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Overnight Therapy - Chapter Thirteen


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: Between Episodes 7.03 & 7.04)

 

Chapter Thirteen

As the post game show started, Lori felt a warm hand begin to lightly massage her shoulder. She removed her headphones and looked over her shoulder. Lucas was awake. He gave her his half lopsided smile. She smiled back and said quietly, “Hi.”

 

His voice still husky with sleep, Lucas said, “Hi.”

Lori asked, “Did you have a good rest?”

Lucas answered, “I did. What time is it? How long was I out? Have you been sitting here the whole time?”

Lori looked at the time on her laptop before answering, “It is a little before 3:00 so about 4 ½ hours. For the most part, I got up a couple of times as you can see by my laptop being out here.”

Lucas shook his head slightly in disbelief. He’d slept soundly and without a nightmare. It was quite refreshing. But he felt dreadful. Here he had rung Lori inviting her to supper and he’d fallen asleep instead. As he rolled over on to his side he said, “Why did you sit here for over four hours? You must be starving. I’m afraid I’ve managed to sleep through the supper hour. Please forgive me.”

“I did it because you asked me to sit with you for a bit. Absolutely no forgiveness needed, Lucas,” Lori said turning around to face the couch and him. She patted his arm. “I insisted you rest for a bit and am happy you did. It takes me off the hook for keeping you up last night. And had you been awake, I would have made you suffer through watching a Red Wings game. So it was a win, win for both of us. As for supper, Lori’s Diner is open for business.”

Lucas sat up throwing off the quilt to one side. He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes then stretched out his arms to the sides. As he did, he said with a wink, “I don’t think watching a Red Wings game with you would be all that sufferable. I’d like the opportunity to do it.”

“Then you shall have it,” Lori said smiling as she got to her feet. “Now, I’m going to go see what that surly cook at Lori’s Diner feels like scrounging up for us to eat.”

As she headed for the kitchen, Lucas called after her as he got up off the sofa, “Like a hand?”

“Sure,” she called back.

He folded the quilt and placed it on the arm of the chair. He made a quick trip down the hall to the bathroom before taking up what was becoming his usual post of leaning against the kitchen door jam. By the time he joined her, she had the oven preheating and two pans on the stove. One had water starting to boil and the other with a lid over it. Lucas asked, “So what did the cook feel like preparing?”

“How does mostaccioli with meat sauce and garlic toast strike you?” Lori asked back.

“Very tasty, but you really don’t have to go to all that bother,” Lucas said.

“No bother at all,” Lori said as she slipped the garlic toast in to the oven. “There, now all we have to do is wait for the water to boil.”

Lucas started to put his hands in his back pockets when he felt the envelope with the key card in one of them. He decided there was no time like the present to give it to Lori. He said getting her attention, “Lori.”

“Yes, Lucas,” she answered as she looked up from stirring the meat sauce.

“There’s a matter I’d like to discuss with you,” he said tentatively.

“Discuss away,” Lori said as she poured the pasta in to the boiling water, giving it a good stir. She sensed he wanted her full attention so she set down the spoon and leaned against the sink looking over at him.

“It would seem our paths are going to cross on not just a social level but a professional one as well,” Lucas said.

“Oh? How so?” Lori asked.

He pulled the envelope from his back pocket and handed it to her as an answer. Lori opened the envelope taking out a copy of the e-mail she had written requesting the access protocols and the key card. She looked up at Lucas with an eyebrow cocked asking, “Does this mean what I think it does?”

“Possibly, what do you think it means,” Lucas responded.

“I think it means you work at Thames House in some capacity. And being that you were in possession of the e-mail I sent to MI-5, you are a Spook. And you were assigned to the Renovation Project. How am I doing so far?” Lori said as she put the e-mail & key card in the envelope setting it on the counter before turning back to stir the food on the stove.

“You are doing well,” Lucas said. He was getting a bit anxious fearing Lori was not happy with the situation. He asked, “And how do you feel about it?”

She finished stirring the pasta and set the spoon down before surprising Lucas by launching herself at him giving him a big hug around the neck. She said, “I couldn’t be more thrilled. Most government types I have to deal with are, shall we say, less than desirable types.”

Lucas smiled in relief, giving her a hug in return. She released her arms from around his neck saying, “I don’t normally accost the owner’s representative. This is the first time I have known and liked them before starting the project.”

Lucas was pleased she had referred to liking him. This scenario was playing out so much better than he expected. He reluctantly let her go out of his embrace. He said, “The key card gives you access to all the renovation spaces. And of course you can consult me for any other matters that may arise.”

Lori opened the door to the oven to check on the garlic toast. Lucas sniffed the air. He said, “That smells heavenly.”

“It should be ready shortly,” Lori said checking the food on the stove. “Have you had a chance to review the renovation file, Lucas?”

“Yes, I have,” Lucas responded. “And may I say the project website is excellent.”

“Thanks, it was one of my ideas to streamline things. One stop shopping for everything and anything you would want to know about a project.  Lori said offhanded as if her brilliant idea was no big deal. “Have any questions for me?”

Lucas was impressed with her business savvy. He thought to himself, “I have many questions for you but none to do with the project.” Aloud he said, “None at this time regarding the project.”

Lori looked over at him with a mischievous smile, “So that means you have questions not relating to the project.”

Lucas shook his head, “You can decipher a phrase faster than anyone I’ve met. Alright, what if I do have other questions, would you answer them?”

“I’ll always give you an answer. It may not be the one you looking for. However, remember my rule, what is said in #2 stays in #2. I think turn about is fair play. For every question you ask me, I get to ask one in return. Deal?” Lori said as she stuck her hand out to shake.

Lucas believed Lori when she said what they talked about would go no further than inside these walls. Lucas took her hand and shook it. He said, “Deal. So shall we begin over supper?”

“There’s your first question. So I already get to ask you one. In answer to your question, sure, why not, supper is almost ready,” Lori said. “My first question is would you like to set the table while I dish up the food?”

Lucas answered, “I would be delighted.

He gathered up the items to the set the table as Lori took the garlic toast out of the oven. While it cooled it a bit, she drained the mostaccioli, divided it in to two separate dishes, and smothered the pasta in the meat sauce from the pan. She took out fresh parmesan from the refrigerator and grated a generous mound on to each of the dishes. As she was attempting to reach up to a top shelf to retrieve the bread basket, Lucas walked back in to the kitchen.

He came up behind her and reached the bread basket for her. He said softly right in her ear as he handed her the basket, “There you go. May I do anything else for you?”

Lori thought to herself, “Lucas has a voice that could melt butter.” Out loud she said, “You may. Take the pasta bowls out to the table, please and I will bring the garlic toast and something to drink. Then we can eat.”

He did as instructed. Lori uncorked a bottle of Merlot for Lucas to drink. She’d never developed a taste for wine herself but her friends all said Merlot went well with pasta. She reached up for two wine glasses. She filled her wine glass plus the two water glasses with ice. Popped open a can of Coke pouring it in to the wine glass with ice and opened a bottle of water to pour over the ice in the other glasses, set everything on a tray, and came out to the table where Lucas sat waiting for her. She placed the contents of the tray on the table, setting the wine bottle by Lucas. He asked, “You aren’t having any wine?”

“Never developed a taste for it,” she said as she took her seat. He poured himself a glass of wine. She raised her glass to him saying, “Salute.”

Lucas clinked glasses with her responding with, “Salute, Grazi.”

He took a sip of the wine before diving in to the pasta. Lori watched for his reaction to see if he liked it. She wasn’t disappointed with the response. He savored the taste of the meat sauce in his mouth before swallowing it. He said, “This is without a doubt the best mostaccioli I have ever tasted. The meat sauce is fantastic. Where did you learn to make it?”

“I wish I could take credit it for it, but all I did was heat it up in a pan. The sauce comes from a family owned Italian restaurant back in my hometown. I’ve known them for over thirty years. They take pity on me and ship me the sauce wherever I might be working at the time. Papa D’Angelo is a great guy,” Lori said.

“And where is home, Lori?” Lucas asked.

“It’s a town in Northeast Indiana. How about you Lucas, where’s home?” Lori asked turning the question back on him.

“Outside a place called Carlisle, located in Cumbria,.  It's North of London,” Lucas said.

“Have any siblings?” Lori asked.

“An older brother,” Lucas said. He knew the answer to that sibling question where she was concerned, no need to ask.

Lori felt like giving Lucas a break so she said, “Lucas, since you didn’t turn the sibling question back on me, I have a feeling you already knew the answer. So that would mean the background check on me has already been run. If it has, tell me. I promise I won’t be angry. I know it is part of your job.”

“Yes, it has and yes, I’ve read it. Let me extend the same offer to you that you made to me. If you ever want to talk, I’m a good listener,” Lucas answered seriously.

“If that’s the case, I think it’s only fair I get to have at least a twenty questions credit with you to make up for my not having the luxury of a background check on you,” Lori said with a grin and managing to break the tension at the same time.

“Fair enough,” Lucas said giving her a smile back. He gave a mental sigh of relief she really wasn’t angry and that the report wasn’t hanging between them.

“What about your folks?” Lori asked

“My parents still live in Carlisle. My Father is a Methodist Minister and my Mother a Secretary at a primary school.” Lucas answered.

Lori refilled Lucas’ empty wine glass as she shifted gears away from family with her next question. She said, “You already know my passion when it comes to sports is hockey, do you have a favorite sport?”

“Rugby,” Lucas said.

“Rugby, huh? Lori said. “The only thing I know about Rugby is there is a video on YouTube where the New Zealand All Blacks Rugby team does this Haka War Dance.”

Lucas said, “I’ll have to check that out, sounds like it could be interesting. I’ve a thought.”

Lori retorted before he could finish his sentence, “Just one?”

Lucas smiled at her and finished his thought, “If you like, I can teach you about rugby and you can tell me the about the finer points of hockey.”

“I’d like that very much,” Lori said. “When would you like to start?”

“Does Saturday afternoon work for you? I’m sure there will be a Rugby match on,” Lucas said.

“It’s a date,” Lori said.

“So what is question #4,” Lucas asked.

“I’m only on #3,” Lori said.

Lucas grinned, “No, #4, the first was about my parents, the second about my favorite sports and the third was and I quote, “Just One?”

“That last one doesn’t count,” Lori said trying to act indignant but without much success because she was laughing.

Lucas said laughing with her, “It was a question, so it counts.”

“Fine, be that way, Lori said sticking out her lower lip in a pout.

“Come now, we’ll have none of that,” Lucas said reaching across the table and pulling lightly on the protruding lip.

Lori reached up covering her hand with his disengaging it from her lip.  She turned his hand palms up giving it a light kiss before releasing it. She gave him a warm smile before looking back down at her plate. The intimate moment had made her shy. Lucas found it interesting how one moment she could be so confident and the next so shy. He was beginning to understand that compliments and intimacy tended to bring on the shyness.

“Alright, I’ll credit back the third question if you promise no more pouting,” Lucas said before taking another drink of his wine.

“I’ll try but I’m not sure I can keep such a promise,” Lori said playfully sticking her tongue at Lucas.

He couldn’t resist saying, “Don’t stick that tongue out at me unless you intend on using it on me.”

Lori couldn’t stop the blush that crept up her face. She thought, “You have no idea, Lucas, what I would love to do with my tongue to you.” She said trying to regain some sense of order to the proceedings, “Do you have a favorite Artist?”

Lucas thought it was very endearing that he could make Lori blush. He answered her question, “I quite like William Blake. Ancient of Days watercolour etching is a particular favorite.”

“I’m not familiar with him. Are there any galleries in London that feature his work?” Lori asked.

Lucas said, “I don’t know. I’ll look in to it and let you know. Who do you like?”

“The Impressionists are my favourite artists. If I had to choose, it would be a toss up between Monet and Seurat. My favorite sketch of all time is by Rembrandt but I don’t think it had a title. It was just a little drawing of a house but it was so powerful. I saw at the Art Institute in Chicago, Illinois,” Lori said. As she talked, Lucas observed to himself she was as passionate discussing art as she had been about hockey. It was clear to him when a subject was something she cared about her passionate side came out. He longed to ask what her other passions were but decided it would be better to discover them on his own.

She got up to clear the table. Lucas had cleaned his plate, helped polish off the garlic toast and drank half of the bottle of wine. He rose to help her. 

He put the cork back in the wine bottle before putting in the fridge and set the serving tray on the top shelf. Lori removed her cufflinks from her shirt, set them on the counter and rolled up her sleeves to her elbows. Lucas picked up one of the cufflinks examining it closely. He said, “The craftsmanship on this is exquisite.”

“I think so,” Lori said. “My Grandma had them made for my Grandpa as a gift for him on their wedding day. That was back in 1928.”

“So these are heirlooms?” Lucas asked.

“Yes and so much more,” Lori answered with all the love in her voice she felt for the grandparents who had raised her since she was ten.

Lucas sensed how emotional it was for her to talk about them. He had the feeling these were the people who had raised Lori after her parents died. But that was one area where he would not question her. That would be too cruel. If she wanted to share, great, if not, he understood. So instead, he said, “Would you like me to put them somewhere safer than on the countertop?”

“Yes, please, you can set them on top of the chest of drawers in my bedroom,” Lori said absently as she started to wash dishes lost in the memories of her loving grandparents.

Lucas scooped up the cufflinks and delivered them to the top of the chest of drawers as she had requested. He came back in to the kitchen, picked up a dish towel and began drying the dishes. Lori snapped out of her revelry and said, “So we’ve covered your family, favorite sport, favorite art. What should we cover next?”

“Mind if we cover a few topics generated by your background check?” Lucas asked casually.

“Go for it,” Lori said not seeming bothered for him to do so.

“Your security clearance,” Lucas started with.

“Um, yea, it’s more than adequate for MI-5,” Lori said.

Lucas looked sideways at her, he said, “I saw it was top secret and it was an “Eyes Only”.

“With the kind of renovations I work on, clearance has to be high. I see things that of course, I don’t see, if you know what I mean.”

“I do,” Lucas said.

“Since you are a Spook for MI-5, I guess it’s ok to tell you one of the main clearances I have is with Interpol. That pretty much gives me carte blanche in Europe. But I don’t like that Intel to be known. It could cause a security risk for me,” Lori said.

Lucas was impressed by the Interpol clearance. That particular one was given to only a very select few outside of their organization. He said, “You can trust me not share that Intel with anyone. And as for your security while you are here, I will personally see to it.”

“I’m grateful, but it’s not necessary, Lucas. I can take care of myself, promise,” Lori said.

“I’m sure you can but just the same,” Lucas trailed off.

“Does that cover the first topic for you?” Lori asked.

“It does. Topic #2, your military record is sealed and “Eyes Only.” Anything you can share about it?” Lucas asked.

“That’s a big topic to cover. Let’s save it for later when we have more time. I promise we will talk about it, but not now, ok?” Lori said.

“Alright, in fact why don’t we save the rest of my topics for later too,” Lucas said figuring it was close to the time for him to be leaving.

They finished the dishes in their companionable silence. As Lori rolled down her sleeves, Lucas looked at his watch. It was almost 6:00 a.m. It seemed to him time always flew by when he was with Lori. He said, “Thank you for another wonderful meal, great conversation and the use of your sofa to sleep on. I’m quite in your debt.”

“Nonsense, it is I who is beholding to you.   Taking up all your nights when you could be sleeping in your bed,” Lori said turning the debt back on her as they walked in to the living room. 

“Do you have any plans today?” He asked as he took his coat off the back of the chair, tucking it under his arm.

“Not that I know of, why?” Lori asked.

“I was thinking depending on my schedule; perhaps we could kill two birds with one stone. I could buy you lunch to make up for the meal we missed last night and then take you on a tour of Thames House so you can get familiar with the place before the project starts on Monday.”

“Sounds like a plan to me. Give me an hour’s notice and I’ll be good to go,” Lori said as she opened the door. She gave Lucas a big hug and kissed both cheeks.

Lucas returned the kisses and gave her a one arm hug since his coat was tucked under the other. He said, “Will do, see you later today.”

Lori watched him cross the hall and go in to his place giving him a small wave before he shut his door. She closed her own door locking it. Shut down her computer and the lights in the living room and kitchen. Brushed her teeth, went in to the bedroom, plugged in her blackberry, pulled back the down comforter on her bed, stripped off all her clothes, shut off the lamp and collapsed in to the bed.

Across the hall, Lucas took a shower, brushed his teeth, changed in to work clothes and headed out to Thames House. He wasn’t even tired. The 4 ½ hour rest coupled with the pasta had him fueled and ready to go.

 

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
lady_t_220
Mar. 6th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to say I've been reading along and enjoying this fic a lot so far. But I did spot one thing that kind of made me laugh.

“A place called Leicester, in Northern England,” Lucas said

Uh, Leicester really isn't in the north. It's only north if you live in the south, it's actually one of the most middling Midland cities that ever middled. Leicester, Nottingham and Derby form a triangle around the most inland point in the UK, which I really only know because it's my hometown. Leicester is definitely in "The Midlands" *g* (We get a little weird if we're called Northern, it's like calling a Scotsman Welsh. :P )
lsm71059
Mar. 6th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
Pleased to hear you are enjoying the story. Thanks for the info on on Leicester. I'll change it to read north of London.
leslieg
Mar. 7th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
I was going to mention that too, especially since Lucas had talked about growing up in a Cumbrian field, and Leicester's no where near Cumbria. Stick him outside Keswick, or slightly south of Carlilse and you'll be safe! Tee hee!
lsm71059
Mar. 8th, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
I put him in Carlisle. It's the only one with a Rugby team.
bunkie77
Mar. 6th, 2009 11:13 pm (UTC)
Love it!
This just keeps getting better and better, but I confess I was really hoping that everybody's black silk undergarments were going to make an appearance, ahem, on Lori's couch or something...nothing like anticipation!
lsm71059
Mar. 6th, 2009 11:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Love it!
Thanks for saying it's getting better. I'm trying.
leslieg
Mar. 7th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
I really love the flirting, and I had to laugh at the tongue comment, because the neighbouring cottage to ours here in Dover has a DB7 sitting in front of it, and DH can see it from his bedroom window. He keeps drooling and saying, "I want to lick it!" Daft creature!
lsm71059
Mar. 8th, 2009 12:29 am (UTC)
Fear not, there will be more flirting.

He's not daft! After all, it's an Aston Martin after all.
betty_eyes
Mar. 8th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
And they are going with the flow. Step by step. They were kind of chatty today and I'm so glad they can talk about work in no worries.

I like it very much, dear!!!
lsm71059
Mar. 9th, 2009 02:45 am (UTC)
There will many more talks to come.

And it's very nice to know you like it. Thank you.
lammersl
Mar. 9th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
Intimate and immediate
While reading your story, I feel all five senses connected to the immediate moment playing out before my eyes. I can not find the correct words to tell you how much I am enjoying your writings. I certainly hope this story has many, many more chapters, and when completed you continue writing about this or another Richard Armitage character. Thank you so much for sharing your writing talents.
lsm71059
Mar. 9th, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Intimate and immediate
I am overwhelmed by your kind words regarding my writing. It really helps inspire me to know people like what I am producing. Thank you for such a kind review. I will look forward to your insights on future work.
lynbryt
Mar. 10th, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
Like everyone else I enjoy all the teasing between Lucas and Lori. I especially enjoyed the question section. Lucas is quick.

It seems Lori is not immune to the voice.

I just loved this line and could picture Lucas saying it.

He couldn't’t resist saying, “Don’t stick that tongue out at me unless you intend on using it on me.”

Thanks for 2 more great chapters. Looking forward to more.

lsm71059
Mar. 10th, 2009 03:58 am (UTC)
Were you surprised he was quick and thought so fast on his feet? He's the best in his field.

Anyone who has heard that voice, if they have a heartbeat and breathing, couldn't possibly immuned to the voice.

You are welcome, and thank you for the lovely comments.
lynbryt
Mar. 10th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, no I wasn't surprised at how quick Lucas was. That is why I suspect he will not be satisfied with what he knows about her.

Just loved him teasing Lori.

You are so right about the voice. I listen to it like music.
lsm71059
Mar. 10th, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC)
We'll have to wait and see how far he takes his investigations.

Yep, I love it when he teases her too!

He could read the phone book and I'd listen to it.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )