Continuing Tales

Noticing Adam

A He-Man & She-Ra Story
by Foxy11814

Part 41 of 55

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The moment was tense—a pin drop could have been heard in the next room after King Randor gasped He-Man's name in surprise. He felt something…he didn't know what it was, but it felt like something was trying to shift in his mind. He fought against it desperately.

"No, it couldn't be," he told himself internally or it could have been aloud. He didn't know. Then, a moment replayed in his mind the last time he had said those very words: he had just gotten back from Snake Mountain after Beastman had kidnapped him and tried to demand a ransom of all the gold in the palace. Man-at-Arms, Adam, and he had gotten into the AttakTrak to head for Drisdos, which would have been their first stop in his Royal Tour of the kingdom if Beastman and his Shadow Beasts hadn't stopped them. He remembered Man-at-Arms telling him he didn't look worse for wear after his encounter. Randor had immediately exclaimed, "Thanks to He-Man! You could learn a lot from him, Adam!"

His son's response had baffled him. He had replied, "I think I already have." And, after questioning Adam what he meant by that, he had stated nonchalantly, "Nothing, Father. I—do I look like the kind who'd argue with someone with a good left hook?"

At that moment, an impossibility had drifted into his mind about his son. After all, he had a private conversation with He-Man about his past that day, and yet Adam had repeated the very words he had told He-Man. And, Adam had been nowhere around when he had made that comment about his left hook. That, more than anything else, had made him wonder for a few moments how his son could have possibly known about the conversation. An answer had come to mind at that time, but he had dismissed it immediately. No, no, it couldn't be.

And, it still couldn't be. If it were true, he knew he'd never be able to function as a king or as a father ever again. Those two roles would battle one another over what he should do and what decisions he should make for his family and his kingdom for the rest of his life. They would constantly contradict one another.

So…it couldn't be—it couldn't be true. No, it can't be true!

But unlike the last time he had that thought, he had plenty of evidence to the contrary now, and it made his attempts to disbelieve nearly impossible. "Oh, Ancients," he gasped as he felt himself drop to his knees roughly.

He felt someone hug him. He even heard someone speaking to him, but he couldn't comprehend the words. All that consumed him was the mountain of evidence that proved something he didn't want to believe. It made such complete sense.

Adam wasn't worried that She-Ra was in love with him because they were siblings! He had said so himself that She-Ra thought of him as a brother. And, as for what happened at Snake Mountain, of course She-Ra would be devastated that Adam had died. It would be only natural for Adora to take her twin into her arms and mourn woefully as She-Ra had done. It hadn't been the cries for a lover; it had been the cries for a brother. If it were true…

Also, He-Man's recent absences could be explained. He-Man hadn't shown up during most of Skeletor's recent plots, because Adam had been the one the villain was focusing on! Adam had been the one kidnapped! Adam had been the one hurt and bedridden! He-Man showing up at that time had been impossible…just like it had been impossible when Skeletor and Evil-Lyn had tried to summon Adam to the throne room when He-Man had been there. He had thought foolishly at that time that their inability to do so was an indication that Adam had died, but his son had already been present. That's why their spells hadn't worked. If it were true…

It even explained why the Sorceress was so involved in his children's life…and even his! He-Man was the protector of Castle Grayskull and its secrets! By necessity, she would have to stay updated on what was going on in Adam's every day life. It was her duty to ensure that Skeletor would never obtain access to the castle. That was why the Sorceress had asked for Adam's help the day his son and he had been arguing about Earth. He-Man was her tool against Skeletor. If it were true…

The king furrowed his brow.

Furthermore, it explained why Adam had become such a lazy, late, and supposedly carefree prince. Every time Adam had been missing, every time Adam had skipped a meeting, every time Adam had been late, every time Adam had run from danger…he had been fulfilling his duties as He-Man. He couldn't be in two places at once, so something had to be sacrificed: namely, Prince Adam's reputation. If it were true…

Randor's expression turned into a scowl.

This impossible idea answered every question he had ever had about his son. If it were true…

It couldn't be true…and, yet…

It was.

For the first time, he accepted the impossible. It was true…and it was going to change his life forever.

King Randor brought himself back to the present and immediately came eye-to-eye with a worried Adam, who was kneeling in front of him so they could be level with one another. The boy held his shoulders firmly. To steady him or to offer solace, he didn't know.

"Father," Adam whispered, "please speak to me. Tell me what's happening. Tell me what you're thinking."

Randor closed his eyes briefly, but when he reopened them, he got to his feet. Adam stood with him. "You're He-Man," he stated as emotionless as he could. He wanted to maintain civility throughout this discussion, no matter where it led. "Your sister is She-Ra. Your sword—it's what changes you, isn't it? Looking at you now, I realize there aren't a lot of differences, but it's what makes He-Man possible, right?

Adam nodded. "Yes," he said simply, waiting for a reaction.

The king glanced at Adora and then his wife. "And, you knew this all along," he said to Marlena, narrowing his eyes.

"Randor," pleaded Marlena softly. "I…" She didn't know what to say.

"It's okay. I know you tried to find a way to tell me. You were the only one who did at first. If it wasn't for you, I still wouldn't know," he said as his hands began to quiver.

"Father…" Adam began, but Randor interrupted him.

"The only question I have to ask myself right now is how to handle this information, because I don't know," he uttered softly as he fought for control of his emotions. His whole body now shook with the effort, and he felt hot and lightheaded.

Adam noticed that his father was beginning to sway, so he grabbed him, pushed him to the bed, and made him sit down. Adam then grabbed the chair behind him, sat in front of his father, and grabbed the king's hand. "Father," Adam tried again. "Listen, Dad…"

Immediately, Randor's lips trembled at Adam's usage of the word "dad." He almost couldn't control himself when he interrupted his son again. "How do I handle this, Adam?" he asked, almost pleadingly. "Do I handle this as a father or as a king? You tell me."

Adam froze as he heard the question. He could tell his father really wanted an answer, and he knew whatever his answer was, King Randor would follow through with that decision. Thinking about both options carefully, trying to weigh the consequences of each and of actually answering this question, eventually he replied, "Father, I don't know. Why don't we just talk about this?"

Randor shook his head and insisted stubbornly, "No, I have to answer this question first. I can't talk about it if I don't know how to handle it, how to process it in my mind…" He stared at his son beseechingly.

Adam tore his eyes from the king and looked at his mother and sister who were biting their bottom lips lightly. They both shook their head; they didn't know either.

With a sigh, Adam turned back to his father and answered truthfully, "You are both, so be both. Will the outcome really be different if you choose one over the other?"

Randor dropped his eyes. Adam just didn't understand. Of course, it would be different. If he handled it like a king, he would have to recognize that the protection of the realm and even the entire planet came first. He would have to realize that He-Man, and therefore Adam, was Eternia's Champion. As the King of Eternia, he could not do anything that would jeopardize the safety and future of his people. But as a father, his job was to protect and shelter his children. Fathers would not allow their children to dance with death every single day of their lives. It was a father's duty to make sure his kids had a better life than he had. If there was a way to ensure these things, that course of action was to be done without hesitation. Those were two very different responses and yet both felt right. It was a paradox that he couldn't quite understand, and that was why he was having trouble figuring out what he should do. He couldn't just ignore the situation—that would drive him insane, so he had to have an answer.

The king opened his mouth to explain this to his son, but Adam stopped him with his words. "It wouldn't be any different, Father. Your job as both is to take care of people. Just talk to me. Just tell me how you feel, and we'll handle it from there."

Randor nodded, forced himself to calm down, and searched within for the answer. And, miraculously, it came. Adam was right—there was no difference. His job was to take care of Adam, Adora, Marlena, and their people. Adam being He-Man and Adora being She-Ra changed nothing—it was irrelevant. What he should do was the only thing he could do in either role.

He met Adam's eyes and spoke from where his heart was at that moment: "Adam, words cannot express how much I love you and how proud I am that you have become a man of great worth and unbreakable courage. You have taken on so much responsibility and sacrificed so much for what you think is right. It shames me that I didn't notice and that I made your life harder than it needed to be…"

"Father," interrupted Adam, "there is no reason to be ashamed."

Randor held up his loose hand in a motion for him to silence. "Let me finish," he said calmly.

Adam nodded and squeezed his father's other hand.

"I have every confidence that you will be the best king this planet has ever had, even better than me." Randor smiled abruptly and added, "And, I do believe that is nearly impossible." He then winked.

Adam couldn't help but smile and laugh. Tears came to his eyes, and Randor frowned.

"And, it shames me that praise brings tears to your eyes," the king continued; "It tells me that you're not used to receiving it and that I have been remiss in some of my duties as your father…but that's going to change starting today."

Adam wiped his eyes and insisted firmly, "You have been a great father and I won't let you say otherwise. So we hit a rough patch over the last two years, but circumstances beyond our control caused that. Now that you know, things will get better."

Randor nodded and replied, "Yes, it will." The king then took a deep breath and continued firmly, "And, that's why, Adam, that I—as your king and your father—hereby forbid you to put yourself in danger as He-Man any longer. That goes for you, too, Adora. You are not going back to Etheria and you're not going to endanger yourself as She-Ra any longer."


Adam didn't know what he had been expecting, but he hadn't expected that, especially when things seemed to be going so well. He knew he must have misunderstood despite hearing the gasps that escaped his mother and sister. "I'm sorry, Father," he whispered, "but I think I misheard you."

Randor straightened and tightened his jaw for a moment before replying, "No, you heard me right. You and Adora are not going to endanger yourselves any longer. I want your sword right now." He then turned to Adora and said, "I know you must have one, as well. I want that, too."

Adam immediately stood and backed away from his father. "What? You can't do this!" he cried, still startled by his father's decision.

Randor stood, as well. "Yes, I can. I'm your king and your father," he insisted in a booming voice, but overall he remained calm.

The prince turned to his mother and Adora. He could see they were as shocked as he was. Then, his sister ran quickly to his side, held his arm with both her hands, and whispered hurriedly, "Okay, brother, what are we going to do? Obviously, we can't give up our swords!"

Adam shook his head at her and replied, "No, we can't!" He turned back to his father and tried to reason with him. "Father, I know you feel like you should protect Adora and me. I understand completely. I realize how frightened you must be at the thought of my fighting Skeletor and saving people across Eternia in various ways. Yes, I put myself in danger's way, as does Adora, but we do it for the right reasons. We do it to protect the people. Like you said earlier, your job is to take care of the people and taking away He-Man and She-Ra is not doing that."

Undeterred, Randor responded, "I know what my job is and you were right, Adam. I have to be both father and king. My job is to protect the both of you and the people. If I allow your masquerades as He-Man and She-Ra continue, I'm failing as a father. I'm putting the needs and wants of the Sorceress above my own children."

Adam couldn't handle that kind of reasoning. He raised his voice unthinkingly and countered, "That's absurd! Adora and I can take care of ourselves, especially when we have the powers of Grayskull, so you need not worry so much about us! And, you still have to protect the people, Father, and once again, taking He-Man and She-Ra out of the picture is not doing that!"

Randor walked over and stood toe-to-toe with Adam. "Oh, really, son?" he asked superiorly; "You can take care of yourself? How were you taking care of yourself when you died on the battlefield at Snake Mountain?"

"I was Adam!" the prince yelled in his defense. "Normally, that doesn't happen when I go against Skeletor!"

"Normally," continued Randor, "but that means that it does happen sometimes and you're vulnerable on those occasions. I cannot allow that to happen at all. And, besides, how were you taking care of yourself as He-Man when the orb that Skeletor sent to destroy Castle Grayskull exploded? Hmm, you could have been killed. Man-at-Arms had to go get you, and I remember how you were when he brought you home. You were dead to the world. I could have chopped your head off and you would have never known! And, how were you taking care of yourself as He-Man when Skeletor enlarged that hawk at Castle Grayskull which grabbed and then dropped you? If the Sorceress hadn't slowed your descent, you might have died even then! Those are just two incidents. I can go back further if you would like to have more examples to prove my point!"

Deciding that she needed to step in and calm things down, Marlena pulled Randor away from Adam and turned him to face her. "Randor, I know how you feel. They're our children and we're absolutely terrified that something might happen to them one day, but it is for the good of the people. Adam's right—we need He-Man and She-Ra!"

Randor shook his head obstinately. "Are you forgetting something?" he asked wrinkling his brow as if he didn't understand her point. When she gestured that she didn't know, he said boastfully, "We have a guard…and with that guard, I defeated Hordak's entire army! I didn't need He-Man and She-Ra, and I can tell you the odds were against us a lot more then than it is with Skeletor and his men now! It doesn't compare at all!"

Marlena opened her mouth but then shut it. What could she say to that?

Randor smirked and nodded at her, knowing he made an excellent point. He then turned back to Adam and Adora who were frantically agreeing with one another that they couldn't allow this to happen. He sighed, called out to both of them, and said composedly, "Look, I understand how you feel. I know the drive to protect others, obviously, and I can even understand why you might think He-Man and She-Ra is the only way to defeat Skeletor and Hordak. Your alter egos do have amazing powers, but there are other ways without endangering you."

"So, endangering the guard is better?" snapped Adam, throwing his hands up in frustration. "Instead of just two people putting themselves in harm's way, we'll put an entire army!"

Randor nodded and said, "Yes, if need be!"

"How can you think that's better, Father?" Adora asked, finally finding the courage to join in. She had never argued with him before and she wished she didn't have to now. "I don't understand your logic here."

Randor turned to Adora specifically and replied, "Protecting the heir to the throne is protecting the people." He then turned back to Adam and explained, "I thought about that before I even knew you were He-Man. I had resolved to talk to you about your trying to sacrifice yourself for me at Snake Mountain. I had already planned on telling you that you cannot endanger yourself again. You have an obligation to our people to protect yourself, Adam. If something happened to you, do you realize the chaos that would ensue? Do you realize how easy it would be for Skeletor to take over if something happened to me and I didn't have an heir?"

Adam paused for a moment in contemplation, but then he countered, "If something happened to me, you could appoint someone else! There's Adora!"

"That's assuming she doesn't die with you," reasoned Randor worriedly, "and besides, as much as I hate to say it, there is no guarantee that the people would accept her as the ruling queen. She was not raised on Eternia, so she doesn't know our customs, the land, or any laws. They tolerated Marlena because they knew I would rule with her and that she would provide an heir. So, they knew in all likelihood that she would never be queen alone."

Adam shook his head again and bellowed, "Then, pick someone else! Anyone!"

"Once again, the people will not accept any random person, and I'm tired of explaining things that you already know! You're quite aware that there would be dissension throughout our kingdom and possibly the entire planet!" Randor snapped; "Look, there's no point in discussing your deaths anyway. I'm not going to allow that to happen-that's my point. Just give me your swords! It's the right thing to do! You cannot out reason me, and you know it!"

Adam and Adora turned to one another and took each other's hand to stand as a united front. The prince held his head high and said, "I'm sorry, Father, but we can't give you our swords." He then motioned with his head towards the door and Adora and he made their way to it and left the room.

King Randor followed them calmly. When he stepped into the hall and looked at the extra guards he had assigned to the area because of Skeletor's attacks on them, he smiled and then called out, "Guards, seize the prince and princess!"

All the guards seemed to be shocked, but they moved into action only a second later. Before Adam and Adora could run, the guards surrounded them. Neither sibling wanted to hurt anyone, so they tried various maneuvers to move them out of the way, but there were too many. Eventually, they had multiple guards grabbing them from behind, preventing them from going anywhere.

Randor frowned as he walked up to them and said, "The Ancients know I didn't want to do that and I hate that it came down to it, but I love you both and I'm looking out for your future and Eternia's. Please forgive me!" He reached out to take their swords.

Noticing Adam

A He-Man & She-Ra Story
by Foxy11814

Part 41 of 55

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