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)
Lori watched out of the corner of her eye as Lucas took what she thought of as “His Chair”. Lucas picked up the spoon and stirred the mound of whipped cream in to his hot chocolate. She enjoyed looking at his hands with those long lithe fingers. He took a sip, leaned back in his chair and pronounced, “Very tasty, this was a good choice.”
“So glad you approved,” Lori said saucily as she methodically took the clothes he had bought out of the sacks and sorted them in to various stacks as she removed the tags. She wasn’t one to just sit. If something needed doing right in front of her, she had to take care of it. The thought occurred to her if the laundry was done yet tonight, then tomorrow could be a carefree day for Lucas to do as he pleased. She asked looking over at the clock, “How late does the Laundry stay open around here?”
She heard the edge in his voice when Lucas responded, “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.”
Deciding the best tact to take with him would be the same she had so many times with Stephen, Lori said in a beseeching tone, “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?”
“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.
It made her chuckle when he changed the tone in his voice and the exasperated expression on his face to one of a neutral demeanour. It reminded her of Stephen. Lori looked over at his mug saying, “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. She couldn’t help but reach over to pat one of his hands resting on his arms that were still crossed over his chest and give 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 thinking of all the various inventive ways Stephen came up with to garner her undivided attention. Most were a bit too provocative and private to share so she opted to give Lucas 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.”
Lori could see reflected on Lucas’ face he was imagining what those ways possibly were. But being the Gentleman he was, she knew he’d not pry. So it didn’t surprise her when he gave her hand a squeeze and released it then got back to the main topic of the evening by saying, “Before we got sidetracked, you were up to flight school.”
Lori reluctantly took back her hand. She liked the feel of his hand in hers. It seemed so right and natural. She continued the task at hand of removing the tags from his clothes. She really didn’t like to talk about herself or her exploits. She gave Lucas one of her rueful smiles. But having promised to share, 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 asked, “And after training, where were you stationed?”
Lori was only half listening as she finished taking off the last tag and added the article of clothing to the stack on the table. She was already thinking about getting down to the laundry. 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.
Lori gave herself a moment by draining the rest of her hot chocolate before answering. The gentle probing tone of Lucas’ voice was very intoxicating. She wondered how much information he’d garnered over the years by using it. Setting down the mug, she answered “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, 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. Her back to Lucas she grinned like a Cheshire Cat knowing what she would say next would cause him to follow her. She threw over her shoulder, “Nope, it didn’t go well at all.”
Lucas, of course, followed and as was his custom leaned against the door jam, Lori felt him watching her as she rinsed out her mug. He said sounding both curious and amused, “Clearly, there must be more to that statement. What is going to take for me to find out?”
Lori had to smile. Lucas had just sealed his own fate for the evening and tomorrow with that question. She turned from the sink and sauntered over to him giving him a smile that meant she was going let him in on whatever conspiracy she had come with. But first, she took the mug from his hand, set in the sink, then returned to him. Getting up on tip toe, she cupped her hand over his ear. As she did, he put his arm around her. She whispered her proposition, “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. Naval Seal vs. Lori Lemon, Naval Aviator if you want to hear it.”
She noted Lucas’ smile as he hugged her while she slid back down to her feet. Leaving an arm resting on his shoulder, Lori waited for his response. She was encouraged when he teased her by saying, “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. This banter was taking a very nice turn for her.
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. Her resolve to hold him at arm’s length was totally gone as she melted 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.
Apparently, that 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. It felt heavenly.
The sound of Lori’s cell phone ringing interrupted the moment. The string of curse words that went through her mind could have made a sailor blush. She thought whoever was calling had the worst sense of timing ever. Anyone who knew this cell phone number would have a damn good reason, so she very reluctantly parted her lips from his and released the hold on his neck. She muttered 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 she smiled that he had reacted to the interruption the way he did. Lucas called, “Don’t be long. We have important matters that need attending.”
“Indeed we do, Mr. North,” Lori thought cheekily. She looked at the display as she picked it up discovering it was Joe G. calling. She answered warmly, “Good evening, Joe.”
Joe G. said in a very grave tone, “Forgive the interruption of your weekend off, but I am calling with some rather distressing news. Are you alone?”
“No, Lucas is here with me. Do I need to be alone?” Lori asked full of trepidation.
“No, it’s best someone is with you. It’s Eric. Intel says his plane was shot down on the wrong side of the Baltic Sea. The major news networks are reporting he was on the Swedish side. But that is not the case, it was the Russian side,” Joe said.
All the air was knocked out of Lori. Her shoulders sagged and she had to reach for the back of the chair for support. Not Eric, it couldn’t be. They were going to have lunch on Tuesday. Time seemed to stand completely still for an instant. She couldn’t bring herself to ask if Eric was alive, he had to be that’s all there was to it. Regaining her equilibrium she straightened to attention. In her deathly calm voice, she asked in rapid fire succession, “When did he go down? Exactly where did he go down? What was he doing on the wrong side of the Baltic? What’s being done to recover him? Which Seals team is going after him? Who’s flying them? And where are they coming out of? Does his family know? Who contacted you?”
“Lori, slow down. I’ll answer all of your questions. I had a feeling knowing your aversion to watching the news you didn’t know. And I wanted to be the one tell you. Because of your proximity to the area and of course your track record, Mr. Secretary (the Secretary of the Navy) requested you be a part of the rescue. I told him I would contact you to check your availability but made no commitment one way or the other. Take a moment to decide. Don’t do it emotionally but rationally. It goes without saying the renovation project can be easily covered. However, you need to take into consideration your other endeavour and what the impact would be should you be gone till the rescue is completed,” Joe said.
His sound reasoning and calm demeanour as always helped Lori to sort things rapidly and rationally taking the emotions out of the equation. She had been the best of best when it came to these kinds of rescue operations. And why shouldn’t she use her skills for this one time to help in the rescue of her dearest and oldest friend? Why not indeed? Lucas, that was why not. There had to be a way to still keep her commitment to him and be able to go take care of Eric. Decision made, she said, “I’m in, I’m all in. Give me two hours and I’ll be at the airbase.”
“Phone me on your drive there and I’ll bring you up to speed. And Lori, just do what you do best and it will turn out fine,” Joe said before disconnecting.
Lori gripped the back of the chair again for support. She held it so tightly her knuckles were turning white. She lowered her cell phone down to her side. She knew she needed to move but seemed rooted where she was standing. All she could think about was that her track record was perfect when it came to rescues and she had retired before it could be blemished. What if this was the one that would ruin that record? Eric had asked her to be his rear for this flight. She should have been with him. Maybe she could have prevented him going down. What if she was already too late? NO, she couldn’t be, she just couldn’t be.
Lori was so deep in thought she’d not heard Lucas approach. He wrapped his arms around her, asking quietly in her ear, “You alright?”
Lori turned in his arms wrapping her arms around him and laying her head against his chest. She was very grateful he was there. She couldn’t seem to find her voice but managed to whisper 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.
His touch on her hair barely registered. Her mind was on finding out what the new agencies were reporting. Lori turned her head looking at the blank television screen saying, “Mind if we turn on the news?”
She allowed Lucas to lead her over to the sofa to sit down. She appreciated him keeping one arm securely around her showing his support. He reached for the remote and turned on the news. The breaking news report came on. Lori’s full attention was on the screen. When Eric’s name came across Lori went totally rigid. It made it real that this was really happening and not just a nightmare she would wake from. 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.”
Though she was very tense, Lori managed to keep her voice deathly calm as she spoke, “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?”
“Donovan had to have called Harry. Thank you, Mark, thank you,” Lori thought. She was relieved she could speak openly to him about the situation. But she wanted to still take care of Lucas in some small way while she was gone. Losing two men in her life at the moment was not an option. She thought a way to make him eat and possibly relax away from the grid would work by asking him to watch her place. Allowing her body to relax and going in to all her business mode, 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 in the 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. She knew she was rambling and probably not making a bit of sense. His voice was calm and very soothing as he spoke, “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. He had said all the right things to help calm her completely and help alleviate her guilt of abandoning him for a couple of days. She said, “Thank you Lucas for everything.”
In desperate need of Coke, Lori 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.
Quickly extracting a Coke from the fridge and a cookie from one of the Ziploc bags on the counter, Lori came back to the living room just long enough to announce, “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. Stuffing the remaining part of the cookie in her mouth, she firmly closed the door before setting the Coke down on the dresser then flopped down on to the bed her arms stretched wide on either side. She’d allot herself exactly one minute, two minutes max to fall apart over the situation then it would be time to get it in gear and go for an all out effort to make this wrong right.
Laying there, looking up at the ceiling, Lori heard Eric’s voice in her head telling her she was the best of the best and always had been. He’d always told her that if the day ever came, he’d count on her to put her skills to use to bring him back. Well, that day was here and the time was now. She rose with a renewed energy and determination. She opened the drawers to extract her Snoopy WWI Flying Ace gear that was always worn under her flight suit. It was a superstition she had and felt like it brought her that extra luck when she went out on these types of missions. She quickly stripped out of her silk blouse, jeans and LaPerla silk lingerie. Then put on the more functional Victoria Secret’s cotton variety lingerie. Quickly throwing on the t-shirt and socks, she reached in to the closet for the flight suit, bomber jacket and combat boots. She easily slid into the flight suit before sitting on the edge of the bed to lace up her combat boots. She fished her cell phone out of her jeans pocket and transferred it to one of the many pockets in the flight suit. Getting up, she reached for the Coke to drain dry before brushing her hair and rolling it in to a neat bun. She took one quick cursory glance in the mirror before opening the door to the bedroom and heading to use the facilities before they departed.
She almost ran right in to Lucas and would have if he hadn’t put his hands on her shoulders to steady both of them. 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 her to pass. She made quick work of using the facilities, washing her face, and brushing her teeth. She came out sliding her arms back into the flight suit. Stopping long enough in the bedroom to retrieve her bomber jacket, she zipped up her flight suit while coming down the hall.
As was her habit when lost in thought, she was looking down at the floor and not where she was going. Only when Lucas put his hands on her arms to stop her from running in to him did she look up with the steely determination and underlying current of worry she had going inside. Just as she opened her mouth to speak to him, her cell phone rang. She fished it out of her pocket looking at the display before answering, “Hey Schroeder.”
Alexander Baron said trying hard to keep his voice light and encouraging, “Hey Snoopy, go get our boy and bring him back safe. And be sure to give him piece of your mind for worrying us to death.”
As she listened to Alexander, Lucas started to walk towards the kitchen. Lori knew he was doing it to give her some privacy but it wasn’t necessary. She 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.” All of the sudden, everything became too much for her. She was scared and unsure of herself. She had to voice her fear, “Oh Lucas, what if.......” and she trailed off.
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. She knew he was right. If Eric was really gone, she’d feel an overwhelming sense of loss like when Stephen died. Taking a deep breath before continuing to steady herself once again, she said, “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. 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 appreciating his effort at trying to keep her a little distracted from the task at hand. She gave the flat the once over before 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. So 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......”
All that resonated in her mind was the need to have his arms wrapped around her one more time before they went. Lori turned to face him with a contemplative smile saying, “Perhaps, a one of your hugs to tide me over till I return.”
“With pleasure,” Lucas said wrapping his arms around her tight drawing her in close. Lori hugged back tightly. It was the only way she could express to him without voicing it, that she didn’t want to let him go or lose him too. She broke the hug and 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: complacent
- Current Music:"Under Pressure" by Queen