By Tim Stevens
The following is an excerpted transcript of a group therapy session. Wolverine (James Howlett), Deadpool (Wade Wilson), Psylocke (Besty Braddock), Archangel (Warren Worthington III), and Fantomex attending with Tim Stevens overseeing the session.
ARCHANGEL: Is this a good idea?
DEADPOOL: I like him, too!
W: Right. And Deadpool likes him too. We do some ugly stuff out there and not everyone here is as okay with it as I am, so yeah, this is necessary.
DP: Hey, Doc!
TS: Hello Wade.
DP: Surprised to see me again?
TS: Given the multiple restraining orders? Yes, a bit.
DP: I knew you would be! But you know me, I love surprising my friends.
TS: Again, Wade, we are not friends. I am not even your therapist anymore. If it was not for James here, I'd be calling the authorities right now!
DP (in an exaggerated whimper): Oh...I guess words can really hurt.
TS: I...I'm sorry, Wade. That was out of line. I should not have used that tone.
DP (brightening and saddling up to TS, placing an arm around his shoulder): That's okay! So, you wanna go camping this weekend? I have this killer new s'more roasting set.
TS (shrugging off DP's arm and sliding his chair over several feet): Anyway, back to you, Warren. What is your concern about working with me?
AA: It's nothing personal. It's just that... Look, my dad sent me to a lot of doctors after...my wings and some of them were psychologists. And they all made it clear that confidentiality existed only to point.
TS: So you are worried I'll, what, tattle on you to someone else?
TS: Well, there are only two reasons I can legally do that, since all of you are adults. First, if I have reason to believe you a serious suicide risk-
DP (interrupting): I'm a serious-
TS (without pause): No you aren't.
DP (pouting): Well, I might be...
TS (ignoring DP): The other is if anyone here makes it clear they have a serious desire to kill someone else, a thought out plan, and they provide the name of the victim.
The room quiets for a moment. All parties exchange uncomfortable glances.
TS (awkwardly): But, of course, there is no chance of that being a problem, is there?
FANTOMEX (laughing heartily): Of course not, my friend. How droll of you to even ask. I am but a pleasure seeking man, not some kind of...barbarian, after all.
F: Schizophrenia? Oh, sir, I fear someone is misleading you a touch. I have many brains, but I assure you all of them are in perfect working order.
TS: Many brains...well...fine then. I'll see that your sheet is updated.
F: A thousand gratitudes to you for that, my good man.
TS: Not a problem. Betsy, I notice you are very...displeased with being here.
PSYLOCKE: I am sure I have no id-
TS: Please, you have made no effort to hide your body language or facial expressions and you seem to be someone who could if they chose to. So, you obviously want me to see it. So, tell me, Betsy, what is your concern?
P: I just don't see the need for you. I have been helping Warren for some time now. I can read minds, you cannot. I have copious amounts of field experience, you do not. I have a mind so strong it once did battle with Phoenix. I very much doubt you can claim the same.
TS: Do you have any sort of degrees in psychology?
P: You know I do not.
TS: Ever taken any training courses?
P: ...not to date, no.
TS: Have I ever slept with anyone in this room?
P (arching her eyebrow): How should I know?
TS: Better question then, have you?
P: Perhaps. A lady does not offer this information up for no reason.
TS: Then, there's your answer. I have training and no such...entanglements with anyone here. You are a friend and that's useful too, but an impartial expert is sometimes a bit more helpful.
TS: Now, Warren, she mentioned she is helping you with something?
TS: Could you explain a bit further?
AA: He's...my dark side. Betsy can speak to him...help me keep him in check, somewhat.
TS: You sound unconvinced.
AA: Well...I still feel him. I can bring him out now, but I don't really believe I control him.
TS: Would you be willing to bring him out now?
AA: I...no, not really. I don't think that that would be a good idea. Not yet anyway.
TS: Of course. We'll move at your, and everyone else in this group's, pace. But, just remember, sometimes to grow we have to do the uncomfortable thing.
AA: Dangerous and uncomfortable are not the same thing.
TS: Perhaps not, Warren. We'll revisit that idea in later sessions, I assure you. James, we-
W: If it's okay, I'd prefer you call me Logan, not James.
TS: Of course, my apologies. As I was saying, Logan, we've ignored you a bit so far and-
DP: I've been ignored, too!
TS: -I'd just like to check in with you now. You are now running this team without anyone's knowledge and your last "mission," if you will, involved some very dangerous moments that could have left you or your teammates alone without hope of rescue because of this secrecy. Did that bring anything up for you?
W: You heard me.
TS: Well, for this therapy to truly work, you have to be open to it, Logan, but for now, that is fine.
DP: Ooo, ooo, my turn then.
TS: Fine, Wade. What is on your mind?
TS: And your question is?
DP: Oh, no question. That's just one hell of a dream isn't it? Like a weird, cool one, right? Weirder and cooler than anyone else's, probably. Weird enough that I should start coming in weekly again, maybe?
TS: Wade, we've talked about this before. If you want to see a therapist, you need to see a different one.
DP: Sometimes I dream about taking a bath with LBJ. While Bono croons Pac-Man Fever to us.
TS: Well, that is weird. But my answer is the same. To move on to more appropriate things.
DP (singing): Do you trip on love/Do you run from magic?
TS: All of you have fairly extensive trauma histories, both in and out of costume. Given the nature of what recently happened to you, as vaguely defined to me as it has been, and the nature of your ongoing work, which has been even less defined to me-
DP (singing still): Do you make it tragic?/If you feel too much/Do you start to panic?
TS (annoyed): That's enough, Wade!
DP: All I'm saying, and while I'm loathe to use this word, is that you and I are clearly in the midst of a bromance. And I don't see why you are fighting it. Open your heart.
W (slowly extending one claw): I think the Doc has asked you to stop enough there, Deadpool.
DP (pulling out a sword and a gun): Oh, I see, want to let him live in denial. Well, I'm just not comfortable with that. So, if it's go time, let's-
F (stepping in the middle): Gentlemen, gentlemen. Let's all just take a deep breath here. We should all have a zest for life, but this...this is just ugliness. Better we enjoy a drink together. Or perhaps Betsy would like to enjoy me...any of these would suit me fine.
TS (defeated, shaking his head): Just get out...
F: So terribly sorry. Positively beastly of us. EVA has been a bit...off since we returned. Still working the kinks out, I suppose. In any case, I assure you she was just doing what she thought was appropriate. Believe me, I will talk to her. And I assure you this will all be paid for-
AA (handing TS a check): This should take care of everything. No need to call Professor X or anything, right?
TS: Sure, sure.
W (placing his hand on TS's shoulder): Sorry.
TS: What was all that about the apocalypse?
W: Best you don't know certain things.
TS: Are you...sure you want to do this? The team seems...volatile.
W (leaving, not making eye contact): That's the idea, bub...that's the idea.
On November 17, Doctors Rick Remender and Jerome Opena will work with the team. Please see the file UNCANNY X-FORCE #2 for further information.
Tim Stevens, MA, a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant and Practicum Trainee at a Federal Correctional Institute, has experience in organizing and facilitating group therapy sessions.
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