eternia, many more in his mother's home planet who spoke of safety and love; none could ever describe this feeling he was now having. Teela sighed against his hair and a soft kiss was dropped there, making him sigh and close his eyes…
"Have you seen Prince Adam?" Ask a booming serious voice, making both friends in the darkness tense. Man-At-Arm's voice had that effect in everyone.
"No sir." Answered a tense guard, while Teela lifted her head and watched her father return to the throne room, seeming slightly confused.
"I left him behind at the battle field, he must be wondering where I got to." Murmured Adam, explaining what was wrong, and knowing that he had to make an appearance sooner or later. Teela knew it too, and smiled at him.
"Then you've got to get out there, Adam. Come on." And she unwrapped herself from around Adam, with such ease he was left cold and bare to the world, but not without regrets. She slowly made her way out of shadows and with her head held high made her way into the throne room, disappearing into the dreaded room. Adam took a deep breath, and on shaky legs, stood. Just inside the room, Teela turned to search for him, and didn't see him for a second, and when her green eyes found his blue ones…
Her hands waved at him to follow, and for a second he hesitated; he could stay here and hide forever. He could stay and wait this one over, or turn into He-Man and hurry away to some battlefield and claim Prince Adam was dead or something like that. Or he could face it and get it over with.
Logic dictated and he followed.
Taking a deep breath, and acting as if nothing were wrong (thing he'd learned from many years of etiquette and training to be Crown Prince) Adam slid through the darkness and into the doors of the throne room. His presence was immediately announced and he moved with grace towards his place next to his mother, who stood quietly before Duncan and one of the other leaders of the war against Skeletor.
"Finally you arrive Prince Adam."
"Yes, why have I been summoned?"
"We are afraid we have bad news, Prince Adam." Said another man, this one a general. He walked to the tall table where the briefings were done and pointed at the nearby chair. Adam rejected the offering of a chair and frowned slightly. "I shall be direct then. King Randor has been murdered by Skeletor this afternoon."
The information didn't immediately sink, it took a moment. Marlena was weeping softly, reason why she refused to meet Adam's eyes, and Teela was the first to voice the outrage and injustice of the event. Duncan's eyes widened and emotions Adam had not seen play in the man's eyes played, quick and painfully, reminding Adam that Duncan was a man with a soft heart when it came to those he loved.
"Does Adora know?"
"No, we sent She-Ra to locate her, so far no news."
Then the floor sank, and Adam was left standing in mid air; there was no floor, nor walls and the pain was so deep and harsh his heart was left bare because it felt like the skin all around it had burned off, scratched off surgically removed by the very news he'd tried to ignore for the past two minutes.
"There is more," came the general's voice, cutting through the fog currently surrounding what was left of Adam. "The Kingdom now needs a king, Prince Adam, but there are certain details you must fulfill in order to take the position."
"We are in a time of war, General Mackvic, can't we skip formalities?"
"We are skipping them, Duncan. The list is shortened during said times." And the general pulled out a paper. "Most of the tasks are already fulfilled, sir. Only one is left hanging."
"In order for the Prince to take the throne he must be married."
"Married?" Asked the Queen, surprised. "What nonsense is this?" The battle of wits started, and several maidens were lead into the room, as Marlena and Duncan struggled with several of the diplomats in the room.
"The kind did try to abolish this particular list of rules but wasn't able to fully abolish it." Informed the head healer and usual cleric headmaster. "For now we must abide by tradition; Prince Adam must marry in order to fulfill his destiny as king."
A battle issued, as Adam sat in the back of the room, already aware he should not have come into the room. "We've brought several prospects for you to choose from, probably you'll mother could undertake this particular task. Marlena fought furiously against this issue as Duncan tried to calm her down; Adam would feel Teela's eyes on him. The intensity of the stare was so powerful Adam could not make himself turn to look; locking eyes with Teela at this moment would mean to break down and become the shuddering sobbing mass of man he could not be right now. He was a Prince, and princes had no feeling, they just cared about honor and power and leading their people to victory. Bitterly, Adam avoided lifting his stare what lead to have his hand lift and cover his eyes.
He didn't want to marry none of those prospects, he wanted to marry Teela. He'd heard many of his fellow fighters and even commoners all complaining that they had married whom they chose but then regret it. He'd been wondering if they ever understood the foundation of their freedom was in choice and how they carried out the simplest of things. Could they ever understand that even when he was a free man himself, Adam could never marry whom he wanted because of his reality as royalty? He wanted to marry Teela, and even when he could demand it to be, he could never force things over her, never could he force his will upon a woman he loved so much; that would be selfish and arrogant. He wanted to turn and quiet the world around and choose Teela; but there were things he could not control; the weather, Greyskull and Teela herself. And then there were his duties as Prince and those did control the rest of his existence. Finally Adam looked up and his eyes found Teela leaning against her father's shoulder, crying, while the struggle for Adam's decision to marry continued. Teela was his friend, and even if he married she would still be there.
Or so he hoped.
They would always share, even if she left, that subtle connection of lovers unfulfilled. They would be masters of each other's heart and aching always for the other. And while they might curse for the rest of their existence the fact he had to follow tradition instead of his heart, they would be together. Or apart it was up to Teela now. But Adam was bound through birth, by tradition and by honor. So his mind set quickly, he turned. Some of the girls were quite pretty, and beauty although it did vanish, would be quite interesting to watch wither.
He could make fun of it with Teela.
The struggled continued for some more time, and then Adam stood up. "Mother, it's alright."
"No Adam, it isn't. You deserve to choose your future Queen." Adam smiled and took her hand, kissing the palm.
"It's my choice mother. It's alright." And he pushed forward walking towards the general, both Duncan and Teela followed, because they were practically their guards and Adam stared at the man in the eyes. "All I must do is choose one of the ladies as bride, and then what?"
"After a quick ceremony I'm sure the headmaster will crown you king. We must have kingship to keep the lines Adam, if now I would not be forcing you to do this." Adam smiled, and placed his hand over the man's shoulder.
"I understand." Adam turned, smiling at Duncan and at the surprised Teela and his heart squeezed inside his chest, but they shared no words. The women were lined up and giddy with the concept of marring such a handsome very-soon-to-be king. "Father would have wanted me to continue his footsteps."
Marlena moved to stand before her son, not agreeing with his decision yet accepting it. "But he would have also wanted you to be happy." Adam smiled at his mother's words, and swallowed hard. Adam looked at the women standing in line, talking to each other, and giggling… All so unlike what was really needed for royalty, none were fit for the place. A queen should be refined and strong, sweet and stern; so many thing none of them were. Mackvik started to compliment the ladies, specially the one to the far right, his daughter. The other men also started to talk to him, whispering little endearments to choose a particular lady.
None mattered. In the darkness behind him both Duncan and Teela stood quiet, the man looking at the surrounding generals and men; the woman's head bowed down while looking sad. Adam's hand flexed and he wanted to scratch the back of his head, but such an action would be unbecoming of a future King. His insides were shacking, he wasn't sure of what he was doing; all he knew was that it was for the best of the Kingship. His heart poured, methaphorically speaking, on the floor, as he carefully decided which of the prospects he had to marry; it was making his point clear and beating hard and loud against his chest. He didn't want them, he wanted Teela, he didn't need them, he needed Teela. And he wanted to be heard so he hoped that every embarrassing beat that was making Adam blush in anger and pain was visible and probably, if things got out of control enough…
Then it happened, with such tenderness that it almost broke his heart, but actually instead it brought joy and unaccountable pride and honor… Adam suddenly felt like He-Man without even having to lift his sword and if asked he would probably just drop the item and forget he ever was the champion, because now he could do all things. The death of his father was bearable, the pain he suffered found some sort of weird footing and he was brought down to solid lapis lazuli floors.
Because love wasn't red or pink. Love was blue and wide and tender as silk as the strands of fingers holding his much broader hand. Honestly, he didn't care for the world right now; just the sweet soft sensation of Teela's silky fingers lacing with his hand. It was amazing, in this sweet subtle connection, Teela had bounded her everything to Adam answering the incessant calls of his humbled heart.