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Overnight Therapy - Chapter Three

Title: Overnight Therapy

Author:   LSM71059
Fandom: Spooks
Characters: Lucas
Rating: PG-13
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:  Episode 7.03)

 

Chapter Three

Lucas’ alarm was buzzing in his ear. He reached over to turn it off.  

Rolling over on to his back he was chuckling to himself, remembering the encounter with his new neighbor and reveling in her dry sense of humor, A random thought went through his head, “Wouldn’t Harry think I had totally gone crackers if I called to tell him I’d be late due to the fact I had been playing a knight in shining armor to a damsel in distress in the middle of the night. And therefore I would require an additional few hours of sleep to make up for my heroic deeds.”

Dismissing the notion of sleeping in, he rose and hopped into the shower to wake up. Letting the hot water cascade down his body, it was a wonderful sensation to know

a)      The water would remain hot for the duration

b)      He could have a nice close shave

c)      No one would be standing outside the shower and telling him to get out after three minutes

But having been used to short showers when they had been allowed, Lucas was out in ten minutes wrapping a towel around his slight hips. Standing at the sink to brush his teeth, he stared into the mirror hoping to find the man he was before going to Russia eight years ago. It pained him to think about Elizabeta saying he had become so cold. Was that really the truth? He hoped not.

Finished in the bathroom, He dressed in the jeans and long sleeved shirt he had discarded on to the chair earlier. Carrying his shoes and socks out to the living room, he sat on a chair to slip them on and tie them. A folded piece of plain white paper by the front door caught his attention. Going over to the door, he picked it up with a bit of apprehension, flipped it open, noted the bold handwriting and read:

 

Hey Neighbor,

I wanted to say thank you again for your assistance with my luggage. To repay your heroic deed and kindness, I’d like to invite you for a drink at your convenience. 

Your Neighbor in #2

 

A smile formed on his lips. This presented the perfect opportunity to find out who his neighbor was. Walking over to the desk and picking up a pen, he thoughtfully decided on a response. Under her note, he wrote:

 

Neighbour in #2,

Thank you for the invitation. I would be delighted to accept. Would you be free this evening, say around 9:00 p.m.? I look forward to your response.

Your Neighbour in #1

 

Lucas donned his coat, collected his mobile, wallet and keys preparing to leave for the day. He refolded the note, left his flat, crossed the hall, slid the note under #2’s door then was down the stairs and out the door on his way to the grid.

Lucas preferred to walk to Thames House. He loved the feeling of freedom to be able to walk down the street. It gave him extra time to clear his head, shift into work mode and put on his persona he felt was expected of him by MI-5. He wondered if his colleagues were aware how much extra added pressure they put upon him by constantly watching him and analyzing his every move. Harry and Ros were the biggest offenders in his eyes. Frankly, all he really wanted was some kind of time frame as to when they would leave him alone to do his work without all the other baggage. He walked to the donut shop stopping in for Malcolm’s favorites plus a cup of tea for himself. Having made his way to Thames House, before entering he took two or three fortifying deep breaths. He signed in and made his way to the lift. The lift took him up and the doors slid open on to the grid. He was off and running for the day.

After a brief consult with Malcolm, Lucas had managed to pull up the database on who was renting the flat across from him. He found it was being leased to a well known and respected U.S. based building developer/contractor who had offices all throughout Europe and the United States. He briefly scanned their website hoping to find a photo of his newly acquired neighbor. But of course it couldn’t possibly be that easy to find out who she was.

 “Lucas, a word,” Harry said from his office doorway.

Lucas looked up from the computer terminal, nodded, and joined Harry in his office. “Harry, what can I do for you?”

“I’ve a favor to ask of you Lucas. We have a major renovation going to start next week here in the building after hours and I need someone to check in on it from time to time. Ros is quite busy settling in as section chief otherwise this task would normally fall to her. Would you be so kind as take it on?” Harry asked nonchalantly.

“Of course,” Lucas responded.  

“Thank you. Here are the details on the project. It should not take much of your time. The firm running the operation has done extensive government work in the past and understands the need for confidentiality. They have a project website which will have reports, updates, schedules and the like.” Harry said handing Lucas a portfolio which was over an inch thick marked Thames House Renovations, 2007-08.   Leaning back in his chair he asked, “How are you settling in? Anyway we can assist?”

“I’m fine Harry, thank you for the offer though, anything else?” Lucas asked suddenly wanting to be out of Harry’s office.

“No, that will be all for now. Thank you Lucas.” Lucas gave a slight nod before taking his leave. 

Sitting back down at his desk, Lucas took a moment to regroup wondering when the feeling of uneasiness every time he had an encounter with Harry would end. Giving himself a mental shake, he began to review summary page of the file.

·         The same Developer doing the renovations was the one letting the flat.

·         Mark Fisel was the original project liaison. 

·         He was being replaced effective immediately by a Sam Smith.

·         All the proper security clearances were in order.

·         An e-mail with contact information and details how to log on to the project website was attached.

Lucas started to flip over the summary page to read over the e-mail when Ros looked over at him as she finished a phone call. She said, “Ready to go meet your new best friend?”

Closing the portfolio, sliding it over to his growing pile of paperwork, he responded with an eyebrow cocked, “New best friend?”

Ros shook her head in the affirmative and proceeded to brief Lucas on the particulars including Ben’s undercover operation. She was turning the operation over to him to run. She stated they had the meet set with his new best friend for 3:40 p.m. He was pleased she was turning over an operation to him. Perhaps she was starting to have a little more faith in him.

By the time she had finished her brief, it was lunch time. Malcolm wandered over to the two inviting them to go with him. Ros begged off, but Lucas happily accepted. He felt it would do Malcolm good to get away from his monitoring for a bit.  Lucas didn’t how the man did it sitting there hour after hour. Malcolm checked with Connie & Jo to see if they would care to join them, but both declined. Lucas was secretly pleased it would be only Malcolm and he. To him, Malcolm was the one constant that hadn’t changed in eight years. And this brought a great deal of comfort to Lucas’ world that had been turned upside down while he was away. 

They popped over to the pub around the corner from Thames House. Lucas ordered fish & chips, and Malcolm followed suit. He confided to Malcolm fish & chips had been the one food he craved most while he was away. Lucas was careful with his wording knowing if he stated he had been held prisoner it would upset Malcolm. And that was the last thing he wanted.  The conversation was kept to lighter subjects such as Malcolm’s Mother, the newest computer technology and the weather, which all happen to be topics Malcolm was well versed in. After finishing off every last bite, Malcolm patted his stomach then frowned as he looked over at Lucas’ plate. “Not hungry?”

Lucas had eaten only one piece of fish and half of the chips. He replied, “Too many donuts this morning, I seem to have ruined my appetite before I came to lunch. I’m going to have cut back on them.” Lucas smiled reassuringly at Malcolm not wanting to him to have time to think about the fact, he’d only had a half of one, he said looking at his watch, “We best be getting back to the Grid. I am accompanying Ros to meet an asset at 3:40 p.m. and would like to clear half of the paperwork off my desk before we leave.”

Malcolm nodded rising from his chair. He insisted on paying for lunch. Lucas agreed but only on the condition the next one was on him. After settling up with the barkeep, the two men walked back to Thames House in a companionable silence each lost in their own thoughts.

The meet went quite well. On the walk back to the Grid, Lucas noted how quiet Ros had become. He wondered if it was due in part this asset had dealt with Adam in the past. Lucas had caught the fleeting flash of pain in Ros’ eyes when she mentioned Adam. He felt like he should say something to comfort her but checked himself. If she wanted to talk, he would listen but would not pry.

Returning to the grid, Jo pounced on him the second the lift doors opened. She asked, “Ready to go?” He nodded his head yes stepping back into the lift. She was quite anxious to get out to the surveillance truck to check on Ben. It amused Lucas how much she tried to hide the fact she cared for Ben more than a colleague should, but had no success in hiding her true feelings. 

Having reassured Jo that Ben was a natural and he would keep a close eye on him, she left Lucas in the truck for the afternoon.   Grateful for the solitude, he sighed and settled in to watch and listen. Briefly, his thoughts strayed to his new neighbor. He wondered if she would be available this evening. And if so, where they would go to have the drink she had offered. Before he could give the matter further thought, he heard Ben say he was going out for run, which was the signal that he needed to talk to Lucas.

Receiving the Intel from Ben, Lucas once again was on his way to back to the Grid to brief the team. Harry had emerged from his office when he arrived to inquire from Jo about Ben’s status and safety. Jo assured Harry his cover was solid. Lucas chimed in regarding the internet chatter and his conviction they were coming after them sooner than later. As soon as the full briefing was concluded, Lucas made his way back to the surveillance truck.

It was proving to be a very eventful day with Ben having a very high level visitor and having to think quickly on his feet. Lucas received his message, made his way to the rendezvous place and waited leaned up against the wall out of the rain. Ben ran up with a look of the weight of the world on his shoulders. He briefed Lucas on his meeting and the plan for tomorrow. Lucas calmed and reassured Ben that he would be with him every step of the way urging him to return before he was missed.

As Lucas walked away, he was caught under a spray of water. It paralyzed him in place taking his breath away, taking him back to the water boarding torture he had endured for seventeen days straight at the beginning of his imprisonment. He remembered the torturers kept asking him about something called Sugar Horse over and over again. Coming back to reality, He managed to stagger over to the wall bending over trying to regain his equilibrium.   It crossed his mind if anyone knew of Sugar Horse it would be Harry.   Lucas went to the Grid, changed into dry clothes which he could only guess used to be Adam’s, then straight to Harry. 

After their conversation, Lucas sat at his desk deeply troubled both by Harry’s demeanor as he had delivered his recollections and by the horrible memories that had come flooding back in the last hour. He knew the best thing to do would be to leave and start fresh in the morning. He felt like he was forgetting something that needed to be done. It dawned on him, the drink with the new neighbor. Looking at his watch, he noted that it was an hour past the time he was to have met up with her. He’d hoped she wouldn’t be too angry at his tardiness but it wouldn’t be the first time the job had caused him to be late and wouldn’t be the last. Not having a phone number to contact her and not even sure she was expecting him, he headed for his place.

 

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
leslieg
Feb. 4th, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)
Poor Lucas! Things just didn't play out for him well that day! I hope Lori is forgiving.

One thing, Lucas would have written "neighbour" in his reply. Tee hee!!!!
lsm71059
Feb. 4th, 2009 02:09 am (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up on the spelling. I do try to spell British for the Spooks team but being American I tend to miss quite a bit. You are so nice to let me know when I need to change things, which by the way I have.

Yes, this was a very angsty chapter for me to write. That's why it took me two days to publish instead of one.
herby_chick
Feb. 16th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
I do like how you've managed to fit in huge amounts of information without making it seem rushed.

The water incident was always going to be angsty, and I often wondered if he would have a similar reaction in the shower, but then the shower is an everyday thing and he's clearly separated them in his head.

And the point about being able to take a long, hot shower if he wanted to...such a little thing, but so important.
lsm71059
Feb. 17th, 2009 12:00 am (UTC)
Thanks for the compliment. It can be tough sometimes to decided how much information to put in.

The way I reasoned the shower was he is in total control while in there. He had no control of the water coming down on him.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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