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)
Taking his customary chair, Lucas picked up the spoon Lori had provided and stirred the mound of whipped cream in to his hot chocolate. He took a sip, leaned back in his chair and pronounced, “Very tasty, this was a good choice.”
"So glad you approve,” Lori said saucily from the other side of the table. She was already busy methodically taking the clothes he had bought out of the sacks and sorting them in to various stacks as she removed the tags. She asked looking over at the clock, “How late does the Laundry stay open around here?"
A little exasperated Lori was working on his clothes instead of taking it easy, Lucas responded with a bit of an edge in his voice, “I don’t really know, why do you ask? And would you just relax and drink your own hot chocolate. I can sort that lot later and take care of removing the tags.”
“Since we are refreshed from our nap this afternoon, I thought perhaps we could do the laundry yet tonight so that way tomorrow truly could be a day off to do as we please. And, I am drinking my hot chocolate as I remove the tags. I’m known for multi-tasking. Besides, it needs done and I’m enjoying being able to do this for you. It’s a small way to repay your kindness and attention you’ve so generously gave me this week. So just let me, ok?” Lori beseeched him.
“Alright and thank you, I do appreciate you doing it. I don’t doubt you are very efficient at multi-tasking. It’s easy enough to find out the hours. I’ll run down and check,” Lucas offered being sure to take the edge out of his voice as he set down his mug. He could tell she really was heartfelt in wanting to be useful to him. And, he didn’t want to take that away from her.
Lori looked over at his mug saying with a bit of chuckle, “No hurry, finish your hot chocolate first. I’m only part way through the stack.”
Lucas picked up his mug, took a healthy swig then set it back down. He leaned back in his chair, stretched his legs out under the table crossing them at the ankles, and crossed his arms over his chest. He asked, “Care to let me in on what is amusing you or is it private?”
“Well, I’d not seen an exasperated look like the one on your face in ages. And it greatly amused me seeing it again. It was one I seemed to elicit on Stephen’s face on many an occasion. He thought I was incapable of relaxing. And now, I’ve a feeling you are of the same mind he was. Sorry to be the source of an irritation to you,” Lori said reaching over to pat one of his hands resting on his arms that were still crossed over his chest giving him one of her mischievous smiles.
Lucas moved his hand so it was on top of hers grasping it lightly against his chest and said with a bit of smirk, “So I’m being put in the same league with Stephen. I’m honoured. Tell me, how did he deal with such an irritation?”
Lori smiled wistfully as she gave him one of her non-answers, “He’d sigh heavily as if he was so put upon by not having my undivided attention. Then he’d see to it that he did have my undivided attention.”
Lucas imagined several ways in which he would like to garner her undivided attention. All involved satisfying the desire that had been steadily building inside him. He was grateful for the table hiding the physical evidence of his thoughts. He gave her hand a squeeze before releasing it and getting back on topic said, “Before we got sidetracked, you were up to flight school.”
Lori took back her hand and continued removing tags as she gave Lucas one of her rueful smiles. She said, “We were given instruction on all aircraft used by the Navy. We flew them all at some point during the training. Everyone shined in one of the disciplines except me. I seemed to be able to fly them all equally well and better than the rest of my classmates. There were twenty of us that started out. But seven of them for various reasons didn’t make it through the initial screening process. So we were an odd man out when it came to having partners. Since I unintentionally showed everyone up all the time, was the youngest and the only one of the female persuasion, you can surmise who the one was that flew alone or with an instructor if I needed a rear, or in layman’s terms a co-pilot, most of the time. But it was all good, because I am not known for playing well with others.”
Lucas wanted to retort he thought she did just fine playing with others but sensed that was all she wanted to say about the subject so he moved on by asking, “And after training, where were you stationed?”
Lori finished taking off the last tag and added the article of clothing to the stack on the table as she answered, “There now that’s done. So when you’ve finished your hot chocolate, perhaps you could go down and check on the laundry’s hours. What did you ask me? Oh yes, about where I was stationed. I was based out of Pensacola. But due to my ever changing orders, I ended up all kinds of places around the world.”
“And your orders brought you in to contact with Joe Gianelli?” Lucas asked in a gentle probing tone.
Lori drained the rest of her hot chocolate before answering “Yep, he had the misfortune of coming over to the flight school the Friday night before our Graduation on Sunday in need of a substitute chopper pilot. His regular one developed a sudden inner ear problem and Joe had a night training exercise scheduled for his Seals team. So, since I was the only one of the class that was under the legal drinking age and not able to go out carousing and celebrating our impending graduation, I was drafted in to his service.”
Straightening up in his chair, leaning his arms on to the table and grabbing his mug to finish off his hot chocolate, Lucas said, “I take it that first encounter went well since you two are still doing business together.”
Lori got up from the table and grabbed her mug then headed for the kitchen throwing over her shoulder, “Nope, it didn’t go well at all.”
Lucas shook his head slightly in amusement as he rose from the table and followed after her taking his mug with him. There had to be an entertaining story behind that statement. Leaning against the door jam, watching Lori rinse out her mug, he said, “Clearly, there must be more to that statement. What is going to take for me to find out?”
Lori turned from the sink and sauntered over to Lucas giving him what he considered to be a conspiratorial smile. She took the mug from his hand, set it in the sink, then returned to him. He put his arm around her as she got up on tip toe and whispered in his ear, “Two things, you go find out how late the laundry is open and since we have done nothing but talk about me tonight, tomorrow it’s your turn. While we do the wash, I promise to keep you very entertained. Oh, and I’ll also tell you the story of Joe G. Navy Seal vs. Lori Lemon, Naval Aviator if you want to hear it.”
Her whispering had tickled his ear and the prospect of being entertained by her had Lucas smiling as he gave her a hug as she slid back down his side to her feet from being on tip toe. She left one arm resting on his shoulder. He teased, “Why Ms. Montgomery, are you propositioning me?”
“I believe I am, Mr. North. Care to take me up on it?” Lori sassed back looking up at him with a grin as she slid her arms around his waist giving him a hug back.
Lucas tightened his hold on her and cocked an eyebrow before giving her his answer by bending his head down and capturing her lips with his own in a soft tender kiss. Melting closer in to his side, she parted her lips inviting him and his tongue in. Then removed one arm from his waist and placed her hand on the back of his neck drawing him even closer to her. It was all the invitation Lucas needed. He turned to face her and wrapped his arms around her in a tight embrace causing her body to be perfectly moulded against his. He slowly ran the tip of his tongue around the edge of her lips before gently probing the inside of her mouth with it.
The sound of Lori’s cell phone ringing interrupted the moment. Their lips parted as Lori released her hold on his neck starting to move out of his embrace muttering unhappily, “Saved by the bell.”
Lucas groaned and gave her a hug before releasing Lori. As she headed down the hall to retrieve her phone, Lucas called after her smiling, “Don’t be long, we have matters that need attending.”
He walked over to the sink and rinsed out his mug. Then Lucas stepped over to the doorway looking down the hall at Lori. He didn’t want to approach in case her call was private. Her back was turned to him. First, he saw her shoulders visibly sag and she put her hand on the back of the chair. It appeared she needed it for support. Then she straightened as if her spine had been turned to steel. He was sure she had received some kind of distressing news.
His own cell phone vibrated in his pocket. He pulled it out peering at the display before answering, “Hello Harry.”
“Hello, Lucas. Are you watching the news per chance?” Harry asked.
“No, should I be?” Lucas responded.
“I have just received a call from my counterpart over in the United States. It is all over the air waves that one of their Military planes has went down. Due to her past Naval background, our project liaison, Ms Smith is being pressed in to service to help recover the pilot. We have been requested to join in the effort. Since you are her neighbour, I was wondering if you would be so kind as to go over and extend our offer of assistance in person,” Harry said.
“Of course, I will be in touch after I’ve spoken to her Harry,” Lucas said then disconnected. He took a deep breath putting the cell phone back in his pocket. Looking down the hall again, he saw she had finished her call and was standing motionless once again grasping the back of the chair holding her cell phone at her side. Quietly coming up behind her, he wrapped his arms around her drawing her in close. He asked quietly in her ear, “You alright?”
Lori turned in his arms wrapping her arms around him and laying her head against his chest. Her voice was barely audible as she spoke in to his chest, “I just need a moment.”
“Take all the time you need. I’m not going anywhere,” Lucas said reaching up to stroke the back of her head.
Lori turned her head looking at the blank television screen saying, “Mind if we turn on the news?”
Lucas led her over to the sofa to sit down. Keeping one arm securely around Lori for support, he reached for the remote and turned on the news. The breaking news report came on. He kept one eye on the screen and the other on Lori. When the name of the pilot came across he understood the entire situation much more clearly. The news reader said, “An American military aircraft piloted by Major Eric Baron of the U.S. Marine Corps went missing today. It was last spotted on radar 50 nautical miles off the coast of Sweden over the Baltic Sea.”
Lucas could feel Lori tense up even more than she already was when Eric’s name was mentioned. Though her whole demeanour was tense, her voice sounded deceptively calm as she said, “I apologize but I need to cut our evening short. It would seem I have to take care of a little matter that needs my immediate attention.”
Lucas put his hand on her chin turning her head to face him. Looking in to her eyes, he said, “Harry called while you were on the phone. What can we do to help?”
He could tell by her body relaxing a bit, Lori was relieved she could speak openly to him about the situation. She asked in her rapid fire style, “I need to leave within the hour, could you arrange a car to take me out to the air base? Will you come over and watch the hockey game for me tomorrow evening? It’s an early game and while you are here would you be sure to get the leftovers eaten so they don’t go to waste? I shouldn’t be gone more than twenty-four to forty-eight hours at the most. Since you were going to laundry tomorrow, can I prevail upon you to wash the new pillow cases and sheets I got? What else am I forgetting that you need to know or take care of?”
Lucas lightly put his finger over her lips to silence her for a moment so he could get a word in edgewise. In his calm soothing voice he said, “I will drive you myself when you are ready to go to the air base. And as for the rest, you can count on me to watch your place and take care of things while you are away. Don’t worry about me or anything else here. Just concentrate on getting your best friend back home.”
Lori gave him a quick hug around his neck before kissing his cheek. She said, “Thank you Lucas for everything.”
Then she got up and headed towards the kitchen, she called back to him, “I’m getting myself a Coke for the caffeine. Can I get you anything?”
“No thank you,” Lucas responded while he continued to watch the news report. He thought, “So this is Lori in crisis mode. To the untrained eye, she’s cool as a cucumber, she is. But to me it’s obvious that she’s wound tight. I hope all goes well for her. With all the loss she’s experienced, I think losing her best friend might just be the breaking point for her.”
Lori came back to the living room with a Coke in one hand and a cookie in the other. She stayed just long enough to say, “I’m going to go change in to my flight suit. I should be ready to go in the next fifteen minutes. Does that work for you?”
“It does. What else can I do to help facilitate the proceedings?” Lucas responded switching off the television.
“Just getting the car and driving me to the air base is more than enough Lucas. I’ll be back in five minutes,” Lori called over her shoulder as she made her way down to the bedroom.
When he heard the bedroom door close, Lucas pulled out his cell phone and dialled. It rang less than a full ring before Harry answered, “Lucas, what can we do to assist?”
“At the moment Harry, not much, all she requested was a car to take her to the air base. I volunteered to personally drive her. She wants to leave in the next fifteen minutes,” Lucas said.
“I’ll have a car brought round to you directly and parked out front of your building,” Harry said.
“Thank you, Harry. If I don’t speak with you before then, I’ll be in touch once I’ve delivered her to the air base,” Lucas said.
“Very well, Lucas. I have another call coming in perhaps this will give us more information on the situation. I’ll ring back if there is any more Intel.”
Until then, Harry,” Lucas said before disconnecting. He got up from the sofa to make his way down the hall to use the facilities. Stopping at the bedroom door, he put his hand up to knock to ask if everything was alright, but thought better of it before moving on to his original destination. As he finished drying his hands, Lucas heard the bedroom door open. He quickly opened the door and almost ran right in to Lori. He put his hands on her shoulders to steady both of them. Giving her the once over top to bottom, he asked, “All ready to go then?”
“Almost, just another minute and I will be,” Lori said as she reached up to pat his hands.
Lucas moved out of the door way, allowing Lori to pass. Once the door was closed, he rushed down the hall and outside to see if the car had arrived. As he opened the front door to the building, a black Lexus and a black van pulled up to the curb. Lucas greeted the driver, “Perfect timing James. Thank you for bringing the car round,”
“My pleasure Lucas,” James responded as he handed him the keys then made his way in to the black van and disappeared down the street. Lucas sprinted back up the stairs and in to the flat. As he closed the door, Lori came down the hall carrying her bomber jacket. He turned around taking in the sight of her zipping her flight suit. He thought to himself how under a different set of circumstances, he would thoroughly enjoy her in that flight suit. But now was not the time.
Lori had been looking down lost in thought as she walked back down the hall. Only when Lucas put his hands on her arms to stop her from running in to him did she look up. He was struck by the steely determination with underlying current of worry reflected in her eyes. Just as she opened her mouth to speak, her cell phone rang. She fished it out of her pocket and answered, “Hey Schroeder.”
Lucas felt like he should give her some privacy. He started to walk towards the kitchen, but Lori reached out and took his hand shaking her head indicating she wished for him to stay with her.
“You know I will. I’ll call you as soon as I can,” She said in to the phone before hanging up. Looking at Lucas she explained, “That was Eric’s brother Alexander. He told me to go get our boy and bring him back safe. Oh Lucas, what if.......” and she trailed off. For the first time since he’d known her she looked scared and unsure of herself.
He said, “No what ifs, as close as you two are, I’ve feeling you’d know if he wasn’t alive.”
“True,” Lori answered then took a deep breath before continuing, “Right, then let’s get going shall we?”
“Yes,” Lucas said simply as he put on his coat then helped her put on the bomber jacket. Trying to keep her spirits up, he said, “When you return, you’ll have to explain all those insignias and patches on your flight suit and your jacket. And, you still owe me the story of Joe G., Navy Seal vs. Lori, Naval Aviator.”
“Sure, and I’ll be more than ready to have you make good on your twenty question debt and get that massage your promised,” Lori said as she gave the flat the once over, she said while turning off the lamp beside the sofa, “I’m ready. Do you have the keys?”
He took the keys out of his pocket and jangled them in her face like he had done earlier in the evening. She responded again with, “Good, I’d hate to have to pick the lock when I get back,”
As Lori reached for the door knob, Lucas covered his hand over hers. He spoke softly in to her ear “Anything you need, anything at all......”
Lori turned to face him with a comtemplative smile saying, “Perhaps, one of your hugs to tide me over till I return.”
“With pleasure,” Lucas said wrapping his arms around her snuggly drawing her in close. When Lori hugged back so tightly he could barely breathe, Lucas knew how desperate she was really feeling. She broke the hug sooner than he’d like but he knew they needed to get going.
She said looking at the time on her cell phone, “Thanks, I needed that. We’re running ahead of schedule. That’s a good thing. I’d like to keep it that way.”
Lucas opened the door and gestured, “After you.”
- Current Location:Home
- Current Mood: stressed
- Current Music:"Under Pressure" by Queen