Continuing Tales

Noticing Adam

A He-Man & She-Ra Story
by Foxy11814

Part 18 of 55

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The first thing he noticed was a lot of frantic voices. At first he could not discern one from another, but after a few failed attempts to open his eyes, he recognized his sister's voice, or rather She-Ra's:

"I don't know what happened! He was fine! We were talking, he jumped up, and then he passed out! I had to turn to lift him."

"Did you try to heal him?"

"Of course. His head wound healed and that awful bruise he had on his back is gone, but he still hasn't woken up…Wait, he looks like he might be trying to wake up now. Adam?"

Adam struggled to open his eyes and after the fourth try, they finally opened. He blinked several times to adjust to the light shining on She-Ra's headpiece. "Adora," he stated, sitting up and immediately bringing his right hand to his forehead. Despite the fact that She-Ra obviously healed him, his head was pounding. "What happened?"

"You tell me!" exclaimed She-Ra. "One second we were talking and then you were out! And, what was with all those injuries you had any way?"

Adam shook his head and remembered their discussion before he passed out. Adora had been on the verge of taking their parents' side. He narrowed his eyes and replied, "I'm just tired. I jumped up too quickly after I realized you were going to be just like everyone else."

She-Ra's brow furrowed in question. She could clearly see the beginnings of a little hostility from her brother floating her way, and it astounded her. After she had realized he was her brother some time ago, they never fought…ever. And, even when she was a member of the Horde, he never looked at her like he did now. "What do you mean I was going to be like everyone else?" she asked. She had a feeling this would give her the reason why.

Adam shook his head and whispered, "I came here to talk to someone who would listen to me, who wouldn't immediately try to stick up for Mom and Dad, but that's immediately what you did."

She-Ra shook her head and said, "So, you're going to be angry because I didn't react the way you wanted me to?"

Adam shrugged. "I just thought as my twin you would understand."

"You haven't told me anything to give me the opportunity to understand it, yet," she reasoned.

Adam looked up and nodded. "You're right," he said with a forced smile. "I suppose I should tell you the whole story."

"Well, as much as I do want to hear the whole story, brother dear, we can't right now. Mother and Father need us!"

Immediately, Adam got up and asked, "What are you talking about?"

She pointed to her sword which was flying and glowing in the center of the room.

He went to stand in front of the sword and noticed the Sorceress looked relieved. "Adam, your vacation will have to be postponed a little while longer. Skeletor is attacking Eternos. They were unprepared and Skeletor has called upon a monster from another galaxy to help him. It's destroying the palace."

"Can you make a portal that will send us straight to the palace?" asked Adam, hurriedly, as he pulled the Power Sword from his back.

"Of course," she replied, but she suddenly gave him a questioning look. "Are you sure you can handle this? Perhaps Adora…"

Adam gave She-Ra a brief glance before he tightened his jaw. "Eternia is my responsibility, not Adora's. If she wants to come to help, that's great, but I'm not going to step aside and let her do my job."

"If you're sure," stated the Sorceress.

"I'm sure."

A portal appeared to their left. Immediately, Adam lifted the Power Sword and yelled, "By the power of Grayskull…"

Teela and her father stood in front of the AttakTrak. They were the only ones who stood between this monster and the king and queen. Duncan lifted his arm and shot a warning blast at the beast, but it merely watched them as if daring them to make another move.

Teela raised her staff in an angle to prepare for an attack and immediately the monster screamed in response. The scream was earth-shattering in its severity. The ground shook and portions of the palace walls started crumbling. The only thing that made the sound stop was the sudden appearance of a portal to their right. The monster watched it, as did Teela and Man-at-Arms.

Suddenly, He-Man and She-Ra jumped through and turned their attention immediately to the monster in front of them.

"Praise the Ancients," Teela whispered to herself. Until their arrival, she had seriously believed they were going to lose the battle.

It surprised He-Man that he wasn't surprised about the monster before him. As he stepped into the dimensional gate in Etheria, his mind was racing with thoughts of annoyance. "Of course, Skeletor would pick now to attack. What else can he pile onto the mountain of…"

His thoughts had paused when he took the monster in. "Of course," he thought with a shake of his head. A grin that seemingly came from nowhere adorned his face. This particular monster had to stand at least forty feet tall; it was orange and had the body of a dragon and a face of a bear. It figured now would be the time Skeletor would pull this nasty beast out of his hat of tricks.

"I fail to see what's so amusing, brother," whispered She-Ra as she looked to He-Man for some kind of sign as to how they were going to tackle this monster.

"Oh, I'm not amused," he answered. "I don't know how to explain it. I'm just not surprised anymore on how bad things can get like I used to." He looked around the surroundings and saw the damage the monster had already brought to his home. A tower belonging to the guard was already missing. How many were in there and killed as it came down?

He frowned as his nostrils flared with something akin to hatred. He stepped forward and She-Ra immediately grabbed his arm.

"What are you doing?" she quickly asked.

He knew she was afraid that he was planning on attacking the beast straight-on, and the truth was that was his plan. "I'm sick of this," he answered angrily. "I'm going to send Skeletor a message."

"You're not in any condition," she cried. "Yes, I healed your immediate injuries, but Adam, I didn't get them all. There were so many that I decided to save some of my energy and heal them over time."

"I know," he replied, still feeling the headache he had when he woke up from his latest bout with unconsciousness. He was tempted, oh so tempted, to walk out there and take his frustrations out on the beast, but he knew She-Ra was right. He might not be able to succeed in a front attack. Immediately, he looked around and saw the willow tree behind the monster.

"Why don't you cause a distraction while I jump onto the monster's back? At least that way, maybe I can guide him away from the palace and we can avoid anyone else getting hurt," he suggested.

"Sounds good. Where do you think Mother and Father are?"

He-Man looked around and saw Teela and Man-at-Arms in front of an AttakTrak thirty feet from them. He pointed and said, "Over there. Teela and Duncan are protecting them."

She-Ra nodded and took off running to the right. As suspected, the monster followed her with its eyes and turned to face She-Ra. That was precisely what He-Man wanted it to do.

Instantly, He-Man ran to the tree, climbed up it, and jumped on the lower back of the monster. The beast immediately cried out in alarm and tried to turn around to slap at whatever was touching him. When it realized something was on him with a firm grasp, it screamed again, shaking the ground and enlarging the cracks it had made earlier in the palace walls.

He-Man immediately started climbing the monster and stopped once he had reached its neck. He sat on it and immediately turned its head in the direction he wanted it to go.

The monster was so frightened it immediately began to run in that direction, trying to get away. Part one of his plan was succeeding.

Skeletor watched from several yards away the actions of He-Man and She-Ra. He grimaced and questioned Evil-Lyn as to why the Female He-Man was there, but he hadn't really expected an answer. Every time he thought he would best one of them, the other showed up. But that might be for the best. Now, he could take care of them both at the same time!

"Beastman," said Skeletor, telepathically.

"Yes, Skeletor?" replied Beastman.

"Control the beast. Order it to fight He-Man. Regardless of whether we win this battle, we need to ensure that we hurt him again."

"Yes, Skeletor."

As those words left Beastman's lips, he turned his attention to the beast. He had a plan to get He-Man off his pet and hurt him at the same time. Skeletor would be pleased.

He-Man led the beast off the palace grounds. "That was rather easy," he thought to himself.

No sooner than those words were thought, he saw Beastman above them watching the beast intently. "Uh, oh!"

Suddenly, the beast stopped running and started backing up.

In response, He-Man tightened his grip slightly and tried to turn its head to get the thing to run in another direction, but the creature kept backing up no matter what he did. Finally, the monster stopped at the palace wall and it suddenly dawned on He-Man what was about to happened, but it was too late:  the monster immediately slammed its back into the palace wall with He-Man barely holding on as he was pummeled.

He-Man grunted as he took the brunt of the hit. The monster quickly pulled away from the wall only to slam against it again. This time the monster took the time to scratch his back side to side to try to fling his hitchhiker off. He-Man knew he couldn't stand much more of this. He tightened his grip even more and before the creature could slam him into the wall one more time, he snatched both his arms slightly to the left side. Immediately, the monster flipped and landed on its back.

"Well, at least I didn't get slammed into the wall again," He-Man thought as he was slightly buried into the dirt under the monsters massive body.

"He-Man!" he heard She-Ra cry.

He used his arms to lift the monster's head so She-Ra could see him. "Over here, She-Ra!"

She-Ra ran to him and quickly grabbed her brother under his arms and pulled him out from under the monster's head before He-Man dropped it back onto himself.

"I was so worried," cried She-Ra as she hugged her brother to her and noticed the beast, as well as the rest of Skeletor's men, had disappeared.

He-Man smiled and turned to hug her back. "You should know better than that," he whispered.

At that moment, Teela and Man-at-Arms immediately ran to them.

"He-Man," said Teela, hurriedly. "Are you all right?"

He-Man looked at She-Ra as he nodded and said for both their benefits, "I'm okay."

At She-Ra's doubtful look, he added, "I promise."

Teela looked back and forth between He-Man and She-Ra before asking, "Why do I feel like we're intruding on something?"

Both He-Man and She-Ra snapped their attention to Teela. "You're not," replied He-Man. "I was just reassuring She-Ra I was okay before you came over."

Before Teela could say anything more, Man-at-Arms stepped forward and said, "I appreciate you coming to help us." He looked directly at He-Man and added, "I know it was tempting not to, given the circumstances."

"Given what circumstances?" asked Teela, glancing curiously at He-Man and then her father.

He-Man didn't answer her; he merely replied to Duncan, "I never even hesitated." He got up slowly, stifled a groan, grasped the older man's shoulder and gave a nod of reassurance.

"Does this mean you're going to stay?"

He-Man could see the hope in Duncan's eyes. It had been less than two hours ago when Adam had walked into the dimensional gate to get away from Eternia for a while, and the man before him, as well as his parents and Teela, thought he was running. Maybe he was, but that didn't mean it wasn't the right course of action.

"No, She-Ra and I are…needed elsewhere," he replied.

Duncan nodded sadly and said, "Don't stay too long. Obviously, Skeletor hasn't given up on causing problems or wearing you down, yet."

"I'll be back soon," he promised. "Besides, the Sorceress will contact me if you need me."

Before he could help himself, Duncan hugged He-Man. "Well, hurry back, son," he whispered in his ear.

When He-Man stepped back from Man-at-Arm's arms and saw the suspicious look Teela was giving him, he looked at She-Ra and called out, "Sorceress."

A gate appeared before them. Just as He-Man was about to walk through it, he paused. "Do you need me to stay to help clean up?" he asked. He realized it would be selfish for him to run off when so much needed doing around the palace now.

Man-at-Arms shook his head and said, "No, you need rest. Even if you did agree to stay, I wouldn't let you lift a finger."

"Duncan, I'm fine…" he tried to explain.

"No," Duncan replied firmly. "You're going back to Etheria for now, so there is no point in arguing about it right now."

He-Man immediately laughed. It felt like the first time in weeks. "I suppose you're right." He looked back at She-Ra and nodded. "Ready to go, sis?"

At her nod, he took her hand and led her through the gate without taking a look back.

As the gate closed, Teela looked at the spot where it had once been in astonishment. "Since when did you start talking to He-Man like that?" she questioned.

Startled, Duncan asked, "What?"

"You were talking to him like you do me or Adam."

"Was I? I didn't realize," replied Duncan. "Well, He-Man is the same age as you and Adam. I suppose it's habit."

Teela watched as her father turned and walked back towards the palace. Lost in thought, she started to follow him, contemplating what she just heard: Her father plainly said He-Man needed rest. He was almost outright chastising He-Man for offering to stay around and help. What did her father know that she didn't? She knew that He-Man blew up the orb that had hurt Adam, but for the most part, he had seemed okay, so what was he resting up from? Suddenly, a thought crossed her mind.

"Oh, by the Ancients!" cried Teela.

Duncan immediately turned around. "What is it, child?"

"Adam went to Etheria and now He-Man is there, as well." Teela paused, not sure what kind of point she was trying to make. She shrugged and continued, "We should have asked He-Man to look after Adam for us."

"I'm sure he will, regardless," replied Duncan. "Undoubtedly, they'll both be at the rebels' camp. They will see one another."

Teela shook her head and rolled her eyes. "Why is it that I always miss the opportunity to see He-Man and Adam together?" she questioned, slightly annoyed.

Man-at-Arms seemed to look at her as if he were surprised. "Why is that such a big deal?"

Teela shrugged and replied, "I don't know. I just find it strange that I'm so close to both of them and yet I've never been around both of them together."

"It's not so strange," insisted Duncan; "Adam and He-Man are both very busy men. They don't have the time to meet up."

Teela watched as her father started walking ahead of her again. She couldn't help but imagine what Adam and He-Man would be talking about on Etheria together. She wondered if she would come up. The thought made her shiver, because she had no idea what either one felt about her. Shoot, she didn't know how she felt about either one of them. Earlier, she said she would focus her attentions on He-Man, but that was when she thought Adam had been making a fool out of himself with his courtiers. Now that she knew that wasn't the case, she was back to wondering who she preferred, who made her more happy. She didn't understand why, but it always seemed like an impossible decision. Sometimes she thought she would never be able to decide.

The dimensional gate opened up into Adora's tent like it had earlier. When it closed, He-Man looked suspiciously at the area where it once stood.

She-Ra turned back to her brother and watched curiously as he thought about whatever was on his mind. "Care to share, brother?" she asked after several long moments.

Slightly startled, He-Man turned to look at her with an embarrassed smile. "It's nothing big. I was just wondering why the Sorceress always makes me walk to camp all the time if she can open up a gate right here in your tent. I thought magic couldn't penetrate the spell around the Whispering Woods."

She-Ra smiled and tapped her brother's shoulders as she stepped around him to peek outside the tent to make sure no one was coming. She raised her sword and turned back into Adora. Once she was through with this task and He-Man followed suit, she answered, "Something tells me there isn't much the Sorceress can't do if she really wants to. I just suspect some things take more effort and energy than others."

Adam nodded as he watched Adora fall back onto her bed and lie down. He repeated her actions on the other side of the bed and came to rest beside her. He moaned as his back shot a slight pain down his legs. It seemed as if the monster had reawakened some of his recent pains and his headache had not gone away yet.

Almost immediately, Adora turned towards her brother, not unaware of his pain, and propped her head up with her elbow. "So, can we finish what we were discussing earlier?" she asked. "What has happened to cause my brother such pain physically and emotionally?"

Adam groaned. "Do we have to?"

She shrugged, "Well, you were the one who wanted to come here to talk."

Adam turned toward her and propped his head up like she did. "Okay, but it's a long story. Don't interrupt until I'm finished." At Adora's nod, he began the story. "It started several days ago when Cringer and I decided to go into the EvergreenForest…"

King Randor stood amongst the rubble littering the palace grounds outside the throne room and shook his head miserably. "Everything that could possibly go wrong has today," he mumbled.

Marlena came to stand beside him and intertwined her fingers through his. "That's not true. Things could be a lot worse, and at least Adam wasn't here to get hurt."

At the mention of Adam's name, Randor flinched. He swallowed audibly and said, "I guess Skeletor simply wanted the palace to reflect what was going on here." He covered his heart with his free hand. "I never knew I could hurt as badly as I do now."

Marlena rested her head on her husband's shoulder and whispered through tears that were already beginning to fall again, "Adam will come back to us. He promised he would. He simply needed a break."

To Marlena, Skeletor's attack was a God's send. After all, she now knew Adam was with Adora and that Adam still wanted to protect Eternos. Those were all good things. It ensured her that he would return and that he still cared about his home…and his family. Of course, she couldn't offer Randor the comfort of that knowledge. He would want to know how she knew, and she doubted Adam, Duncan, or the Sorceress would like it if she simply told him. It seemed like telling Randor Adam’s secret would solve so much, but she knew there had to be a reason they kept it a secret. She just wished she knew what that reason was.

Noticing Adam

A He-Man & She-Ra Story
by Foxy11814

Part 18 of 55

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