Notes: This was written for Yuletide on LJ/AO3. DesertVixen was the recipient. Her "prompt" inspired it. I have always loved and enjoyed the episode "Prince Adam No More" (among many others) and I believe the story would have been even better if Queen Marlena had also been involved. I've often wondered how Adam ended up going on the trip after Randor chose He-Man and didn't change his mind when learning Adam wanted to go. This is my answer... (It is not necessary to have seen the episode to understand this story.)
He-Man No More
She had just awoken from her midday nap. It was fortunate that most people were used to royalty having such leisure activities included in their daily routines. They didn't know it was a necessity in her case: despite living on Eternia for twenty-three years, Queen Marlena had never grown accustomed to their thirty-six hour days. She needed at least one nap a day to ensure that she would make it to dinner in the afternoons. No one but Randor, Duncan, and the Royal Physician knew of the minor inconvenience and even they had probably forgotten long ago.
She stepped into the corridor that led to the throne room and smiled. She knew her husband would be there for several more hours handling the everyday mundane hassles of ruling the kingdom and that he would get worried if she didn't join him eventually. To save him angst, she made a point to always show her face after her nap.
She was at the throne room entrance about to do just that when she heard her husband's voice before she stepped inside:
"Adam, Duncan, I called you in to tell you that I have made the choice for my honor guard escort. The young man I've selected has won the admiration of myself and our people many times over: He-Man."
"HE-MAN!" the queen heard her son repeat incredulously, and she immediately winced. It was no secret to her that Adam had been hoping his father would choose him as his honor guard escort. He had been talking about it for weeks, especially after he had learned that the Captain of the Guard would be busy making preparations for an upcoming royal ball. Even she thought Adam would have been the obvious choice outside of Teela. As a matter of fact, he would have been her first choice. Obviously, she should have discussed the decision with her husband, but she hadn't thought it would be necessary.
She continued to listen as the king addressed Man-at-Arms. "Duncan, you've had great success in summoning He-Man before. Would you please contact him now?"
"Of course, Your Majesty."
"But Father," cried Adam sullenly, "I…well, I thought you and I might make this trip together!"
"Really, Adam?" asked King Randor. His obvious surprise made Marlena furrow her brow and grind her teeth together. Why was Adam's desire to spend time with his father such a revelation? Sometimes she didn't know how Randor ran the entire planet as High King much less Eternos. He was a great king and she loved him deeply, but he could definitely lack common sense and be blind to things which should be so obvious. What made her angry is that most of the time Randor's most unflattering moments usually involved their son one way or another.
She continued to listen as her husband more than likely broke Adam's heart.
"But you've never shown any interest in state affairs. Sorry, son, I'm afraid on this trip, I'll need someone a bit more experienced and reliable."
"I see," she heard Adam say despondently.
Marlena was about to go inside to give Randor a piece of her mind when Prince Adam suddenly walked into the hallway. "Adam," she said, hugging him tightly for a moment before he pulled away.
"Hello, Mother," he said dejectedly. He didn't meet her gaze and looked at the floor.
Not wanting Adam to know she heard their conversation, she asked, "What's wrong, son?"
He shook his head and whispered, "Nothing. If you'll excuse me, Mother, I have someone I must speak to."
She watched as the young prince walked away toward the palace's exit. If she knew her son, she was positive he was heading to Castle Grayskull.
The queen walked into the room like a woman on a mission. She noticed that the guards just inside the doors had widened their eyes at her. She knew her expression had to be alarming to elicit such a response from the usually stoic throne room guards.
King Randor had just risen and smiled as his wife walk into the room but that smile soon faded as their eyes met. "What's wrong, my dear?" He walked down the steps hurriedly.
Marlena gave a brief glance to Man-at-Arms before looking at her husband and placing her hands on her hips.
She heard Duncan excuse himself and mutter something at the door. She turned around to see the guards following the older soldier. She faced her husband again and replied coolly, "What do you think is wrong?"
Clearly more than a little taken aback by her tone, he stuttered, "I—I…haven't got a clue."
"Really, Randor?" she asked purposely in much the same manner he had their son. "I really think you should have some idea."
When he shook his head unknowingly, she snapped, "What just happened in here?"
Randor's eyes blinked rapidly. "What?" he responded. "Uh, nothing. What do you think happened?"
Deciding she had tortured her husband enough for the moment, she asked, "Why did Adam leave the room so upset?"
"He was upset?" asked the king questioningly. He genuinely seemed flabbergasted to hear the news.
Marlena immediately rolled her eyes at him. She knew her action wasn't courtly and a bad habit from her days on Earth, but she couldn't help it.
"Yes!" she replied angrily. "How could you not tell? Adam has had his heart set on accompanying you on this trip for weeks! How could you not choose your own son?"
"Marlena, the boy hasn't shown interest in doing anything of the sort before," he said as he looked around the room confusedly as if trying to figure out where her words were coming from.
"Well, you know now that he is interested!" She folded her arms across her chest and stared at him sternly. She wanted him to know she meant business.
Randor shook his head and asked clearly frustrated, "What in the name of the Ancients can I do about that now? I've already told Man-at-Arms to contact He-Man and he has probably already done so. I would hate to make He-Man travel all this way to simply tell him I changed my mind."
Marlena closed her eyes briefly and counted to ten before questioning, "So, you would rather disappoint your son than He-Man? Is that what you're saying?"
"Of course not!" exclaimed Randor who was glaring at her.
She could tell her husband was now getting angry but she didn't care. He shouldn't have made such an idiotic decision anyway, especially when he heard Adam wanted to go. Unrelentingly, she continued, "Your son wants to go and spend time with you. Not to mention, he will one day be the King of Eternia. Shouldn't he learn how to do that by observing his father? Besides…I'm positive He-Man won't mind if you change your mind."
"How can you know that?"
Even though she could see he was still a little annoyed, she could also see that she had won the battle. She grinned at him slyly and whispered, "Just take it on faith, dear. You would know it, too, if you paid a little more attention."
Before her husband could question her further, she turned around and walked out of the room. He could stand a little time to contemplate his actions and her words.
Marlena smiled approvingly as her son climbed into the AttakTrak to accompany Randor on his trip. "Be careful, Adam," she said as she watched him settle down in the backseat.
"Oh, don't worry, Mother," he said with a slight grin. He then glanced over at his father who was walking toward them with Man-at-Arms. "I'm just surprised," he continued, "that Father changed his mind."
"I'm not," she replied and she couldn't help but laugh when her son looked at her knowingly with a raised eyebrow.
"Thank you," he whispered as Man-at-Arms and King Randor reached them.
As Duncan got in the AttakTrak, Marlena waited for her husband to walk around the vehicle to her. "Have a safe trip, my king," she said sweetly.
Randor kissed Marlena briefly as he wrapped an arm around her and replied, "Always, my queen. Have you forgiven me?"
With a look at Adam, she nodded. "Of course."
She watched as Randor got inside and the AttakTrak pulled away with her family. Even though she felt a bit nervous about her husband leaving the safety of the palace, she felt a lot better about it now that Adam accompanied him. She just wished her stubborn husband would see their son's presence as something to be grateful for, as well. He would one day—she would make sure of it. Even though she loved Randor deeply, if she had to beat him on the head with a stick everyday for the rest of his life to keep him straight, especially when it concerned their son, she would. She was more than up to the task. "And I've been doing it for over twenty years anyway," she thought with a grin.
Notes: On a sidenote about the show, there is no reference in canon about Eternia's days being thirty-six hours, but I've found I like to include differences between Earth and Eternia while writing fanfiction focusing on Marlena. Also, it could give an excuse as to why Adam likes to sleep all the time, even though we know he's also tired from all the feats he accomplishes as He-Man. It being a physiological cause is an interesting notion I might address in future He-Man fics. I hope no one minds the tidbit.