Shrinking Allan

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Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or Private Practice. I simply have fun by making their lives either miserable or funny or both.

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Did he always talk this much when we were together? No I'm sure he didn't. Then again, maybe he did and I just wasn't listening. Regardless, I think I'm missing the problem. My patients usually have an underlying cause. The thirty year old that can't bring himself to leave his mother and still lives in her basement means I have to work through an array of childhood insecurities. Karl…let's not go there.

With Allan, I see no underlying problem. None what so ever. I am a well trained psychiatrist. I have diagnosed an impressive number of patients and worked with an array of psychological disorders and diseases. I think I can be considered an expert on whether or not someone needs a shrink. Allan needs one, just not in my category.

"I think I'm depressed."

Half an hour for him to come to this semi conclusion? Professional.

"Okay." I speak like a shrink. It's good. I fall into the easy groove. "Depression also has other symptoms besides the emotional feeling of loneliness and sadness. Are you tired at all or suffering from any aches and pains?"

"No except the ones that missing you at night gives me."

The groove's gone. I feel that some serious moments with a pillow and muffled screaming are going to take place in the near future.

"Allan, I think that it's important for you to access the situation you have with your wife. It doesn't seem like medically you're suffering from depression. I believe that you just want me to help you mend your marriage." I say it kindly. I am not a marriage counselor. I can't turn him away and still be called a professional, however. I can't say he has no problems. He's insisting he has an emotional/mental problem. That's a problem isn't it?

"Yes Violet, please try and mend my marriage to the best of your ability and maybe halfway through you'll miss me."

He says it in that way. That way. The way he used to talk to me. Playful on the edges with a touch of a whisper as if the words are reserved only for me. Part of me almost falls for it. Then again, I am the only one in the room so I guess the whole thing seems almost tacky.

He keeps talking. Cammie hates spiders. She won't let him watch football with the guys on Sunday. She wants kids. Yada Yada. While he talks I reaccess his features. Brown blonde hair. Sandy like the beach. Warm eyes that I remember drowning in. He has a touch of some serious class, with the way he dresses to the way he carries himself. Sharp. Gentlemanly. There was a time where that was enough to make me swoon.

Not so much anymore. My mind travels to the man down the hall probably telling some kid not to shove vegetables up his nose or trying to calm an over anxious mom about the cold that her child has. My lips twitch. How quickly your taste changes.

I refocus.

"Allan, I think that perhaps you need to do some homework so that I know more about your situation."

"Sure, anything."

"I want you to write down as many things about Cammie and your marriage that you like and enjoy. Don't try to limit the list but don't push it either. I want an honest representation of how your relationship is working."

"Okay, so same time next week?"

Dear God, no.

Smile. "Yes. I'll see you then."

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Cooper's waiting when I exit my office. Now torture chamber once every week for no one knows how long. He hands me coffee. Iced frappacino with extra whip cream on top. Red straw. He knows me well. Kiss on the cheek is sufficient as a thank you.

"How was it?"
"Awkward. I think I just set a new world record."

"For awkwardness?"

"Yeah."

"I don't think there is one Vi."

"Well there should be after that appointment. I seriously would rather deal with two Karls than go through this one again."

"Seriously?"

"Well I'm not Addison. I won't be losing my shoes after an encounter."

He laughs and it's that loud laugh that I love so much. The one where his shoulders shake. We make our way into the kitchen. He's making a sandwich and I lean against the counter, small talk. Coupley talk. The kind that makes Sam gag when he walks in on it.

"Charlotte says it's our turn to participate in the Safe Surrender program."
"Ah yes, Gladiator Pete and Addison are passing on the torch."

"What do gladiators have to do with anything?"

He has this perplexed look on his face as if he's confused, only instead looking seriously lost in thought he looks just a tad on the slow side. I smile at that thought. I find it adorable. Cue imaginary Sam's gag.

"Just girl talk. So when we do we get the phone?"

"Now." A voice propels through the doorway.

Red-headed Addison. The newest member to our dysfunctional family. She's got enough craziness to fit perfectly into our little group and it has become very cozy except for the occasional, almost daily, mishaps she gets herself in with our resident 'wacko' doc. There are still holes in her story, ones that I don't ask to be filled. With my job, you learn that most people open up to you in due time but not a minute before.

She hands the cell phone to me because Cooper's hands are smeared with peanut butter and jelly. Yes, this is how he fixes lunch for our kids.

As I tuck the phone in my pocket my other phone rings. I'm beeping and so is Cooper. We fumbled for the phones. I grab his before he can. Eewy goey peanut buttery mess is not as fun as it sounds.

"Hello?" Together again. I'm holding his phone up to his ear while holding mine up to my own.

Cue Addison's eye roll.

Couple of nods and mmm-hmm's. Hang up, look at my husband.

"Nick got sent to the principal's office for sticking the hose of a fire extinguisher into another child's pants and squirting the foam." I inform Cooper.

He bites his lip to fight back laughter. I give him a smack on the arm.

"What your call?"
"Timmy hoisted his boxers onto the flagpole this morning."

My eyes widen and I almost smile. Civil disobedience always makes me laugh and my little eight year olds seem to feel the same way.

"Did he actually replace the flag with the boxers?" I ask curious in spite of myself.

"No he just hoisted his star spangled pair of boxers right beneath it."

I can't help myself. The mother laughs.

Cooper doesn't look upset either. "What happened to the victim?"

"Just got a really really cold feeling." I say. "At least this time there's no major clean up involved."

We laugh recalling the time that Nick covered his teacher car completely in post-it notes and had to spend the next two hours taking them off. How long it took him to get them on I have no idea. Where he came up with the idea leaves me even further in awe. We get the humor out of our systems because in a moment we would have to head to the school, collect our kids, apologize for them, and scold them, all the while suppressing our laughter.

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Cooper and I enter the principal's office twenty minutes later. Nick and Timmy are sitting side by side with a small smile on each of their faces. They run to me the minute they see me. My little eight year olds inherited my daring nature and Cooper's goofball alter-ego.

Twins, born only minutes apart, I sometimes question how similar yet different they can be. They are not identical. Not to me and Cooper anyway. Nick's half an inch taller. Timmy's eyes are Cooper's chocolate brown while Nick's are grey blue like mine. They're both talented in sports. Nick plays soccer and lacrosse while Timmy enjoys football and hockey. Nevertheless, both are naturally trouble makers, with a sense of humor that delights both their parents in even the most dire of situations.

I kneel down and tell them in my most serious tone. "You both are in big trouble."

Cooper is trying to make peace with the principal.

"I apologize greatly for my sons' behavior. They have their moments and I know, but you have to admit the pranks were pretty funny."

I clear my throat with a sideways glare.

"Your sons have been serious trouble since their enrollment in our private school. Perhaps this is not the place for them." Snippy principal reply.

I can be understanding. I do not, however, like it when annoying prime and proper women make snide comments about my sons. They're both at the top of their class, very smart, perhaps too smart, and thus find external stimulants outside of their schoolwork. The principal need not make such remarks.

"Perhaps this school just lacks the ability to see the mental intelligence they exhibited by conducting plans to pull these pranks off."

I see two grins erupting from Nick and Timmy's faces.

"Not that what you two did was right and yes you both are grounded for the next two weeks."

Smiles dissipated almost immediately.

The principal doesn't look impressed, perhaps still remembering the post-it incident. I have to spare Timmy on that one. That was solely Nick. I offer the principal a polite smile. Peace offering.

"Nick and Timmy will both volunteer to get the boxers off the flagpole and help clean up the classroom where the fire extinguisher foam created a mess. Furthermore, Nick will apologize to the kid he foamed and Timmy will never go near the flagpole again." I state, sending a pointed gaze at my kids.

Cooper's smiling. He loves it when I play mom. My sons have the puppy dog eyes. I have learned to be resistant. Cooper nods in agreement to my plan. The principal lets it go. I'm glad.

He takes both our kids by the hand and beckons at the door. He leaves practically pulled by the eager spawns of the devil that were more than ready to leave. I follow, their acts lightening my previously discontent mood.

I can't upset about Allan when I have three boys like that.

I shouldn't make statements that can be proven wrong.