Family: the Ties that Bind...and Gag!
Part Two: Session One

One by one, they filed into the inner office. Stryfe walked in first, swaggering like he owned the place. Cable and Nate took up the rear, with Nate dutifully keeping Cable out of arm's reach of Stryfe. Scott considered positioning himself between Maddie and Jean, but a certain pain in a very specific location where the southern regions of his body came in contact with Maddie's knee resulted in a quick dismissal of that idea.

When they took their seats, however, Scott found he wasn't that fortunate. To his right was Maddie and Stryfe, respectively. To his left was Jean, Nate, and then Cable.

The therapist sat across the room from them. Way across the room. Behind a desk, gripping to it like his life depended on it.

It probably did.

"Now," the therapist said, breaking the silence with a weak attempt at a smile, "why don't we introduce ourselves? My name is Dr. Marcus." He then looked at them expectantly.

And Scott realized everybody else was looking at him.

"I ... I'm Scott Summers," he said.

"Very good. What about the rest of you?"

"Jean Grey-Summers," Jean announced, glowering at Maddie pointedly as she emphasized the last name.

"And you can keep that lying sack of shi--" Maddie started to say.

"Whoa, I can see we're off to a rousing start here," the therapist quickly butted in. "I'd like to lay down some ground rules here. No inflammatory criticism is allowed. If you persist, you will be given a time-out. Now, let's see if we can't reconstruct that statement to be more constructive. Now, Miss...?"

"Pryor. Madelyne Pryor."

Jean smirked. "James Bond you're not, Maddie. Or maybe you are. Did you get your 007 rating on a scale of one to ten, one being the worst, on your expertise in the sack?"

"JEAN!" Scott protested.

"Well, actually, she wasn't too--" Nate started to say, and then everyone began talking at once.

"STOP!! SHUT UP!! I DON'T WANT TO HEAR THIS!!" Stryfe screamed, clamping his hands over his ears.

"Nate, do you have any idea how traumatizing it is to have to hear someone younger than me, who is me, talking about how good my mother is in bed?" Cable complained.

"Cable, you're older than your mother," Nate said.

"Bring it on, Miz Thang, you and me, Astral Plane, now," Maddie growled at Jean, leaning over Scott's lap. He leaned back as far as he could, and prayed for a quick death.

"And that's bad enough!" Cable told Nate.

"Whoa, whoa! Time-out everybody! We haven't even made it through the introductions yet," the therapist said, getting a bewildered look.

Scott didn't blame the man one bit.

"All right," the therapist said, once everyone was as calm as they were ever going to get. "Madelyne, we'll get back to you in a moment." He looked at Stryfe, and Scott knew right then and there the man's sanity was going to be sorely tested when he saw the look of hope in the therapist's eyes. Clearly he thought that Stryfe was the sanest of the bunch. "What's your name?"


"That's ... a creative name. But it seems to suggest malcontent, and our goal here is to learn to get along. What's your real name?"


"No, I mean the name you were given when you were born."

"I was never born."

"Who're your parents?"

"I suppose they're technically Scott and Maddie."

"I see. You feel neglected, and thus have chosen a name you feel reflects your childhood."

"No, I was named by the despot who raised me to take over the world."

"Do you need any Advil yet?" Scott suggested helpfully. The therapist gave his desk drawer a glance that was both thoughtful and longing.

"Advil? Try a strong anti-psychotic drug maybe," Jean muttered.

"All right, and who might you be, young man?" the therapist asked, quickly dropping the Stryfe topic and looking to Nate.

"Nate Grey."

"That's good," Dr. Marcus said. "And you, sir?"


The therapist almost sighed. "Your real name?" he asked hopefully.

It was Cable's turn to sigh -- or maybe it was just a deep breath. "Nathan Christopher Charles Dayspring Summers."

Dr. Marcus blinked. "Umm ... I'll just call you Cable, if that's all right?" He looked at them. "Well, since we're all introduced...." He looked at Jean then at Maddie. "Are you two twins?"

"No!" they both snapped at the same time.

"She's my clone," Jean added, in a tone that clearly conveyed her opinion on Maddie's existence.

"Your ... clone...?" Dr. Marcus repeated. "Umm. Okay, moving along. Scott, what's your relationship to these women?"

"Well, umm," Scott said, scratching the back of his head, uncomfortably aware of both women staring at him. "Well, Maddie is my umm, ex-wife...."

"LIAR!!!" Maddie screamed, jumping to her feet. "LIAR!!!!"

"Shut up, witch!" Stryfe snapped, clamping his hands over his ear closest to her.

"I'm not a witch!" Maddie screamed back at him, making him cover both ears. "I'm a Goblin Queen, get it right!"

"Excuse me?" Jean asked a bit snobbishly. "What do you mean by 'liar'?"

"He married me, and never divorced me!"

"You died, Madelyne."

"I'm alive now!"

"Umm, how did that happen?" Dr. Marcus asked.

"Long story!" everybody chorused. Scott saw him look longingly at his desk drawer again.

"So, you married her," Dr. Marcus said, pointing at Maddie while looking at Scott, "then she died and you married her?" He pointed to Jean.

"No!" Jean interrupted. "First he was with me. Then I died, and he took up with that hussy, and had Nate--"

"Uh, you mean Cable, I'm Nate," the younger man pointed out.

"Whatever," Jean growled in annoyance. "Then I came back, and Maddie died, but not before trying to sacrifice Na-- Cable to some goblins for a portal, then he got sent to the future because he was going to die--"

"Which is where I came in," Stryfe interrupted helpfully, giving the therapist a benign, friendly smile.

"--and Scott and I married, and honeymooned in cloned bodies 2,000 years in the future to raise Na--CABLE," Jean continued without missing a beat. "Then someone started playing with timelines, and another alternate time was created--"

"Which would be mine," Nate Grey piped up.

"--and somebody brought Nate over here--"

"Like we needed three of us running around?" Stryfe cut in.

"You're invited to die at any time, Stryfe, you know that," Cable pointed out.

"--and Nate started sleeping with Maddie; those two really need help, Doc--" Jean kept going.

"Oh, give me a break, some alternate you spawned him, and I'm not his mother!"

"At best, you'd qualify as an aunt, which is still pretty sick, Mom."

"Oh, don't you start too, Nate!"

"I'm not starting anything! HE is Cable!!! I am NATE!!!"

"And you're both annoying!" Stryfe added.

"--and Cable killed Stryfe, Stryfe's taken over Cable's mind--" Jean said, talking louder over all the other voices.

"Not to mention he killed my wife and brainwashed my son--" Cable started to say.

"--who was actually my son." Stryfe pointed out.

"And you're stupid enough to bring up something like that in here?" Maddie berated him. "Why, I oughta--"

"--shut your mouth, just as long as it's not with Nate Junior's over there," Stryfe said.

"--but some mouthbreather brought Stryfe back to life, and so, in short, Cable's Scott and Maddie's son, Stryfe's Cable's clone, Maddie's Scott's dead-undead wife, I'm his dead-undead girlfriend then wife, and Nate's mine and Scott's son, except I never actually had him, and I had a daughter I never actually had who set up the 2,000 years from now future which saved Cable's life and trained him to be the one Chosen to kill Apocalypse who raised Stryfe." She stopped, catching her breath. "Did I get everybody, honey?"

"I ... think so. Well, except for Alex, but he's dead and hasn't come back to life yet," Scott said. "And then there's Rachel, the daughter an alternate you and I had because you didn't die--"

"I did mention her," Jean protested, "just not by name, per se."

"In that case, wouldn't that mean Rachel's actually a female Cable?" Nate asked. "That reminds me of some comic-based fan fiction Jubilee was telling me about where just about everybody was gender swapped."

Everyone else was silent for a few minutes, just contemplating that. Furtive glances were exchanged. Scott didn't even have to be a telepath to know they were trying to visualize it. When his own mind produced mental images of a bearded Jean and Cable-in-drag....

"ANYWAY!" Scott continued.

"Moving along," Stryfe added, nodding enthusiastically, making frantic passing gestures with his hands.

"Quickly," Maddie said.

"Now," Jean ordered.

"Please?" Cable whimpered.

"What's wrong?" Nate asked. "It's not--"

"SHUT UP, NATE!" they all chorused.

Scott cleared his throat. "Hmm. Where was I?"

"Please, don't take us back to where you were," Stryfe begged. "Some days, it just don't pay to be a telepath."

"Amen," Jean said tonelessly.

"Gotcha. Anyway, there's my missing third brother, who some people think is that Adam X fellow, and some think it's Remy, and one very demented mind has suggested it might be Pete Wisdom."

"Wisdom...a Summers? It's the end of life as we know it," Cable said.

"Didn't Maddie sleep with your little brother too?" Jean asked Scott, her tone sardonic.

"There wasn't anything little about Alex," Maddie piped up.

"Out, out, mental images! OUT, I say!" Stryfe screamed, turning to beat his head against the wall.

"Well, I think that's it. Any questions?" Jean asked Dr. Marcus, finishing up.

"Just one," Dr. Marcus said. "Would anyone mind if we stopped early today? I suddenly feel the need for a really strong drink."

Part Three? - I don't know. I started this in 1999,
haven't touched it since.
Under serious procrastination