Deal's A Deal, A


By Ender

Author’s note: When I had Saint “bumped Tony into a reality where he was the alpha male, and a jock stud, I didn’t intend to continue the non alpha Tony, but it occurs to me that the story of the alpha Tony that was displaced to make the original Tony a jock might be interesting to explore. So, we’re going to backtrack a bit here… to the middle of part 24 just before Tony wakes up as a jock in the alternate reality… we are going to stay in the ‘original reality’ but with the ‘inua’ of the jock Tony from the alternate reality now resident in the body the original Tony and see how he reacts to his new place in the world.

A few other points… there is only one Lucifer Saint and Deez that can and do access both time streams, but ‘temporal exclusions’ prevent them from altering their own past. Neither of them can access both time streams at the same time. So, from their point of view at the start of this chapter, the end of part 24 through part 30 have not happened yet. (As I said I hadn’t originally planned that this plotline would exist if I had I wouldn’t have let the other plotline get so far ahead…)

‘Inua’ is an Inuit word with many meanings among them sprit, soul, life force… I first encountered it in the fourth Ender Wiggin book, Children of the Mind, by Orson Scott Card (I lifted some of the ‘meta-physics’ of mind/body/sprit from there, but this is my personal take on it.) I’m using it to mean the essence of a person but for the most part separate from their memories. In effect the part of a person that makes moral judgments and where other predilections reside.

Tears came to Tony’s eyes as he shook his head and whimpered, “I didn’t mean for that to happen. I just wanted to have the “new me” be a surprise to everyone.”

“Tony, I would like to show you something that will help you put some things in perspective for you, if you’re willing see it.

Tony looks up from his hands and asks, “What do you want to show me?”

Saint smiles and says, “Let’s call it an alternative way of seeing the world, if you are willing?” Tony thinks for a while and finally nods his head. “Good I think you’ll find it interesting and quite enjoyable.” Saint walks over to stand next to Tony. He places a hand on Tony’s shoulder and says, “Just relax now.”

Tony’s eyes slowly closed and his head slumped forward onto his chest. Saint removed his hand from Tony’s shoulder. Tony took a couple of deep rhythmic breaths, and world receded from Tony’s awareness. Tony suddenly snapped back to awareness and his mind reeled with a mix of confusion, disorientation and a sense that something had changed. Slowly Tony’s eyes snapped open and he found himself seated in a large and he thought over done office facing a man with the broad shoulders and narrow waist of an avid weightlifter, and the face of a model. Tony’s mind cleared enough to remember that he was in Saints office and they were talking about something… but he couldn’t quite remember what.

Saint smiled warmly and said, “We were discussing the hard work you’ve put into getting in shape and how it has affected your relationships with your friends… young Brian and Andy…”

“Yeah… I guess I have been kind of a shit to them lately,” said Tony, without fully knowing why and continued, “I just wanted to be lean and muscular like them and to do it on my own without the power…”

“That is commendable Tony but remember you did give them a boost along the way and they were luckier than you in what their genes gave them to start with,” said Saint as he again placed a hand on Tony’s shoulder. “You may think you’ve keeping your transformation a secret but both young misters Seadar and Hossler noted the changes in you but every time they try to talk to you about it or compliment you on your progress you would change the subject or find a reason you needed to be elsewhere.” The pieces fell into place in Tony’s mind, he had been avoiding contact with Andy and Brian, and pretty much withdrew from the world except for working out with Shane.

Tony stared down at his hands and shook his head saying, “That’s not what I meant to happen…”

Saint returned to lean on the front edge of his desk, “I think you need to have a talk with some people and think about your options and your desires and we’ll talk again later…”

Tony blinked and then found himself standing in an obscure corner of the high parking lot of his school. The disconcerting feeling that something was differ about him was confirmed when he saw that he was no longer dressed in the oversized baggy cargo pants and tent-like tee shirt he had been wearing when he left home. Tony was now dressed in form fitting black jeans and equally snug black tee shirt. Tony shook his head and shrugged thinking, “Well it was going to be obvious that I’m not really that fat any more, and dressed like this I won’t have to worry about losing my pants.”

Tony headed for the common area to wait for the start of school. As Tony approached the common, he noticed Andy sitting at one of the picnic tables, with his back toward him, finishing off the last couple of bites of a burrito or something. Tony jogged the rest of the distance to Andy with out being noticed. Tony cleared his throat saying “Hi Andy, mind if I have a seat.”

Without looking up, Andy shrugged and replied, “Suit yourself I was just leaving,” and started to collect his stuff.

Tony stammered a bit, “N-No… Please stay… I want… No… I need to talk to you… I know I’ve been kind of shitty to you lately…”

Andy looked up at Tony and noted that for the first time he was dressed to showoff the new leaner Tony as he sat down across from Andy. Andy smiled and said, “So you’ve finally decided to let the world in on your secret project… It looks good on you.”

“You knew what I was doing?” Tony said a bit surprised at Andy’s reaction.

“It wasn’t that hard to figure out, man… although I sort of expected that you would be a bit more buff than you are, as hard as you’ve been pushing it. The thing I haven’t been able to understand is why you didn’t just zap yourself the way you did Brian, Donnie and me. Since you where going for it the hard way, I figured that your power wouldn’t work on you for some reason.”

Tony smiled at Andy and said, “I never tried to zap myself. I wanted to have to work for it and prove to myself that I deserved to have it, like you, Brian, Shane and even Donnie… You all were a lot leaner and more muscular than me from the start…”

Andy grinned and shook his head. “Tony, you’re such a smart guy but sometimes you can really be dense… Donnie and me are lucky to have really low body fat so any muscle we have shows and Brian and Shane are extreme mesomorphs, all they need to do is look at a barbell and they grow muscle. You weren’t as lucky… You’re more of an endomorph and tend to carry more fat so you have the softer, rounder build of a dolphin or seal, regardless of how much muscle you have; your body tends to look chubby. That you have managed to come as far as you have tells me that if any of us deserves the body of their dreams it’s you my friend.”

The first bell rang and Tony and Andy headed into the school building…

**** As Tony stepped into the room for Spanish class, a pair of large paw-like hands grabbed him from behind that spun him around. Grinning broadly Brian laughed, “So you finally decided to unveil the new improved Tony Canton. Now that you’ve come out of the closet about wanting to get some muscle you can let me help you and you can stop making Shane any bigger, he’s getting a bit muscle-bound. Coz is talking about making him move to lineman if he gets much bigger.”

“So you knew what was going on too…” Tony chuckled.

“Of course little buddy,” said Brian as he put a beefy arm over Tony’s shoulder and walked in to the room with him. “I had a hunch that even though you hadn’t admitted it to yourself you wanted to be buff yourself from the first time we met.”

“Yeah I guess you’re right,” grinned Tony. “It’s sort of addictive once you get into it you always want more.”

The second bell rang and Brian and Tony took their seats for class.

***** As they headed to the gym for PE Tony and Brian continued their conversation. A bit in front of them towered Don Duckworth, Brian nodded toward the now giant of a boy and asked Tony, “Since you could do that to little Donnie, why did you hire Shane as a trainer and not just blink yourself to what you want to see in the mirror?”

Tony sighed and then replied; “I’ve been asking myself that very question since this morning on the way into school. I just never thought to try. I guess that some part of me needed to prove to myself that I could do it on my own and that I deserved to have a lean muscular jock body like you.”

Brian gave Tony a playful punch in the arm and said, “Bro, I can’t think of anybody that deserves it more right now. So go for it man. And if you don’t mind I’d like to see it happen.”

“Okay Brian, I’ll think about it. And if I do something I’ll let you watch,” grinned Tony.

As they changed into their gym clothes Tony and Brian quietly discussed what changes Tony wanted to make in himself. As he was about to put on his tee shirt Tony stepped back from Brian and said, “Okay the thing I most want to change is to be really lean.” Brian watched as Tony closed his eyes and phrased the change he wanted in his mind. The first thing Brian noticed was the faint traces of Tony’s abs deepening into a cut 8 Pac. The layer of fat that covered Tony’s torso quickly thinned to reveal the details of his musculature. The striations of his muscles became clearly visible under the skin and a few veins snaked along Tony’s arms, legs and up from his groin to be lost in the cuts that clearly defined each muscle in his body.

“Wow! That is truly impressive, Tony,” gasped Brian as he stared at the most shredded guy he had ever seen. “You’re more shredded that the entire wrestling team put together, and Bruce Lee at his prime would look flabby in comparison. The near zero body fat looks good on you… Sort of the ultimate ninja warrior thing, but you may want to think about adding some more muscle bulk unless you’re really into looking like a Anima character. Looking that thin is sort of creepy. In the meantime, I think you should slip on your tee shirt and hope you don’t need to play skins, so you don’t need to explain that.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right I did go a bit extreme didn’t I,” Tony grinned as he pulled his tee shirt over his head and tightened the draw string on his shorts that had slipped noticeably down his now nearly nonexistent hips. “Maybe we’ll fine tune the look after school this afternoon.” Brian grinned back at Tony and tussled Tony’s hair as the pair headed in to the gym.

***** Without turning away from the screen of the ‘Looking Glass’ Lucifer Saint replied to the unvoiced comment of his aide, “Yes it this interesting how minor differences in attitudes can alter the reaction to exactly the same set of conditions… The first one refused to use his ability on himself, despite his willingness to give up things he held dear for the body he desired. This one immediately elected to use his ability on himself despite the residue of the others reluctance. It will be interesting to see how each plays out the life of the other…” •

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