Continuing Tales

Noticing Adam

A He-Man & She-Ra Story
by Foxy11814

Part 13 of 55

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Adam stepped out of his bathroom and sighed in relief as he found his room completely empty. Even Cringer was gone, and he could only assume his pet was in the dining room waiting to be served his breakfast. Taking advantage of the opportunity that hadn't presented itself during daylight in such a long time, Adam quickly climbed on his bed, laid down, shut his eyes, and allowed himself to rest and simply think about everything.

All on its own accord, his thoughts immediately went to his father. To say the very least, Adam was still very angry with the King of Eternia. Not only had his father implicitly declared his son was a horrible prince, but he had also accused him of such vile things that should have never even crossed the king's mind in the first place. The anger Adam felt quickly washed away to sadness as he thought, "And, that's what hurts the most. He doesn't even know me, and he probably doesn't want to. He has always had this image of me as an incompetent young fool, and every chance he gets, he tries to find ways to prove that I'm exactly that."

Adam ran his fingers through his hair and then looked exasperatedly at the door to his bedchambers. "And, if he can't find anything," he thought, getting angry again, "he makes it up."

Not being able to lay still any longer with the anger he felt bubbling inside, Adam jumped off the bed in a single stride. He started pacing the room, not really knowing what else to do to make the anger he felt recede. He had just made his fourth rotation in this pace when a light knock wrapped against his door.

His immediate reaction was to sigh. Over the past few years, it seemed like no one ever visited his rooms for good reasons anymore. As a result, he knew he wasn't going to be too happy about whatever conversation he was about to embark on. The only question was who would be the bringers of today's bad news. Without a sound in response to the knocking, Adam walked over and opened the door to reveal his mother and Man-at-Arms.

Seeing these two together wasn't extremely uncommon, but seeing them together, coming to his bedchambers was. It meant they had something they both had to discuss with him, and for the life of him, he couldn't imagine what it was. Surely, they weren't back to discuss his bruises, because he was certain Man-at-Arms would have tried his best to stop any kind of interrogation. He certainly wouldn't escort the queen to his chambers to do so. So, why had they come?

Adam swallowed slowly and opened his mouth to question his visitors when his mother literally threw herself into his arms and started crying. He didn't know what else he could do, so Adam immediately wrapped his arms around her and pulled her farther into his room as Man-at-Arms followed them inside and shut the door.

After several seconds of feeling Adam's strong but caring arms around her, Marlena finally felt confident and strong enough to pull away and face whatever would come. She gazed into her son's face and immediately felt guilty for the concern she saw there. He had every reason to be concerned, and now she just had to tell him why.

The only problem was she didn't know how to begin. She stared at her son for several seconds before abruptly asking, "What would you say, Adam, if I told you I know your deepest, darkest secret?"

Adam paused and quickly glanced at Man-at-Arms who took a seat in his green chair. He met Adam's eyes and said, "I think you need to sit down, as well, son."

As Duncan suggested, Adam walked to his bed, sat down, and looked up at his mother expectantly.

She knew he wasn't going to admit to anything, and it looked like he wasn't even going to answer the question she posed. She couldn't blame him. In fact, she expected as much. He had kept this secret for so long, and if recent events had told her anything, it's that he would protect this secret until the very end. She sighed and whispered, "I know you're He-Man."

Adam had to strain to hear his mother's confession, but he did, indeed, hear it. His eyebrows only rose slightly, before he looked down at the floor.

Queen Marlena was expecting much more of a reaction, so his seemingly nonchalant response was confusing her. "Adam?" she questioned as she touched his shoulder and stared down at him.

Finally, Adam looked up and gave his mother a little smile. It wasn't a smile to show he was happy that she learned his secret; it was a smile to show her that he was okay. Marlena instinctively knew this. As quickly as the smile appeared, it vanished. He leaned back slightly on the bed and used his hands to balance himself.

After Adam let the revelation sink in, which didn't take long, he sighed and said, "I wish I could say this came as more of a shock, Mother. I know you were expecting an outburst or something, but the truth is for a long time until recently, I thought you knew the secret. It does surprise me that you're only now figuring it out, though."

At his statement, Marlena widened her eyes and a little whine escaped her throat as her son continued to explain.

"I was so sure after you had rescued all of us from Skeletor with the Rainbow Explorer that you knew. Of course, I wasn't completely sure, and that's why I never mentioned it, but your actions and words always told me you did. I guess I just grew accustomed to the thought that you knew the secret, and that's why it doesn't bother me as much right now. And, why would it? You're my mother." He genuinely smiled at her.

Marlena had tears in her eyes and she hoped Adam didn't interpret them as tears of joy. She quickly walked to the side of the bed and sat down. She put her hand on Adam's knee and whispered, "Oh, Adam, I did know back, then. I've known your secret for quite some time."

Now, Adam was finally giving her the response she had expected. He looked bewildered and confused. After he let the words sink in for a few moments, he jumped off the bed and stared at his mother. It looked like he was still having problems processing the information. He glanced over at Man-at-Arms who had stood up when Adam had gotten to his feet.

"Adam," said Man-at-Arms, preparing to offer some comfort.

Adam cut him off short and said, "Duncan, I would appreciate it if you would let my mother and I talk alone."

Duncan eyes widened for only a second before nodding. He quickly left the room and shut the door softly.

With Duncan gone, Adam sighed and he felt like a mountain of air was released. He kept his back toward the queen and said, "It doesn't make sense, Mother."

The tears in Marlena's eyes were finally falling.

Adam turned around and saw the tears, but he couldn't…wouldn't mention them until he learned exactly what was going on, even though it killed him. "Mother, please explain this to me. There was a time when I thought you knew, but in light of everything that's happened recently…all your suspicions, questioning, complaints, it seemed brutally clear that you didn't know. If you have all this time, then why were you making such a big deal about my disappearances and going off to Drisdos alone?"

Marlena stood face-to-face with her son and replied, "I know it doesn't make sense, Adam, but the truth is I was tired of being left in the dark. I was genuinely scared for your well-being. I wanted to be able to talk to you about your life as He-Man, and it was killing me that you wouldn't. I know you go off and fight Skeletor occasionally, but I also know that there are so many other activities that you do on Eternia. I tried to explain this to Duncan, but I don’t think he understood." She paused and could tell Adam didn't understand, either. "I just want to know what you're doing. You're my son, and it kills me that I never know what danger you're putting yourself in. It hurts that you come back tired and worn out and I never know why. A mother should be able to talk to her son. She should be able to discuss his life as a whole with him, but I couldn't do that until you admitted your secret."

Adam closed his eyes and shook his head as her words trailed off. "It still doesn't make sense, Mother. By the Ancients, why didn't you just come to me and ask? I don't see what a big deal that would have made. I would have either admitted it or denied it. And, if I wasn't He-Man--which undoubtedly you knew there was no danger of that--I would have only laughed it off and thought you had either temporarily lost your mind or that you were playing. But to go about it in this way doesn't make any sense. Do you realize what you've put me through these last few days alone?"

Tears continued to pour down Marlena's cheek as she nodded. "I never meant for it to get this bad, Adam. I know I could have come to you, but I had a plan…"

"You had a plan," repeated Adam, cutting her off. "What kind of plan? What difference would this plan have made than just asking me?"

"I wanted your father to discover your secret," she explained. "I knew you would never voluntarily reveal it to him, and I knew if I openly admitted to you that I knew, you would make me promise never to reveal the secret as you did Man-at-Arms and Orko."

Adam's eyes widened. "You know Orko knows?"

Marlena smiled sadly and said, "Of course. How could he not since you spend so much time together and he can come and go as he pleases in a mere second?"

Adam looked down at the floor and returned to the primary discussion. "If you wanted my father to know so badly, why didn't you just tell him?"

"Because I knew it would be wrong. I know that everyone who knows has been sworn to secrecy. Just because I figured out your secret…I knew it didn't give me the right to reveal it. It's your secret, not mine. I just thought if I made your father aware of your disappearances and your tiredness when you come back to the palace that he would be concerned enough to notice you more. He would start worrying and asking questions. I was hoping he would put two and two together. I knew eventually he would…or you would eventually admit it, or there would be some kind of mistake where he would simply find out."

Adam squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head. When he reopened them, he walked over to his chair and sat down. He buried his head in his hands. When he finally looked back at his mother, he asked, "Why do you want him to know so badly? What makes all of this heartache worth it? What was your reasoning?"

Marlena swallowed roughly and answered, "I was tired of seeing the way your father treated you. I was tired of seeing him act all sanctimonious. I just get the impression sometimes that he thinks you contribute nothing to Eternia, when in reality, you contribute more than he does! You keep the planet and Castle Grayskull safe. Without you, he wouldn't have a kingdom to run. I thought if he knew he would show you more respect. He would even start being a father again, instead of a dictator."

"So, that's what this was all about?” questioned Adam, staring at the floor. "You want the King of Eternia to be a father to his son?" Adam looked up at his mother. "The king has stopped that role a long time ago. I know he cares for me because I am his son, but he doesn't know me, Mother. I don't even think he wants to. That's why this…plan of yours would never have worked!" Adam stood up, and Marlena gasped when she saw his face. It was red from anger.

"He never would have taken the time to notice!" cried Adam, his voice getting louder. "And, besides, I don't want him to respect or love me just because he knows my secret. He already thinks He-Man would be a better prince! He's always telling me I could learn a lot from him. If he knew my secret, he would only be happy that I was him. He wouldn't realize that it was Prince Adam this whole time. No, he'd be happy because He-Man is his son, not Adam."

Marlena's jaw dropped. "That's not true!" she exclaimed.

Adam's face went a shade darker and he exploded, "Yes, it is, and you know it's true; otherwise you never would have gone through all this trouble of trying to make him find out! But you know what, Mother, you're right. It wasn't your place to tell him, and it still isn't. As a matter of fact, it wasn't even your place to set it up where he might find out or I might collapse and tell him. Do you hear what I'm saying, Mother? He would never have figured it out. He would never take the time to notice me, so basically you were campaigning for me to breakdown!"

"No!" Marlena cried out. "That's not it! I would never do such a thing!"

"Oh really?" asked Adam, finally bringing his voice down to a reasonable level. A look of sadness covered his face as he stated, "Because that is exactly what you've done. Mother, this whole ordeal actually made me resent being He-Man. My feelings and emotions are becoming so much harder to control. I can't even think clearly sometimes when it comes to this whole mess. Teela thinks I'm some perverted womanizer, so I doubt she'll even let me come near her to make her think otherwise. Father thinks my deep, dark secret is exactly that, so dark that it's disgusting and wrong. I guess the only thing this whole situation has accomplished, which I can thank you for, is that I finally heard my father say I was a horrible prince. He finally admitted his feelings."

Marlena gasped.

"Thank you," whispered Adam and then pressed his lips together in a fine line.

Marlena shook her head and replied, "He doesn't believe that, Adam. He doesn't."

Adam shook his head and said, "Then, why did he say it? It doesn't matter, anymore, Mother. All I know is that I can't believe you put me through this." He closed his eyes and said, "I have to get away."

Marlena quickly rushed to Adam and hugged him. "What are you talking about? No, Adam. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry."

Adam didn't hug his mother back. He kept his eyes shut to keep his tears from falling. "I just need to get away from this palace. I need to be around people who I know accept and love me. I need to go somewhere where I'm not being conspired against."

Marlena held her son tighter and cried, "But you are loved here, and I do accept you! I wasn't conspiring against you, Adam! I really wasn't! Please try to understand!"

Adam finally opened his eyes and pushed his mother away from him slightly. "I am trying to understand, but like I said my emotions are just so up and down at this moment that I don't even know what I'm feeling. I just need to get away to clear my head. I won't be gone long." He sighed and then grimaced, "After all, Eternia needs its champion."

Marlena cupped her son's cheek and asked, "Where will you go?"

Adam looked out his bedroom window and said, "To the only person who might understand."

Noticing Adam

A He-Man & She-Ra Story
by Foxy11814

Part 13 of 55

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