Continuing Tales

Noticing Adam

A He-Man & She-Ra Story
by Foxy11814

Part 2 of 55

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The entire ride back to the palace was enveloped in silence as Man-at-Arms' eyes kept drifting to the sleeping prince behind him. His mind, however, was anything but quiet. He wondered exactly what Skeletor had done this time to cause He-Man to overexert himself, which was unbelievable in its own right. When Man-at-Arms was at Castle Grayskull, it never occurred to him to ask the Sorceress for details. All he had cared about was Adam and rightfully so:  he had watched the lad grow up into the man and hero he was today. He was practically a son, but he knew it wasn't only that. When he saw He-Man lying in that bed motionless, the same feeling he had felt when he watched Hordak take infant Adora away from Eternia all those years ago came rushing back: he felt like he had let King Randor and all of Eternia down.

Man-at-Arms was so lost in his thoughts that he didn't realize he was at the palace until the AttakTrak parked itself into its proper place. Once the vehicle stopped, Duncan turned all the way around and looked at the scene before him. Adam was sound asleep and Cringer, as watchful as Battlecat, had laid his head on the seat beside the prince, watching him intently.

Duncan reached out a hand slowly and rubbed the tiger's head comfortingly. "Don't worry," he whispered, "the Sorceress said he'd be okay."

Cringer looked at Duncan for a spare moment before letting his eyes drift back to Adam. "I-I knew it was a mistake the leave the palace, t-today," the animal said softly. "Anytime we go anywhere to get away, He-Man always has to help someone." Cringer paused and asked even more softly, "B-but who's going to help He-Man?"

Duncan felt like his heart stopped in response to Cringer’s words, and he immediately took his hand away from the tiger. Cringer's worries and concerns made the situation and facts all too real: He-Man really wasn't invincible. Of course, Duncan had always known that he wasn't, but the truth was he never thought about it. He suddenly realized he was guilty of taking Adam and He-Man for granted. They were always there when he and Eternia needed him. No one ever wondered what would happen if something actually did happen to Eternia's Champion. Man-at-Arms turned around to face the front, breathed in deeply, and said, "Cringer, I told you the Sorceress said he's going to be fine. He's just going to be a little sore. All Adam needs is a little rest and relaxation."

"Who's going to tell that to Skeletor?" came Cringer's reply.

Duncan suddenly felt claustrophobic. He opened the AttakTrak and quickly got out. He leaned over to the backseat and shook Adam lightly. "Adam," he whispered.

Adam groaned for a few seconds before opening his eyes and peering at Man-at-Arms.

"We're here," said Duncan, softly.

Slowly, Prince Adam climbed out of the backseat, and once he stood on the ground, Man-at-Arms slipped his arm around the prince's waist again.

"Duncan," Adam said softly, "I'm fine. I can walk without your help."

Duncan pulled his arm back and watched Adam stand before him. The young prince was shaking ever so slightly, and Duncan had no doubt it was because of his exhaustion and sore muscles. Almost immediately, he slipped his arm back around his waist and said, "Just humor me, Prince Adam, and let me help you to your room."

The use of his title made Adam quickly glance at his friend. He didn't know why, but he found it shocking to hear Duncan call him that since they were in private. He wondered at the possibilities:  perhaps Duncan thought that Adam's reluctance to be helped was because he found the situation degrading or embarrassing. To solve this, Duncan had decided to address him in a manner of pure respect to let him know he had nothing to be ashamed of. It was possible.

"Of course, on the same token, he could be looking at this as more of an obligation," Adam thought but then quickly squashed the thought out of his mind. Either way, he was tired and allowed Duncan to help him.


Teela walked through the halls of the palace, still seething from Adam's most resent display of irresponsibility and monkey business. "How dare he!" she hissed silently. "I cannot believe Adam! Once again, he's managed to ruin a beautiful day for me by running off and falling asleep somewhere. I had to spend the entire day searching for him when I should have been practicing with my men and watching them train. And, what's worse is the look the king and queen had when I told them I couldn't find Adam. They seemed so disappointed. The king immediately left the room and I haven't seen him since. He's probably upset at Adam for running off without telling anyone, and he's upset with me for allowing him to do it." Teela stopped dead in the middle of the hallway, stomped her foot, and then screamed to herself, "URGH!"

Teela stood there for a second breathing in deeply to calm herself when she heard someone walking down the hallway right around the corner. "Ah-ha! Patrolling the halls came in handy tonight. I can't wait to give Adam a piece of my mind."

Teela tiptoed to the potted plant where the two halls met and peeped around the corner. What Teela saw made her gasp:  her father was helping Adam walk, undoubtedly, to his bedroom with Cringer following close behind. Adam had his right arm around her father's shoulders while the other one seemingly hung from his shoulder blade without a care in the world. His head wasn't much better, either. Adam was almost looking down straight at the floor and every few seconds, he would pop his head up with his eyes wide open. It looked like he was trying to fight off sleep. That's when Teela noticed the very tight hold her father had on Adam's waist. He was literally holding the prince up and practically dragging him through the hall.

Griping at Adam was now the last thing Teela had on her mind as she stepped out of her hiding place and ran to Adam's side.

"Father!" she cried. "What happened? What's wrong with Adam?" Teela quickly took Adam's left arm and wrapped it around her shoulders and helped her father as best as she could.

Duncan looked at Teela and suddenly realized he hadn't come up with an answer to Adam's whereabouts during the day or his present condition. Usually that was Adam's department, but he saw from Adam's constant closing and opening eyes that the prince wasn't going to have an excuse handy tonight. He knew Teela's questioning eyes were still on him, so he said, "Let's not talk about this right now. Let's just help Adam to his room."

In complete silence, Teela and Man-at-Arms helped Adam the rest of the distance to his bedchambers. Once they arrived, Teela opened the door, led her father and Adam inside, and turned on the lights. Once they got Adam on the bed, Teela quickly went about removing his boots. Man-at-Arms watched silently as Adam finally gave into sleep and rolled his head to the side on his pillow.

Once Teela set Adam's boots down on the floor, she stared at Adam for a few seconds before turning to her father with a concerned expression covering her face. If he hadn't known any better, he would have thought she was on the verge of tears. "Okay, Father," said Teela slowly as if trying to calm herself down, "what's wrong with Adam?"

"That's a very good question!" came a voice from behind them.

Man-at-Arms and Teela immediately swirled around in time to see King Randor run from Adam's balcony to the bed. Duncan watched as Randor sat on the edge of the bed, grabbed his son's hand, and stared at him with the same expression Cringer and Battlecat had earlier. Duncan knew he had to have an answer for his king and quickly.

Randor, however, was paying more attention to Adam than Man-at-Arm's silence: Adam's eyes had dark circles underneath them and all of his skin had a sickly-pale hue. He was obviously in a deep sleep now because the slightest touch to any part of his body would have woken him up when he was younger. It didn't now. This only strengthened King Randor's concern.

He quickly looked at Teela and said in a loud and rushed tone, "Go get the Royal Physician."

"Yes, Your Highness," replied Teela, but she was quickly stopped by her father who put a firm hand on her shoulder.

"Your Majesty," Duncan said, softly, "Prince Adam is fine. He isn't hurt; he's merely exhausted. He'll be fine after a good night's rest."

The king tore his eyes away from his son, looked up at Man-at-Arms angrily, and said, "And, how do you know this, Duncan? Was this the 'emergency' you had to tend to earlier when we last spoke? Where was my son, and what happened to him?"

Duncan motioned for King Randor to follow him out to the balcony before their voices woke up Adam. Once they were outside, Duncan decided the best way to get out of this situation was to tell the truth, but he also knew he had to leave a few of the details he did know out. He quickly turned to face Randor and said abruptly, "I don't know what happened to Prince Adam, Your Majesty."

"What?" Randor exclaimed. "Then, how do you know he will be fine? I'm getting the physician."

Man-at-Arms grabbed the king's arm and said, "The Sorceress of Grayskull contacted me this afternoon and told me Adam needed my help. When I arrived at Grayskull, she informed me that he was fine and all he needed was rest. I'm sure the Sorceress' diagnosis does not need a second opinion."

Randor turned, looked at his son still sleeping on the bed, and replied, "I'm sure you're right, Duncan. The Sorceress has always had my family's best interest at heart. She has proven that many times over the years, but I don't understand. She didn't tell you what happened to Adam? Why did she contact you and not me in regards to my son? And, even more importantly, when we were talking in the hall, why didn't you tell me something was wrong with Adam? I would have went with you to get him. I would have…" He trailed off. The truth was he didn't know what he would have done. He only knew for certain that not even Skeletor and all of his allies could have kept him from getting to his son.

Duncan looked down at the floor and said, "I had no idea what was going on. I didn't know what I would find when I got to Grayskull. I was hoping it was something I could handle."

Randor's hand reached out, placed its finger under Duncan's chin, and made him look the king in the eye. Randor swallowed roughly and asked calmly, "And, how many other instances has my son been hurt or in trouble and you have helped him without my knowledge?"

Duncan's eyes widened. He surely couldn't say the immediate answer that came to his mind: too many to count.

Randor saw Duncan's expression and turned away. He looked out over his lands and said, "So, I was right earlier. My son is keeping secrets from his mother and me. You have, too."

"Your Majesty," said Duncan rapidly. He knew this conversation wasn't going well. He knew he had to say something to rectify everything, but he didn't know what.

King Randor looked back at Man-at-Arms and gave him a weak and an all-too-obvious fake smile. Duncan could tell he was straining to keep the smile in place. Randor patted Duncan on the back and replied, "Don't worry, Man-at-Arms—I’m not angry with you. I suppose it is your job to protect the prince, and it isn't your job to tell me about my son's life. It's his job." He paused and looked up at the stars above him. He sighed and continued, "I just wish I knew what I did wrong."

"What?" asked Duncan, unsure where Randor was going with this line of talk.

Randor looked at him and explained, "I've just come to the realization that Marlena is right:  our son is a stranger to us." He shook his head and whispered, "Why does he feel like he can't come to me when he is in trouble or when he needs help? Did I make myself that unapproachable to him? I thought Adam knew that I loved him even though I probably haven't said it as much as I should have."

"It's not that," stated Duncan; "Adam loves you and he knows you love him. He's not keeping anything from you that…"

Randor cut him off by yelling, "Duncan!" Randor then quieted down after peering into the bedroom and seeing Adam stir in bed and Teela look in their direction. "Don't tell me this has nothing to do with me and that Adam isn't purposely keeping things from me! Otherwise, how do you explain his obvious confidence in you? I thought this whole time that Adam was probably the one who had issues letting people in, but now I see it's all about who he's comfortable around. You're a good man, a good father, Duncan. That's why Teela tells you everything. That's also why Adam tells you everything instead of me."

Man-at-Arm's eyes widened. "It isn't like that at all, Your Majesty," he said quickly, eager to change the king's mind. "Adam doesn't tell me everything that's going on in his life. The Sorceress was the one who contacted me today, not Adam. I don't know anymore about what happened than you do. Please, Your Majesty, don't beat yourself up over this. Adam loves and respects you; I know he does. I'm sure he's unaware of your concerns, but as soon as he's feeling better maybe you both can try to resolve whatever issues you may or may not have with each other."

King Randor looked at Man-at-Arms, smiled, grabbed his shoulder, and squeezed. "I'm sorry, Duncan, to take all my concerns out on you. I'm sure you're right. I just jumped to hasty conclusions when I saw Adam and realized where you had gone."

Duncan smiled, visibly relieved that he had smoothed things over for the time being, but he knew his not knowing and not telling anything would put Adam in a tight spot when the prince awoke. Adam would have to think on his toes to soothe the king’s anxiety, and unfortunately, Duncan couldn’t help that. He didn’t want to put Adam in a worser position of having to explain why his account was different than his mentor’s. That wouldn't help them rid Randor's suspicions at all.

"But," said Randor looking once again at Adam and interrupting Duncan’s thoughts, "now that I think about it, I don't know if this makes it better or worse."

"What's that?"

"If he isn't talking to you, it's possible he isn't talking to anyone. No one has a clue what is going on in his life. Does he necessarily want it that way? Does he think no one cares? Is he so secretive that he uses laziness as a ploy to cover his tracks because he thinks he can't trust us?"

Duncan glanced at Adam and Teela and whispered, "That's speculative, Your Highness. I think Adam is a truly loving and caring individual who is still maturing into the man and ruler he will become. He's still young and trying to find who he really is besides the Prince of Eternia. I'm sure you can understand that."

Randor nodded. "Yes, you're quite right, again, Duncan. I do understand that. It's just that I worry so much about the boy. What if something happens to me and he's not ready to take over? The transition to king is rough enough on the most trained princes, much less…

Duncan looked over at Randor and said, "Just talk to Adam. Maybe he'll surprise you. I honestly believe you and the queen are worrying over nothing. Adam is a fine lad and I know he'll make a great king one day. He isn't hiding anything from us that needs to be told, Your Majesty. He trusts all of us, especially you and the Queen."


Teela watched her father and the king talk on the balcony. There were a few occasions where one of them had raised their voices, but for the most part, she couldn't hear what they were discussing, even though it was pretty obvious. Teela sat down in a chair she had pulled near Adam's bed and reached out to brush his bangs away from his forehead so she could feel his temperature.

"He feels fine," she thought to herself, "but he looks terrible."

She stared at his face for what seemed like hours until movement caught the corner of her eye. She looked over and saw Cringer sitting on the floor at the foot of the bed. "Oh, Cringer," she thought sadly. Teela reached out her hand and said, "Come here, Cringer."

Cringer walked over to Teela's side and sat beside her. They both looked at Adam and sighed simultaneously.

Suddenly and without warning, Teela started speaking which surprised them both. "Cringer, this is the day I've dreaded for many years now, ever since I became Adam's bodyguard.” Tears filled her eyes and she looked down at the pet. "I'm supposed to protect him, and look at him. He's here lying in bed and I don't know what in the world is wrong with him or what happened. He was fine this morning. Maybe if I actually did what I'm always screaming at Adam to do, then this wouldn't have happened."

"Wh-what are you talking about Teela?" asked Cringer.

"I'm always yelling at Adam that he should do what's expected of him and take charge of his responsibilities. Obviously, I should have taken my own advice. He's my charge and I wasn't there for him when he needed me."

Cringer stood up and nudged Teela's hand, which was resting on her knee, with his nose. She smiled down at him weakly. As Teela petted him, he replied, "You heard Man-at-Arms say Adam is fine. H-he'll be as good as new with t-time."

Teela's hand movements ceased and Teela asked quickly, "What happened today, Cringer? I need to know."

Cringer instinctively looked at Adam for help, but he quickly realized he wasn't going to get any from there. "I don't know" fell from his lips then. After all, he could hear the king and Man-at-Arms speaking and it worked for Duncan, so why not him, too? He quickly realized the answer to that question when he noticed Teela's furrowed brow and the intense stare of disbelief. Just as Teela opened her mouth to either chastise or question him, Cringer looked towards balcony and was relieved to see Man-at-Arms and King Randor heading their way. He kept his eyes in their direction to avoid Teela. When Man-at-Arms reached them, he said, "I think we should all leave to let Adam and Cringer get their rest."

Randor looked at his son and replied, "Maybe I should stay and watch over him in case he needs something."

Duncan looked at the king understanding his hesitancy in leaving his son. "I'll check on him periodically during the night. You need your rest, as well. I'll come and get you if Adam needs you."

"If he needs anything," Randor corrected.

Man-at-Arms nodded and amended, "If he needs anything."


The next day Adam didn't feel like opening his eyes. He felt the warm sun shining through the window on his arms, which would have been wonderful under normal circumstances, but unfortunately, he had forgotten to change into his sleepwear the night before. He still wore his long-sleeved undershirt under his pink tunic. He wasn't surprised, though, that he hadn't remembered to change his clothes last night; he didn't even remember getting into bed. That's how far he had been out of it.

He breathed in deeply, snuggled into his pillow, and then suddenly yelled out in pain. His calves had suddenly locked up from cramps, and even though his arm muscles were also stiff, he quickly opened his eyes, sat up, and started rubbing his legs frantically to relieve himself of the pain.

Suddenly, there was another pair of hands on his legs helping him. After the pain subsided, Adam leaned back, closed his eyes for a second, and said, "Thank you, Dun…" He stopped his statement as soon as he reopened his eyes and saw who was really in the room with him. "Uh, Father."

"Good morning, son," replied Randor, forcing himself to smile softly after hearing Adam almost call him Duncan. "I see you're a little sore today. I just hate it when I wake up with cramps after working hard all day long the day before."

"Uh, yeah," replied Adam as he sat up, raised his hand, and scratched his head.

Just as Adam was about to question his father why he was in his room, his mother came in with a tray of food.

"Oh, good," she said, "you're awake." She walked to the side of the bed, gave Adam the tray, sat beside him, and pressed the back of her hand to his cheek. "How are you feeling today, son? Are you okay?"

Adam eyed his mother suspiciously for a second as she ran her fingers through his hair. "Uh, Mom, what's going on? Is something wrong?"

King Randor got up from his seat and also sat on the edge of the bed. "I don't know. You tell us."

Adam looked at his parents, feeling as if Eternia had turned upside down.

The door suddenly opened, and Teela, Orko, and Man-at-Arms entered, each carrying a 'Get Well Soon' potted plant. Adam looked around at everyone and his eyes finally settled on Cringer who was also eating a rather large breakfast in the corner…OF HIS ROOM. Something was definitely going on. "Okay…" he said slowly, thinking about everything that had happened yesterday. He was obviously forgetting something. He remembered collapsing at Grayskull but he didn't remember much after that. Surely nothing catastrophic happened, right? Feeling more than a little confused, he looked at his father and asked with a serious tone, "Am I dying?"

Randor immediately sprung from the bed, ran closer to Adam’s side, and grabbed his shoulders. The king looked as if he were in an unbearable panic. "Why do you ask that?" he asked frantically. "Are you feeling okay? What’s wrong? What on Eternia did you do yesterday?"

Adam widened his eyes and looked over at Man-at-Arms.

Duncan had no problem deciphering the plea in Adam's eyes: "HELP!"

Man-at-Arms sat his potted plant down on a nearby table and walked to the bed. "Your Majesty, I believe the prince asked that question because of this morning's developments. The lad has to be confused with all of this."

Randor laughed awkwardly and rubbed his son's back lightly. "Oh, Adam, don't scare me like that."

"Scare you?" quipped Adam.

The room quickly fell into complete silence for several seconds, which made Adam feel like he was going to go mad. "So…" he said in hopes of getting someone to say something.

"So…," repeated Randor.

It seemed like no one knew how to begin. They sat in silence again for a little while longer and finally Randor had waited long enough. Patience had never been one of his attributes. "Adam," he began, but then he stopped and looked around at the room's occupants. He quickly addressed them and said, "I think the Queen and I need to speak with our son alone. We appreciate your lovely gifts and concern. You can stop by again later."

Everyone nodded at once, and as they left the room, Adam's eyes connected with Man-at-Arms'. They were both worried, very worried.

"Poor Adam," thought Duncan; "He probably doesn't have a clue what is coming." He hoped Adam was clearheaded enough to answer the king’s questions. Undoubtedly, they would be the same ones Randor had asked him last night.

As the door shut, Adam swallowed nervously and decided now was the perfect time to dive into the food his mother had brought him. He looked down and saw a meal which consisted of soups and sandwiches. He looked at his mom and said, "I'm okay, Mom. I could have eaten regular breakfast food this morning."

Marlena stared at her son with almost a look of sadness as she brushed his bangs down with her fingers and replied, "I'm sure you could have, son, but it's past noon. I figured this would be more suitable. Besides, it's better for you."

Adam's eyes widened and he asked incredulously, "I slept all morning?"

Randor nodded and said, "Yes, son. You were so tired last night and looked so much better this morning that we decided not to wake you up. I hope you are well-rested and feeling better now."

Adam nodded nervously. He didn't remember running into his parents last night. He didn't even remember anything after he stopped Skeletor's orb. He didn't know what his parents thought happened yesterday, so he wasn't about to start shooting off explanations that could contradict anything they might have been told.

Once again, the room became engulfed in silence. Adam passed the time by sipping from his soup, and Randor stared at Marlena for several seconds. Adam watched his parents’ actions curiously. It was almost like they were speaking telepathically. Suddenly, Randor snapped his head towards him and Adam immediately looked down at his food.

Randor looked at his wife and nodded. "Son," he began and then sighed; "This is harder than I thought."

Adam looked up. His father sounded so serious and concerned that he knew he better pay attention.

Randor smiled at Adam reassuringly and said, "I don't even know where to begin. I wanted to talk with you yesterday before any of this ever happened. It's kind of ironic that yesterday afternoon's events have sort of brought what I wanted to talk with you about to the forefront of all my concerns."

Adam glanced at his mother briefly and then back at his father. "What did you want to talk to me about?"

"Your mother and I want to know if you trust us, Adam."

Adam answered without even thinking. "Of course, I do, Father. If the situation ever came, I would trust you with my life."

Randor smiled and said, "I'm glad to hear that, son. With that being said, I have a couple of things to ask you." His face grew serious.

"Uh, oh," Adam thought.

"I want to know where you were yesterday. What were you doing? What happened? And, why did the Sorceress have to contact Man-at-Arms to come get you at Castle Grayskull?"

Adam sat there for a few seconds not knowing what to say. How much did they already know? "I, eh, I don't know, Father."

"You don't know?" Randor and Marlena repeated unbelievingly.

Adam leaned back on the bed and explained, "Cringer and I went to the Evergreen Forest yesterday to relax and the next thing I remember, I, eh, woke up here with all of you in my room."

Marlena and Randor frowned at each other, but then Marlena mumbled, "I did see you and Cringer leave in the direction of the forest yesterday." She said this merely for Randor's benefit to show that their son just might be telling the truth and to help Adam a little. She knew her husband didn't really believe Adam's sudden and selective amnesia, and she couldn't blame him, because she didn't really believe it herself. But Adam was sick and injured, so now was not the best time to press Adam hard about his secrets.

They all sat there silently for several more minutes, each immersed in his or her own thoughts. Randor was pretty much convinced his son didn't want to tell them the truth, and Adam felt lower than dirt for having to lie. He wished for once, just once, he could tell his parents the truth, especially since it seemed like they were so ready and eager to hear it. He closed his eyes and laid his arm over his eyes.

As Adam did this, Randor looked over at him and said, "I can see you're still tired, son. Your mother and I will leave you for now so you can rest. I hope to see you later today."

Adam uncovered his eyes and replied, "Thanks."

"You're welcome," Randor said hurriedly as he and Marlena left the room, pausing to give him a worried look before stepping into the corridor.

As soon as the door shut behind his parents, Adam looked at it and whispered, "I'm sorry."

On the other side of the door, Randor looked at the queen and whispered sadly, "He's lying to us, Marlena. But why? What is he keeping from us?"

Marlena wrapped her arms around her husband, glad that he was finally paying attention to their son and showing he had the ability to read him, and asked, "What are we going to do, Randor?"

He held her tightly and answered, "Whatever we can, wife. I refuse to lose our son, and I refuse to be left out in the dark any longer."

Noticing Adam

A He-Man & She-Ra Story
by Foxy11814

Part 2 of 55

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