Chapter 6: Before and After

Part 1: Before

Tony woke up tired, in pain, and just feeling plain terrible. He knew he didn't have to go to work, but he was feeling restless. He tried falling back asleep, but couldn't. He got up out of bed, walked into the living room, and turned on the television set. The early morning news was on, after all it was only 4 in the morning, but nothing seemed to catch his attention. He reached up to feel the back of his head…and felt something strange. It was a bandage. At the hospital, he knew they had taken the one he had on off, and put medicine on the wound…but they never put on a new one. He took the bandage off and felt his wound. It was barely noticeable. All he felt was a slight bump, as if it had already turned into a scar. He looked at his arms and was relieved to see that they still had scratches all over them. For a moment there, I thought I was going crazy. Maybe it just healed up fast, yeah, the medicine they gave me at the hospital healed it up quickly.

He walked upstairs and took out his telescope to look up at the stars. He remembered the day he had a fight with Jeannie and she said she was going to move to another planet. He remembered her looking out through the telescope at who knows what star or planet, and thinking that he could never let her go.

"Jeannie I didn't mean that" Tony said as he swung the telescope away from her face. She quickly turned her back on him. "Uh, you know we have a custom, on this planet, called 'kiss and make up'." he could see her body language change. She seemed to like what she had heard. She turned to face him, stepping in a little closer.

"I would know more of this custom." She said with a smile on her face. Tony knew she wanted to kiss him as much as he wanted to kiss her, but he really wanted her to know that he was sorry.

"I am truly sorry. I'll never accuse you of anything like that again." She was smiling even more now. She poked him in the chest with her finger.

"Promise?"

"I Promise." He said and closed the space between their lips. He felt her stiffen for a moment, which was not usual for her, and her head bobbed slightly up and down, but then, she smiled, he felt that, and pulled him closer to her.

They stood there, wrapped in each other's arms for what seemed like an eternity. He didn't mind. He reluctantly broke the kiss. He knew that if he didn't, they'd stay like that forever.

"Jeannie, I think its time that we should go to bed."

She still had her arms around his neck. "Yes, master." She blinked and they were popped into the living room. She blinked again and he was in his pajamas.

"Thank you, Jeannie." He said and dislodged himself from her embrace.

"Master, aren't you going to kiss me goodnight?" she pouted.

He was tempted, but instead he leaned in and gave her a light kiss on the forehead. "Goodnight, Jeannie."

...

He felt horrible. He knew that if he kept remembering things like that, that he would end up going insane. He wanted to go look for her. He needed to go look for her, but he couldn't. He didn't know where she was, and was in no condition to go anywhere farther than his garage. He walked back downstairs and laid down on the couch. He closed his eyes and eventually fell asleep.

Three days later, his head injury was completely healed and he was barely sore. The only thing left to fully heal were the scratches and bruises on his arms. Dr. Bellows had told him that they were sending him and Roger to the Aleutians Islands. Well, Dr. Bellows ordered him and Roger there, so he couldn't say no. That's where it happened. In The Aleutian Islands, that's where he couldn't take it anymore. After reading that Jeannie was to be married, he lost it. He admitted everything to Roger and went out to go and find her.

Part 2: After

Jeannie had just popped Roger home after the three of them ate something she had popped up. While Jeannie was blinking everything back in its place, Tony had went into the living room and sat on the couch. He still didn't believe that his Jeannie was back. He also couldn't believe that they were engaged. He just couldn't wait any longer.

"Jeannie, when you're done in there, can you come over here a minute?" Tony called towards the kitchen.

"Yes, of course, master." She replied and a few minutes later blinked right next to him on the couch. He turned to look at her, to really look at her.

"Jeannie, you just get more beautiful every time I see you." He couldn't help but say it. She blushed.

"Oh master!"

"Don't call me master…call me Tony." He smiled.

"It just wouldn't feel right, you are my master and you are entitled to such an empowering title."

"No, I'm your fiancée, first. Then, I'm you master."

"Alright, but I still don't feel right calling you that."

"What about Anthony?"

"Anthony! That is a worthy name."

They both just sat there for a while, looking at each other. Tony thought of something.

"Jeannie, can you wait right here for one moment?"

"Yes, mas- I mean yes, Anthony." She smiled. Tony ran upstairs and found the picture that he had drawn of her.

"Jeannie," he started as he sat back down next to her, "darling, you don't know what I went through while you were gone. I lost my appetite, I didn't have energy, I couldn't sleep, but most importantly, I realized I could never live without you."

"Oh master!" She exclaimed and began to hug him. He couldn't help but laugh.

"Jeannie, wait! Let me finish!" he said and unwrapped himself from her arms. "I dreamt about you every night and I thought about you most of time. I couldn't concentrate on anything I was doing, except, except on this." He handed her the folded piece of paper. "I spent hours trying to make it perfect, hoping that someday I could give it to you." He could see tears welling up in her eyes. "I was stupid for letting you go and I know I will never do that again." A single tear rolled down her face. He reached up and gently wiped it away. He had forgotten the scars and bruises he had on his arms.

"Anthony!" she gasped when she saw them.

"Oh that." He automatically reached up to feel the back of his head. "I acted recklessly when you were gone. I was scheduled to test pilot this jet, but I lost control of myself. I had given up on everything and I was ready to die. I ejected myself from the plane right before it crashed, but I didn't pull my parachute. I landed in this river and washed ashore. It was a miracle that I didn't die on impact, or drowned by the current. I thought I had died though. While I was passed out, I saw you. You were helping me, but then you left. Then, I just passed out again." He was quiet. He didn't know how she'd react to that.

"Anthony, oh Anthony, I'm so, so sorry."

"'Sorry'? Jeannie, I'm the one who should be apologizing, not you!"

"No, I mean I'm sorry about what I did. Your dreams, they weren't really dreams. Well they were, but you see, genies have the power to visit people in their sleep. I couldn't help but visit you. And when you woke up on the river bank, you weren't dead and you didn't hallucinate anything. I was there. I saved you from hitting the river too hard, or drowning. I've been the one healing your wounds, but I never saw these." She looked sadly at his arms. She took a hold of them and blinked. The scars and bruises were gone.

"Why did you do it?" Tony asked surprised.

"Do what?"

"Save me? Why didn't you just let me die. The way I treated you, I didn't deserve anything of what you have done for me."

"Oh Anthony, I couldn't let you die! Yes, I was mad at what you said to me. It hurt, it hurt more than anything I had ever felt, but deep down I knew that if anything were to ever happen to you, I couldn't go on. You know that I have been in love with you since they day you released me from my bottle and nothing anyone could say or do would change the way I feel about you." The tears had returned to her eyes.

"Come here." Tony said as he pulled her into a tight embrace. "Please don't cry." He said as he stroked her hair. "Listen to me," he released her from their hug and looked her straight in the eyes. Those big, beautiful, blue eyes, I always get lost in. "I don't ever plan on hurting you the way I did ever again. I promise you that."

"I know you won't." she smiled.

"I love you Jeannie. I love you more than anything in this world, and anything in outer space for that matter. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to take care of you and I want to come home to you every time I leave work. I should told you how I felt years ago, I should have asked to marry you then, but I kept on making silly excuses in my head. I don't care anymore, I don't care if you're a genie and I'm a human, I don't care if I get fired from the space program, and I don't care if our children have powers. All I care about is being with you. I realize that now." There he had said it. He had gotten it all out. He felt relieved when all he could see was love in her eyes.

"Ohhh…. I love you so much!" she hugged him and kissed him softly on the lips.

"I missed that." He smiled as he leaned his forehead against hers.

"So did I." She smiled back at him. She leaned in and kissed him a little longer this time. She would have happily continued, but she noticed how tired he looked. "Anthony, I think its time for you to get some rest. I could use some myself." She saw the look of disappointment in his eyes, but she got up anyways. After all, they had the rest of their lives to enjoy each other.

He got up and walked towards his bedroom, but stopped when he noticed she was walking towards her bottle. "Jeannie? Where are you going?"

"To my bottle, master, so that I can sleep." She looked at him with confusion in her eyes.

"Oh, I just figured that since we are going to be married, that maybe you could sleep in here for a change…" he noticed that her face had gone blank. "that is if you want to of, of course." He quickly added.

"Oh yes, of course." She giggled and picked up her bottle and walked into his bedroom. She placed the bottle on the nightstand and blinked on her pajamas. She was about to blink into it when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned around to face him.

"Darling, I meant for you to sleep in here, with me, on the bed." He smiled, but felt awkward asking her this. He wasn't sure how much their relationship had changed now that they were to be married.

"Really?" she looked at him with eyes full of surprise. She had never slept on his bed before. She may have sat on it a couple of times in the past, but never for too long.

"Yes, really." He chuckled at her question. She replied with a smile. She crawled under the covers and laid down on one side of the bed. He crawled in next to her and turned off the lights.

"Goodnight, Jeannie." He said.

"Goodnight, master." She replied. A few seconds passed. "Wait, master?"

"Call me Anthony, and yes?"

"Aren't you going to kiss me goodnight?" He laughed and placed a tender kiss on her lips. He put and arm around her and pulled her closer to him.

"I love you, Jeannie." He whispered into her hair.

He woke up first. His arms were still around her. He could feel her steady breathing as her backed pressed against his chest with every breath she took. He felt better, physically and mentally. He knew this was right, he knew he could finally be happy. But most importantly, he knew that he was the luckiest man on the planet. He, Anthony Nelson, a US Air Force Major and a NASA astronaut, was going to marry the love of his life, a genie…his Jeannie.

Well that's the end…I really hoped you liked it! I know I had fun writing this!

Please, because this is the last chapter, it would mean a lot to me if you could just spend 1 minute of your time leaving me your thoughts on the story. Thank you for reading!

~Briggitte