HOW DO YOU BEAT DÉJÀ VU

CHAPTER TEN

A/N: Who could be the One who is controlling things, and what does this being want from Jeannie and Tony (other than for them to be apart)?

BTW: In this universe, which is an alternate one, Ares is the God of War (his other name being Mars.) He is married to a very special deity, because I can, and because it fits where I desired to go in this story. Again, this portion is more dramatic than comedic. Just informing you, dear reader.

Thanks to all who reviewed! Your words are like pennies from Heaven, and I welcome your comments.

Previously: The Being put some fruit into its mouth and chewed slowly, the bow shaped lips grinning in triumph. Soon, if things progressed smoothly, Major Anthony Nelson and his Jeannie would be torn apart.

Forever.

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The Blue Djinn materialized at the temple in the clouds, holding the bottle in front of him like a trophy. He stood before the one who commanded him, never once breaking his arrogant stance.

"So, you have brought me the maid," the Celestial Commander of him confirmed. "I trust you did not have too much difficulty…".

The male genie shook his head, saying, "None whatsoever. But I wish to keep her, Master of All! She hath betrayed me, she hath been with another—a mortal serpent who also hath betrayed me!"

The Being's eyes grew cold. "Hold your tongue!" the One who commanded the Djinn ordered. The cerulean skinned magic man obeyed, though he seethed as his dark eyes found the Other's lighter ones.

"First, we must take care of Major Nelson," the One said, his/her long fingers stroking his/her cheek as options were considered. The gracious yet deadly hand was extending, its long fingers opening to receive Jeannie's bottle.

The Blue Djinn reluctantly handed the purple bottle to his Master's outstretched palm. As soon as the beautiful magic container was gripped, Jeannie heard a voice saying softly, "I mean you no harm, little genie. Come out of your prison, now."

Although the last word had been spoken in almost a whisper, the voice that had spoken it was clearly authoritative, brooking no argument whatsoever. Jeannie's usual pink smoke which exited the bottle was yellow this time, her fear palpable.

Jeannie saw the Blue Djinn. She looked at the room she was in, and at the One. "You freed me?" She asked it. "I don't understand."

Shrinking back from the one who'd turned her into a genie, the magic maiden asked the Being, "What is it that you want from me?"

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Major Nelson and his fellow astronauts waited as their capsule circled on its 72 hour long voyage to the space station. They heard General Peterson's voice as they continued on their journey.

Major Stephens inputted their destination, telling both of his fellow officers, "Well, that's it. Now it's up to Mothah Nature and NASA to get us to the Starblazer station out there." He took a sleeping pill and settled down in his chair. Responding to General Peterson's communication, Major Stephens felt the hand of Morpheus overtake him and he settled down for a long sleep.

Captain Elwood could feel the excitement gripping him from the roots of his very short red hair beneath his helmet to his long feet tucked away in his space boots.

As he took his sleeping tablet he told Major Nelson, "After months of planning, it looks like all the hard work on Project Galaxy paid off. I can't wait to analyze the data at the 'blazer." Soon, the sounds of Captain Elwood's snoring could be heard over the communicator.

Tony was glad for the time to be alone. He knew that the others would wake upon entering the station's orbit—about 60 hours from the current time, give or take. As he cross checked the systems in the capsule the trio of astronauts were in, a smile lit his lips. Now, he could concentrate on Jeannie without any distractions. He checked the coordinates, memorizing the capsule's current location so that he could tell her.

He remembered what she'd told him: that he could think about her, and she would respond. Tony closed his eyes, and cleared his mind of all other thoughts. Presently, thinking about the girl who had captured his heart, Major Nelson mentally voiced the overriding question he had, are you all right?

Several moments passed; then, haltingly, yes, I am well. Why are you bothering me?

Tony was relieved that he finally heard his genie. But he didn't understand her attitude. She sounded as if she was angry with him, for some reason. He wondered what he'd done to make her feel that way. Did her irate tone have something to do with MacAllister taking her away again, perhaps? Not likely, Tony conjectured. MacAllister had let her go. She would have no reason to be back with him…except, she might have been angry at Tony's abrupt departure. That must be the case.

If that were true, though, Major Nelson wondered why she'd called for help. Was it a trick to get him to come back early? It wouldn't be the first time, he realized, remembering how she'd zapped him to the island he'd found her on for their one year anniversary without so much as a by-your-leave and how she'd turned him into a fish, a goat, and other animals. She was putting him in jail, turning his girlfriends into animals, and generally ruining his life!

She was always tricking him! Major Nelson's initial worry was replaced by anger and frustration. This time, she wouldn't be getting away with any of her plans.

He thought back, a little harshly, You almost got away with it! Whatever you're planning won't work, young lady. If I'm bothering you, you can just stay in your bottle! We can talk when I get back, and not before!

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In the Being's holy place, Jeannie felt him withdraw. Her silent tears ran down her face. She hated what the stranger had made her do! Jeannie abhorred being instructed via the bottle to tell her old Master that she didn't want his help; that in fact, she was inconvenienced by his presence.

"Oh, please…" she pleaded to the One who had both her and the Djinn under its control, "let me tell him what is wrong! Let me tell him how much I love him!"

"And have him risk Heaven and Earth to bring you back to his side?" The Being said, shaking its head. "I think not!"

"I promise I will do whatever you, and the Djinn, wish me to…if only you will let me say 'goodbye' to him!" Jeannie cried. "I am sorry for upsetting you!"

The Being considered, but shook its head again.

"Master," the Djinn suggested, "let me show him what true enslavement really is! I will enjoy changing that one into that which we are!" His eyes contained true malice.

The Being thought about that, and how it might be amusing to have Major Nelson at someone's beck and call as a genie…maybe that Roger Healey person. His greediness would provide a great show if he controlled Anthony Nelson.

"It would be fun at that!" the One concluded, wickedly smiling. "Make it so!"

Jeannie yelled, "No! No, please, do not do this! I will never see him again, if only you and the Djinn will let him go free!"

"It is a trick!" the Blue Djinn snapped. "She hath tricked me before, my Master. Do not let her trick you!" Regarding Jeannie with loathing and disgust, he said, "I would not soil myself with thee as a wife now! But I wouldst also not be disgraced by your marrying the infidel! It will take mere moments to confine him in a bottle and show him captivity!"

When the Blue Djinn was about to invoke the magics that would transform Tony Nelson into a genie, the Being held up its hand. The male genie said nothing, but he crossed his arms and muttered to himself.

Jeannie breathed a sigh of relief. Her old Master was safe!

At that moment, the One felt a temporary moment of indecision. Had he/she bitten off more than he/she could chew, as the mortals often said? In response, a voice sounded from one end of the Great Hall to the other.

"Mother!" cried a familiar male baritone. "What in the name of Mount Olympus is going on?" Cupid came into the room, followed by his father, Ares.

The Being, known as Aphrodite to some, and Venus to others, stared at her son and husband. She was hoping that they would not interfere until Major Anthony Nelson was either permanently transformed or out of the way with another mortal woman. But, as always, they seemed to intrude whenever she was about to enact one of her schemes! Not since Medusa had she beenable to have the fun she craved.

Aphrodite's pink, bow shaped lips curled into a seductive pout. "Hmmph!" She cried, totally miffed that she'd been discovered.

Ares looked upon his wife, still lovely with her curling honey blonde tresses, the ringlets resting atop her head and surrounding her cherubic face and her shoulders. Like their only child, Eros, she wore the white toga, the top portion of it to one side—her right one-the gold trim emphasizing her ample cleavage and her shapely hips. It was easy to see which parent Eros resembled with his blond hair and grey eyes.

The God of War, sometimes referred to as Mars, was himself very lean and also fit with a muscular chest encased in red and grey armor, his slightly hairy torso exposed on his left side. His hair was dark, as black as midnight, and his eyes were a vibrant red, with the flames of fighting and the lust for destruction in them.

"Yes, wife…" Ares asked in a surprisingly deep, harmonious voice. "What mischief are you up to?" When Aphrodite didn't answer, but instead looked away like a child whose hand was caught in the cookie jar, Ares said, "it seems that I chose the right time to visit our son."

It was then that Eros saw the two genies. "Why is my genie here?" He asked. "And"—he indicated the Blue Djinn—"what is he doing here?"

Aphrodite looked at her son, saying, "They are both here at my design. I did this for you, my child!" It was then that Cupid had a sneaking suspicion why Jeannie and the Djinn had been summoned.

After scrutinizing his Mother, he put his head in his hands, telling her, "Tell me you haven't been mucking about in my affairs again! You swore, Mother, that you would not interfere this time!"

Aphrodite protested, "I am aware of that, my son, but I want you to be happy!" She floated over to genie, saying, "This one who you have chosen, this one you offered your greatest gift to, treated you like garbage! I saw the whole thing: she rejected you!"

"By choice!" Eros argued, pausing to tell both magic genies in a low voice, "I must apologize. Father isn't like this at all." Behind him, his father smirked.

Aphrodite addressed the Blue Djinn suddenly. "I am sorry you have to contend with such a fickle genie!" She said. "I will compensate you somehow for the trouble I made in involving you in my affairs. In the meantime...". She waved her hand and the Djinn disappeared.

"Now, then," she asked her son, "where were we?" After a moment, Aphrodite said, "Ahh, yes! Talking about your genie, and the errant mortal who dared to fall in love with her."

Eros replied, "By my hand! He loves her, this I know. My arrows and clubs never fail. And she chose that mortal, though Heaven only knows why! I do not pretend to understand it, but I respect it."

His grey eyes grew brighter, the flames therein igniting as he told his Mother, "when I let her go, I did it with a clear conscience. She would never be happy with me if she were forced upon me!" His grey eyes found his father, who was listening to both sides.

"Father," Cupid implored him, "do something!" After some reflection, Ares shook his head.

"I cannot," he said, his voice apologetic. "I am sorry, my son, and"— he looked at Jeannie, asking, -"Jeannie, was it?" At her nod, Ares continued, telling her, "My wife has set certain things in motion that must be carried out to their ultimate conclusion. I cannot interfere." His eyes raked over Aphrodite with appreciation as he remembered why he married her centuries before.

"Bloodthirsty little minx," he whispered, the flames in his orbs growing brighter with lust. A moment later, Ares cleared his throat while Aphrodite smiled.

He looked at his only son, saying, "However, there is something you and the fair maiden can do. If you agree, then things will be in balance once again."

It was then that Eros looked at Jeannie with sorrow in his eyes. He said to her, "Jeannie, there is only one solution that will prevent Mother's magic from hurting your precious mortal."

Jeannie asked, "And, what is that?"

Looking daggers at his mother, and then back at Jeannie, Cupid got down on one knee., "I think I know," he told her softly. "Mother will not be appeased unless…". He swallowed, then said, "Change your destiny. Marry me."

Aphrodite smiled, completely satisfied with the way things were going. "You see?" She whispered to her husband. "And you thought this would turn out wrong."

Ares whispered back, "Be careful, my wife, that your overprotectiveness towards our offspring doesn't explode in your face." He looked at Eros, who wore a disapproving look toward his mother, and declared, "the sapling is falling further from the tree than you realize." But Aphrodite would not be deterred.

Shrugging, she said to Jeannie, "it is your choice. Either you make my son happy by giving him what he desires, or you and your mortal can be miserable in eternal servitude to the Masters I appoint as their genies. Are you willing to make the sacrifice, little genie?"

Jeannie thought about her options, and the two futures concerning her old Master that lay before her: she could either the take away everything he ever loved and thus enslave him, or she would let him go, to be happy as a mortal; to meet someone else, perhaps another dark haired witch like Melissa.

Looking at Cupid, she said softly, "I choose Major Nelson's happiness above my own. I will marry you."