Title: Overnight Therapy
Spoilers: Season Seven
Summary: Lucas North has someone to confide in and take care of him when the nightmares and bad flashbacks happen.
Disclaimer: All Spooks Characters are the intellectual property of the BBC.
The Inspiration for this story was taken from the song "South City Midnight Lady" by the Doobie Brothers
(Time Line for chapter: Just Prior to Episode 7.04)
Her first instinct had been to flip Lucas over on to his back, but Lori checked herself.
“Now you’ve gone and done it Girl. Lucas has had his revenge on you. What’s the quickest way to get yourself out of this? ” Lori thought as she felt his free hand move down to her hip. Slowly straightening up, she guided his hand with the ice cube up her chest on to her neck and then over the chin finally landing on her lips leaving behind a trail of water that cold and wet.
Reaching the intended destination, Lori sucked the ice cube out of his palm and in to her mouth. She released his hand then proceeded to chew the ice cube and swallow. She thought, “I needed that. I don’t suppose it would be a good idea to tell Lucas that piece of trivia about chewing ice is a sign of sexual frustration. Nope, not a good idea at all, perhaps after he works through his feelings for Elizabeta.......Geez, Lori get a grip.”
She felt Lucas exhale on to the back of her neck. He moved his hand from her lips over to her chin cupping it lightly. Lori allowed herself to lean in to his touch for a moment. It was becoming extremely urgent to get his hands off of her before she melted completely. Turning around to face Lucas, she tucked her hands in to the back pockets of jeans and looked down at the floor. It was definitely time to have a change of subject and venue. Hoping he wouldn’t notice the blush on her cheeks from the heat he was generating in her, she said very softly, “I was wondering after we finish our after dinner drinks if you would be inclined to accompany me on a stroll to nowhere in to particular. I could do with bit a fresh air.”
Lucas lifted her chin looking in to her eyes. He said, “It would be my pleasure.”
“It’s appreciated,” Lori said quietly as she gently turned out of his touch and back towards the counter to finish fixing her drink, which she was badly in need of right at the moment. Her mind raced as to the reason why he got under her skin so quickly. Except for being in the spy game and having spent time in a Russian prison, he really was nothing like Stephen. So it couldn’t be she was projecting her feelings for Stephen on to Lucas.`
Lucas joined her finishing off his drink and cracking open the new bottle pouring himself a refill. Lori noticed he had taken the time to tuck in shirt prior to coming over to the counter. It pleased her he was making good use of the Vodka.
Lori held her glass up in salute giving him an impish smile and saying, “Here’s to our upcoming little jaunt and to you not being too bored by listening to me ramble about my time in the Navy and Joe G.”
Lucas clinked his glass with hers smiling and replying, “To the jaunt and I can guarantee I won’t be bored.”
Lori leaned against the counter with her ankles crossed and one hand gripping the counter as she sipped her drink. It was Lucas’ turned to mimic her stance. She remembered him calling her a minx and wondered which meaning of the word he was applying to her. A moment later looking straight ahead instead of at him because if she did she knew she’d either laugh or be crushed by what she saw in his eyes, she said thoughtfully while twirling the ice in her glass, “Minx, huh?”
Lucas said gently, “It suits you.”
“Which part of the definition.......?” Lori asked trailing off looking over at him then shook her hand in a negative gesture. She thought in this instance her curiosity didn’t need to be satisfied. She continued, “Never mind, I don’t really want to know which one you find suits me.”
Lucas smirked before he said, “I’ll guarantee you it is a positive one, not negative.”
“Fair enough, moving on then,” Lori said regretting ever having brought the subject to begin with. She drained the rest of her drink to give her some fortification for what she had planned next and set her glass in the sink.
Lucas did the same then asked, “Are we ready then?”
“Not quite, there’s a bit of business I want to get out of the way before we go,” Lori said reaching out for Lucas’ hand and leading him in to the living room and over to the couch to sit. It was time to give him his presents. She hoped he would receive them in the spirit they were given. It was always such a struggle for her to express sentiment without coming across insincere because of her flip nature. She stared down at his hand she was holding in her lap trying hard to come up with the proper thing to say. Lucas put his hand over the ones they were holding and gave it a slight squeeze which she took as encouragement to get on with it. She took a breath then looked up in to Lucas’ eyes she said, “I’m not very good at expressing sentiment but I wanted to say this week has been one of the most pleasurable weeks I’ve had in a very long time. And that is due entirely to you and your kindness of giving me the great gift of your time, company and understanding.”
Lucas started to respond as she knew he would but Lori put her free hand up to his lips pressing her fingers against them for a moment to silence him. She continued taking her hand off his lips, reaching over for the shopping bag and handing it to him, “Shhh, no, no, don’t say anything till I’ve finished. This is a little something to say thank you and to perhaps.........well, open it and I’ll explain.”
Lucas released her hand, sliding the two presents and card out of the sack on to his lap. He opened the card first. She waited while he looked at the front of the card that had two wolves howling at the full moon, opened it and read what she had written:
Thank you for keeping me company while
I howled at the moon this week.
It’s been a real pleasure getting to know
a little of what makes Lucas, Lucas.
Please accept these as a token of my gratitude.
I hope they will be of comfort to you when the
need to express one’s self comes and the words
can’t find a voice. As you have done, please allow
me the honour of repaying you by being a shoulder
to lean on or an ear to listen anytime it’s needed.
Here’s to the adventures we’ve had so far and
those to come. As you Brits say, Cheers!
She could tell he was touched by the card. And was relieved, he wasn’t put off by what she had inscribed. Setting the card off to the side, he picked up the smaller of the two packages first. Deftly removing the ribbon and wrapping paper, Lucas opened the box and peered down at the pen. He said in a husky emotion filled voice, “This is too much, you shouldn’t have.”
“No, it’s not near enough. Now go on, open the other one,” Lori said in her kind but firm voice that would bode no argument. She had hoped he would like it but hadn’t expected such an emotional response from him. She wondered if it was the pen, the card, both or just the act of giving him a gift that was affecting him so much.
“Very well,” He said as he took the pen out of the box and slipped it in to his shirt pocket before putting the box to the side with the card. Opening the large box and folding the back the tissue paper, he ran his hand along the binding of the journal feeling the finely crafted leather before taking it out and opening it. On the corner of the inside cover, Lori had inscribed today’s date and his name. While he was opening the box and admiring the journal, Lori took the opportunity to pick up her Blackberry from the end table and slide it in to her back pocket. She’d be needing it shortly.
Giving her attention back to Lucas, Lori covered his hand with hers gazing at them then launched in to what she knew would end up being a lengthy explanation why she had given him the journal and pen. She said, “There’s been many a time when I either had no one to express my thoughts to or just couldn’t talk about what was going on with me. When my parents died, I used to spend hours writing down anything that came to mind in a spiral notebook. I must have filled over fifty of them that first year. But it brought me a sense of peace and comfort that nothing else could. So, I thought perhaps in view of your current circumstances, this might do the same for you. I’ve seen that fleeting intense haunted look in your eyes before. And I know it only comes from someone who has been through a recent very traumatic experience. I don’t want you feeling self conscious, I’m sure no one else notices. From the few things I’ve pieced together through our conversations, I’m pretty positive you were in the same prison or one very much like it that Stephen was and had dealings with the same person he did. It’s totally up to you if you want to tell me the particulars. He never could voice his experiences so I encouraged him to write it all down. After it was finished, he put it in a box, tied it up with ribbons and put it away telling me that there would come a time, and he knew I’d know when, to sit down and read it. I’ve only recently been able to honour him by reading it. And that’s enough about that for now; I don’t mean to make you uncomfortable by talking about Stephen so much. You have got to stop me from going on so.”
Lucas gave her his sideways glance that said she wasn’t going on too much and said, “Lori, you can talk about Stephen or anyone or anything anytime with me. I can’t tell you...............
Appreciating his reassurance, she wanted to do the same for him without making him feel self conscience. She got up from the sofa and extended her hand to Lucas cutting him off by saying, “No need, there might be concern on your part about someone finding the journal and after being married to an intelligence type, I know how you spies or as you folks say spooks have to guard your privacy. If you will come with me, I will show a safe place you can keep the journal if you choose to do so.”
Lucas seemed to be lost in thought but did take the hand she offered still holding on to the journal with the other. He nodded his acknowledgement and they made their way down the hall to the office. Lori dropped his hand, leaving him standing in the doorway. She made her way over to what looked to be three 4-drawer file cabinets standing side by side on the far wall. She pressed a button that blended in to the side seam on the middle cabinet. The middle two drawers were a false front that swung open to reveal a safe. Bending slightly, she lined up her eyes with the optical scan to open the safe door. There were a couple of shelves and two compartments with locks on them. She opened the top compartment with the key that was stuck in it revealing a space just large enough to accommodate two or three journals the size of which Lucas was holding in his hand. Wanting to get through the explanation as fast as possible, she rambled, “I think this will be secure enough for you to keep the journal in. You’ll have the only key to the compartment. And I’m the only one with the capability to program the optical scan to read an eye signature. You already have a key to the apartment, I mean flat, and here I thought I was getting used to using the Queen’s English, which I want you to hang on to so you can come and go as you please. Feel free to use the office or any place here to write. Have I covered the privacy issue to your satisfaction?”
She could feel Lucas watching her every move. When he crossed the room in two strides placing the journal on top of the cabinet then gathering her up in his arms lifting her up off the floor and giving her a huge hug, it took her a bit by surprise. He kissed her on the top of her head while setting her down then saying almost formally, “Very much to my satisfaction and more so. This is brilliant. You, as usual, have thought of everything. My sincerest thanks for the journal, pen and most of all for sharing the reason behind them; I will be happy to take you up on the kind offer to secure the journal.”
“Good answer, now let’s set up your optical scan. Hold your head just so,” Lori said closing up the safe and directing him where to move his head and guided it in to the exact position by holding it on both sides of his head. She said moving her hands away and taking her Blackberry out of her pocket to record the scan, “Now hold very still for a moment and whatever you do don’t blink.”
It only took a moment and flash of the strobe light to record his eye signature. She felt for him because she knew how it felt to be blinded by the strobe. Straightening up, he apologized still blinking trying to clear the spots from his eyes, “Sorry, the light made me blink. Do we need to do it again?”
“Nope, you did just fine. Let’s give it a try, shall we?” Lori said as she stuffed her Blackberry back in to her pocket.
Lucas nodded and put his eyes in line with the optical scan. It read it in five seconds and the safe door popped open. Reaching in to extract the key and handing it to Lucas, She said, “Perfect, and here’s your key.”
“Thank you,” Lucas said accepting the key. He unlocked the compartment and placed the journal inside. Locking it back up, shutting the safe door and pocketing the key, he asked turning towards Lori, “Was the haunted look you saw before Stephen’s?”
“Yes, his was one of them. Have a seat, and I’ll explain. It is part of my Navy career tale I promised to let you know about,” Lori said not really surprised he asked the question. She’d been expecting it or something like it. Knowing it would take a while to explain, she gestured towards her oversized leather executive chair to have him take a seat.
Lucas took the seat offered. He caught her off guard when he reached for her drawing her down on to his lap and said, “There now that’s much better. Let’s hear your tale.”
It felt so safe and nice to be in his arms. She reclined her head on to his shoulder, drew her legs up on to his lap and put her hands on the arm wrapped around her waist. Lori couldn’t help the very soft contented sigh that escaped her lips. Trying to cover up that it had happened she launched into her narrative, “My Navy career was spent as a Naval Aviator.”
Lucas asked, “What inspired you in to that field of endeavour?”
Warming up to a subject that was as much part of her as breathing Lori answered, “Flying is second nature to me. It’s a bit hard to explain, but when I’m up there, I feel in total control of my destiny. Actually, I think I didn’t choose to fly, it chose me.”
“How so? There must be a story behind that statement,” Lucas said.
Lori lifted her head to look at Lucas to make sure he really was interested and not just being polite by asking. Seeing he really was, she thought perhaps it would be best if she sat in the chair next to him because the explanation would be lengthy. Always remembering her Hoosier Hospitality, She said, “There is and I’ll tell it to you. But aren’t I getting a bit heavy for you to hold? I should get up and sit in my own chair. Can I get you something to drink?”
Lucas put his arms tighter around Lori’s waist answering, “You are not too heavy and you have a seat right here. I’m fine. Quit stalling and talk to me.”
“Fine, but you are the one who will have cramps in your legs,” Lori said with a half smile being her usual smartass self.
Lucas said giving her a look that told her she wasn’t getting out of telling him the story, “If I do, you can rub them out for me.”
“Then I best get started so you don’t cramp up, she responded but thought to herself it would be a delightful to get rub his legs and other parts of his body.
Shaking herself mentally to get that image out of her head, she began the story of the day of her family’s funeral, “. When my parents and siblings died, my world as I knew it ceased to exist. Being only Nine, I didn’t really comprehend the finality of it all. On the day of the funeral, I thought if I hid and they couldn’t find me, then my family wouldn’t be buried and they could come back to me.
Our next door neighbours, the Barons, had two sons, Eric, my best friend, who was ten and Alexander, sixteen. Alexander had a Chevy pickup with a hydraulic cover on the back of the bed.
I managed to sneak out of the house just before sunrise. Made my way over to his truck, get the back open, crawled in and after an hour of hiding fell asleep. Next thing I knew the truck was rumbling down the road. When it stopped, I peeked out the back to discover we were at their Great Uncle Max’s air field where Alexander had a part time job.
Wanting to get a closer look at the planes, I got out of the back and went in to the air hangar. Alexander spied me almost immediately. He came over and asked if I wanted to go for a hop. I said sure not knowing what a hop was but if it had to do with hanging out with him, I was so there. He was my first major crush and I hero worshipped him. God bless him, he was very tolerant of letting me shadow him all the time. In fact, he’s the one that gave me my call sign.”
“Which is?” Lucas asked.
She digressed with a smile, “Snoopy, you know after the beagle in the Peanuts comics. Alexander said I was his faithful companion and he knew how I so enjoyed the Peanuts gang, especially Snoopy with his Sopwith Camel. So that was his special nickname for me.”
Getting back on topic, she continued, “Anyway, back to the day of the funeral, he said he needed to go in to the office to clear the hop with his Uncle Max. When in reality, he went to call my Grandparents to let them know I was safe. Uncle Max came in to the hangar, asked me if I was the new pilot he’d requisitioned, and proceeded to strap me in to the co-pilot’s seat of a twin engine Cessna. Before I knew it, we were up in the air and he was giving me my first flying lesson. I took to it faster than anyone he’d ever saw. It was so exhilarating and liberating to up in the air,” Lori spouted all in one breath.
Lucas was smiling at her. She figured he found her stowaway antics amusing. He gave her a little nod to continue.
“By the time we landed, my Grandparents along with Alexander were waiting on the tarmac for us. I wasn’t thrilled they were there because I knew it meant I had to go to the funeral. Uncle Max unstrapped us telling me he’d speak to them about me taking regular flying lessons if I apologized for worrying them. That seemed to lessen the blow. I walked up to them looking at my shoes and murmured my apology.
Grandpa knelt down and instead of reprimanding me gave me one of his big bear hugs saying that he loved me and there wasn’t anything I couldn’t talk to him about ever. There was no need to run.
Then he got what I referred to as “the stink eye” from Grandma. Grandpa always talked to me as if I were an adult and not a child. He said if I didn’t want to go to the funeral, I didn’t have to. I could stay at the air field. But, in his opinion it would be something I would regret the rest of my life not taking the opportunity to say one last goodbye.
I couldn’t bear to look at my Grandma because I just knew she’d have that “I’m very disappointed in you” look on her face. So instead, I turned to Alexander to ask his opinion. He concurred with Grandpa. So, it was settled I’d go to the funeral with Alexander and his brother Eric as my escorts and Uncle Max would see me on a regular basis for flying lessons.
With Alexander on one side and Eric on the other, I went to the funeral and said my goodbyes. I know a lot of people couldn’t understand why it was the Baron boys by my side and not relatives. But to me, they were who I needed and my Grandparents understood that. They made sure I was shielded from prying eyes.
After everyone had departed the cemetery, Alexander and Eric were the ones who stayed with me at the grave sides after everyone else had left till I was ready to go. On the drive back to the house, Alexander told me that I could count on him to be there whenever I needed him and if he wasn’t available Eric would be.
Eric nodded solemnly not saying anything because he was in awe his big brother would bestow him with such an awesome responsibility. And to this day, those two have been true to that promise,” Lori finished wore out from relating her story and wistful because she wished the Baron Boys were there right now standing by her side as she related that awful day. It was such an emotional thing to remember and those type of things seemed to always zap her strength.
It was very comforting when Lucas reached up and guided her head back down to his shoulder. The feeling of him stroking her hair a couple of times felt so pleasant He said, “Seems you were destined then to fly.”
“Yep, so it would seem,” Lori answered feeling like he understood her a little better. They sat for a few more minutes in their companionable silence as Lucas continued to stroke her hair and hold her. She absently stroked his arm with one hand and wrapped the other around his forearm. She felt like staying like this forever but knew it was time to get up and move on to that stroll she had requested earlier.
Trying to keep the weariness out of her voice so that Lucas wouldn’t think she needed to rest, she said, “Let’s take five, use the facilities, get a couple of bottles of water and go for that stroll I mentioned earlier, ok?”
“If you like,” Lucas said releasing her from his hold.
Knowing she had sat too long curled up in Lucas’ lap, Lori expected the knee and elbow popping. Her body didn’t let her down as she straightened out her legs and stretched her arms over her head. Finally rolling her neck, it cracked loudly. She’d always had health related joint problems but for the most part, the pain was manageable with a few Advil taken in two hour increments. Every once and a while though on those days when it was so intense she couldn’t hardly move a Darvocet helped.
Lucas said, “Remember, I do owe you that massage I promised earlier.”
“I remember. Perhaps when we return or I know you’ll be good for a rain check, right?” Lori asked. She didn’t want him to feel like it was something that had to be done right away. And besides, with her emotions running so high at the moment, it definitely was not the time to have his hands all over her body. She feared she wouldn’t be able to control herself.
“Yes, I will honour my promise whenever you wish,” Lucas said getting up. He excused himself to go across to his place so he could to put on a pair of trainers for their walk. Lori escorted him to the door handing him his dress shoes. He accepted them with a hug before crossing to his place.
As soon as she’d closed the door, Lori was off like a shot down to the bathroom for her Advil. Being they were candy coated, water was not needed. She knew that he’d be back most likely in five minutes or less so there was no time to waste. After using the facilities, she went in to the bedroom for her sneakers.
Sitting on the bed to slip them on, Lori was so tempted just to flop back and stay there. But she heard the key in the lock, so that wasn’t an option. She started to make her way down the hall just as Lucas closed the door. All there was left to do was grab the waters and put on her coat. Then they could go.
- Current Location:Home
- Current Mood: nostalgic
- Current Music:"Learn To Fly" by Foo Fighters