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Overnight Therapy - Chapter Nineteen

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 Nineteen

As Lucas dashed down the stairs, reaching the landing, he looked back just as Lori closed the door. He hoped she would be in her bed resting when her returned but really didn’t expect to her be. Continuing down the second part of the stairs and out the front door, Lucas paused on the front step to take a deep breath of the night air and scan the perimeter. 

He thought, “Odd, there is no surveillance team. Could it possibly be Harry has called them off? Could it be he finally has decided to trust me implicitly again?”

Lucas briskly walked the five blocks to a quaint neighborhood pub. The formal name was “The Yard Club at O’Toole’s” but the locals simply referred to it as “The Yard”. The owners were Shane “Blackie” O’Neill and his wife Emma. Shane had been a mate of Lucas’ while they were at University together.   He reflected on what had been happening up in Flat #2. He’d been pleased Lori hadn’t resisted his resolve that she rest.

However, he was both intrigued and concerned at her intense reaction to his simple question of had she always not been able to take a compliment. He was positive there was something very sensitive possibly hurtful buried deep inside of her that he had dredged up by asking. She’d offered to tell him what it was. He appreciated her willingness to share and be open with him. But Lucas felt if he wasn’t ready to share his deep dark inner self, it was not fair to ask her to do the same. So his decision was not to further pursue that conversation and instead see if he could get her to share her thoughts on the other three members of his team.      

Entering the pub, everyone greeted him by name. It gave one a wonderful feeling of belonging. He greeted each of them back individually and made his way over to the bar. Leaning against it in a relaxed posture, he waited till Blackie could make his way over to him. Coming up to him, Blackie, a stout burly man with flaming red unruly hair, a head shorter than Lucas, said in his thick Irish accent, “Ah Lucas, where ya been all week? We’ve missed ya. Pour ya a pint?”

Lucas responded vaguely, “You know how it goes, some weeks it’s impossible to get away. No, pint tonight Blackie, I’m here for some take away. That is if Emma still has the kitchen open.”

“For ya it’s always open,” Blackie said. “Why don’t ya slide back and say hello. She’d never forgive me if she knew ya were in and didn’t get a chance to make over ya.”

Lucas gave Blackie one of his rare genuine smiles before picking his way to the back. He bent down slightly to stick his head through the order window. He said loudly over the noise of the bar, “I hear I can get the best pub fare in the city here.”

Emma, a short, maybe 5”0” at the most, plump English woman with golden blond hair pulled back in to a tight bun, looked up from the pot she’d been stirring. A broad grin formed on her face as she said, “Lucas, you bad boy, where have you been all week? Get back here and give me a proper hug.”

Lucas ducked back out the window and went through the kitchen door. He wrapped his arms around Emma giving her a twirl. She admonished him laughing at the same, “Lucas you put me down. If Blackie sees us, he’ll be jealous.”

Lucas laughed setting her down. He teased, “Bring him on. Run away with me, Emma. I’ll treat you like the Duchess you are. That will teach him to hide such a beauty away in the kitchen.”

Emma playfully swatted him with her wooden spoon and said, “You know better Lucas. Even you with all your charm couldn’t possibly win me away from him. For me, he’s the only one. But if God forbid something happens to him, you will be the first one in line for my hand.”

“Fair enough, Emma,” Lucas said wistfully wishing Elizabeta had felt the same about him as Emma did about Blackie. “Now, I’ve come to get some take away. What’s the special this evening?”

“Huntsman Chicken or Fish & Chips,” Emma said as she moved back over to the stove.

“I’ll take one of each, please,” Lucas said.

Emma eyed him asking, “Feeling a bit peckish tonight are we Lucas?”

Lucas just smiled without giving her an answer. She said, “Alright, I’ll have it up in a bit. Now get out of my kitchen and go listen to Blackie’s tall tales.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” Lucas said bending down to give her a kiss on the cheek before going back out to the bar.

For the next ten minutes, he lounged against the back wall of the pub listening along with the rest of the pub to Blackie spinning one of his yarns. Emma came out with a big white sack filled with the takeaway requested along with a few extras she added. She handed it to Lucas and wished him good eating. He pulled his wallet out of his coat pocket to pay but Emma waved him off, she said, “It’s on me this time. Just be sure not to go a whole week again without checking in,”

Lucas gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek thanking her. Blackie called from the bar with a big smile on his face, “Hey ya rogue, get your hands off my woman and get out of my pub.” 

Lucas thought about giving him a good retort but just gave Blackie a devilish grin before wrapping his free arm around Emma and kissing her full on the lips before dashing out of the pub. He heard the laughter bubble up from inside the pub as he walked away. He thought, “I will have to make it a point to get Lori over here. They are a friendly lot I think she would enjoy.”

He made quick work of the walk back. Lucas didn’t want the food to get cold. Using the key Lori provided, he let himself back in to #2. Pleased not to find Lori in the living room, he dropped the take away bag on the table before removing his coat and placing it on what he was beginning to think of as his chair. He made his way back to the bedroom and paused in the doorway. He said, “Happy to see you in here resting. I see you’ve been up though while I was gone.” He nodded in the direction of the laptop and then the night table. “Do you want to eat in here or out at the table?” 

“Let’s be decadent and have supper in bed,” Lori said playfully as she sat up from her recumbent position. She rearranged the pillows allowing her to lounge against them.

“As you wish, My Lady,” Lucas said just as playful before going back to retrieve the bag of food. He stopped in the kitchen to grab the food tray, place settings and couple bottles of water. Coming back in to the bedroom, he set the tray and the bag next to Lori. She unpacked it amazed at all he gotten. She opened the two main boxes.

She squealed looking down at the chicken covered in barbecue sauce, topped off with bacon and Colby Jack cheese, “Bubba Chicken! It’s one of my favorites. I had no idea you get that over here.”

“On this side of the pond it’s called Huntsman Chicken,” Lucas said pleased it had worked out in his favor what the special of the day had been at the pub. “I’m glad you approve. I’d be happy to share the fish and chips with you too.”

“I appreciate the offer, but I’m allergic to fish so it’s all yours. But if you want a bite of my chicken, I think I could be obliging since you were kind enough to fetch it for me.”

Lucas asked as he took a chip from the box, “For future reference, are there any other food allergies I should know about”

Lori answered absently as she gave her attention to opening the other boxes and unwrapping a few packages, “There’s a few foods I’m supposed to avoid so my stomach ulcer doesn’t act up but fish is the only food allergy.”  

“Ulcer?” Lucas inquired helping arrange the food on the bed. There was homemade bread, jam, butter, mashed potatoes, broccoli, cole slaw, and apple cobbler.

“Yea, it’s dormant now. But every once in a while it flairs up. No biggie,” Lori said vaguely.

“How long have you had it?” Lucas asked.

“Always the Spook,” Lori said smiling at him. “You pursue the subject till you get the whole story huh? I think it is second nature for you to do it.”

As he chewed on a chip, Lucas gave her his look that said he would not be dissuaded so she may as well answer him.

Lori dropped her fork and put her hands up in mock surrender. She said, “Alright, Special Agent North, I will give you all the background and Intel on my condition. By the way, did I get the title right? That’s the title on my side of the pond.”

Lucas smiled at her antics answering her, “Officially it is Senior Case Officer but I quite like being referred to as a Special Agent. Continue with your Intel please.”

“Then Special Agent Lucas it is,” Lori said before continuing. “When I was eleven, I had major stomach problems. The Doctors diagnosed as a bleeding ulcer brought on by stress and trauma. The only thing I was able to eat and keep down for an entire year was baby food and the next eating only soft foods. Let me tell you, it was not a fun time. But eventually, the stomach healed up enough I could resume eating normal food. They said it would never completely go away but could remain dormant if I was careful with my eating habits. So, anyway, that’s the tale of Lori’s stomach ulcer. 

As Lucas listened to Lori, he thought, “I can see where losing one’s entire immediate family could cause her to have major stress and trauma. Lori is quite the survivor. And if one did not know the whole story behind her condition, you would swear it was no big deal for her share about it, but I know better. So that’s why she is always drinking milk.  She is amazing.”   He asked, “Did you ever to eat baby food or soft foods again?”

“Yea, back in 2001 for a couple of months, “Lori answered despondently.

Lucas could have kicked himself for asking. He recalled from the background check 2001 was the year her second husband had died. Why hadn’t he thought of that before he spoke? It was time to focus the conversation elsewhere. Before he had the chance Lori took matters in to her own hands.

She teased grinning at him, “Alright Special Agent Lucas, I believe when last we left off I had a what is said in #2 stays in #2 seventeen question credit coming and now with the three you just asked me I am back up to a twenty question credit. My, you are in serious debt. I think we should make a concerted effort to help you lower it.”

“Very well Project Liaison Lori or should I say Sam Smith. I appreciate your effort to help me out. What would you like to ask?” Lucas teased back impressed once again with her ability at her resillence.  'By the way how is your chicken?”

“In private, you can call me anything you like, but at Thames House in front of others it really does need to be Sam Smith but enough with the titles already, Lori said seriously then she said cheekily, “The chicken is excellent as is all the food.   It is almost as great as my cooking.   Oooh, two more questions, I should do something to make it back to an even twenty, so here are my two questions – First how are the fish and chips? And second, am I allowed out of bed to get some more ice for my other Coke?”

“I understand about the names and you can rely on me to do so. The fish and chips are delicious and no, I will get you some more ice. The only reason you are allowed to leave your bed is to use the facilities,” Lucas said firmly.

Lori rolled her eyes as she gave him a mock salute, “Aye, Aye Captain.”

“That’s Special Agent/Senior Case Officer to you Missy,” Lucas retorted as he reached in front of her to the bedside table for the glass.

She playfully pretended to bite his arm through his shirt as it crossed in front of her. He shook his head saying, “If you are hungry eat your food not my arm.”

“But why? Your arm might be tastier,” Lori sassed.

Lucas decided to let the last remark go getting off the bed to retrieve the ice from the kitchen. By the time he had returned, Lori had moved the food over to his side of the bed and had snuggled down under the quilt. He frowned at the sparse amount food she had eaten, only half of the chicken, a few spoonfuls of mashed potatoes, a little broccoli and a piece of bread with jam. He asked, “Are you all done?”

“For now….I tend to eat a little every three of four hours instead of big meals three times a day” she said. “Remember, I had a piece of cake while you gone.”

“True,” He said then proceeded to finish off the rest of the fish and chips. He got up to clear up. Lori started to help. Lucas cocked an eyebrow with a reproachful look on his face. “Am I going to have to handcuff you to that bed to keep you there?” he asked.

“Kinky, but I’ll pass,” she retorted, “I need to get up and move a bit. I’m starting to stiffen up from being in bed. Let me get up to move around a bit and help you clear away then on my honor I will stay in bed for the duration of the hockey game except for occasional trips to the bathroom.”

“Well since I have witnessed first hand what happens when you are in one position too long, I will let you up for now. We don’t need your bones creaking, do we?” Lucas said. They soon had the food packed back up and everything cleared off the bed. All that remained were Lori’s glass of Coke on her side of the bed and the bottle of Vodka and Lucas’ glass on the other. It only took a few minutes to stow the leftovers in the fridge and wash up the few utensils they had used.

Figuring if Lucas was going to spend a few quality hours with her watching the game, he should be comfy like she was. Lori offered, “I’ve get an extra pair of sweats you could change in to if you want to get comfy to watch the game. They should fit you, their men’s talls.”

“Thanks, I appreciate the offer. But I could just nip over to my place and change in to my own,” Lucas said.

“Ah, but they wouldn’t be Detroit Red Wings gear would they?” Lori teased.

“No, but I think I will survive,” Lucas teased back.

“Well, it’s your loss but ok. So you go change and I’ll see you in a bit. You still have the key to get in, right?” Lori asked.

“Yes, it is in my pocket,” Lucas responded. “And what will you be up to while I change?”

“I’ll turn on the pre show and start honoring my commitment to you to stay in bed,” Lori answered solemnly but then grinned.

“Need me to tuck you in?” Lucas asked grinning back.

Lori said as she turned out of the kitchen and headed back to the bedroom, “I think I’ve got it under control, but thanks for the offer.”

Lucas smiled at her before going to retrieve his coat. He thought, “She’s always seeing to someone’s comfort even when she is supposed to be the one being comforted. No harm in accommodating her. Besides, may as well be “comfy” as she calls it while I watch over her.” 

He headed across the hall to quickly change in to a long sleeved gray t-shirt, his set of black sweats and pair of trainers. He took his cell phone, his own set of keys and her keys out of the pocket of the coat before heading back across the hall. Upon reentering #2, he went around switching off the lights before joining Lori in the bedroom.

Lori had left the lamp turned on next to where Lucas would be lounging but had shut her side off. She had shook out the quilt and spread it out neatly over the down the comforter. She had the arranged the pillows across the headboard and only her head stuck out from under the covers. A soft glow came from the flat screen. She had the volume down low. He smiled at the scene. When she saw him in the doorway, she patted his side of the bed for him to join her. She said, “I promised I’d stay in bed, but I warn you that won’t stop me from cheering The Wings. So enter at your own risk.”

He said as he made his way over to the bed setting down his cell phone and the two sets of keys on the night stand, “I’ll take my chances.”

Sitting on the edge of the bed, he removed his trainers before sliding under the covers next to her. He sat with his back comfortably against the headboard. He reached over to take a healthy gulp of Vodka from his glass. Lori watched him out of the corner of her eye as she took the remote and turned the volume up a bit. All of the sudden she got up and stood on the bed. He looked at her incredulously and asked, “What are you doing?”

Lori stated, “It’s almost time for the National Anthems and it would be rude not to stand in respect while they are played. They are playing the Ottawa Senators tonight. There will be the Canadian National Anthem and Ours. And since I am on my honor not to leave the bed, this is the best I could come up with.”

Lucas admired her patriotism and her ingenuity for being able to keep her honor. He slipped out on his side of the bed and stood in respect. He did smile though when Canadian National Anthem was played and Lori sang along even the French part in the middle. Then she sang even louder and very proudly with her hand over her heart when her National Anthem was played. When it finished, she said under her breath, “God Bless the USA and the people who serve to protect it.” She then plopped back down on the bed bouncing a bit before diving back under the covers.

Lucas heard her and thought, “She really means that.” He asked as he sat back down on the edge of bed before covering up, “Do you speak French Lori?”

“No, but when you watch as much as Hockey as I do, you can sing their National Anthem phonetically,” Lori answered. Then added teasingly, “There you go again running up your question debt, at this rate I’ll get to have my question credit for a long time.”

He resumed his former position and covered back up. They watched the first period with Lori giving pointers here and there. Lucas was enjoying studying Lori as she watched the game. She was so engrossed, he didn’t think she noticed him watching her. When the period finished, Lori turned to him and asked as she started to get up and walk out of the bedroom, “So Lucas, do you think I’m a total fanatic or what? Ok, it’s between the periods, so you will have my full attention after I make a trip down the hall. Think about what you’d like to talk about while I’m gone.”

Lucas thought, “There are a great many things I’d like to talk about but for now I’ll stick to what I decided in the pub. I’ll get her to tell me her impressions of Connie, Ros and Harry.”

Lori was back in a matter of moments. As she reentered the bedroom, Lucas got up. He said, “I’ll follow your lead and make a quick trip myself.”

Lori gave him a quick hug as she playfully passed him and plopped back down on his side of the bed. She said, “Oooh, it’s still warm, nice.” Before moving over to her side and covering back up to wait for his return.


 

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
betty_eyes
Apr. 5th, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC)
So just what I predicted. No such a "cake" but the real one!
I'm so glad to see Lucas had his own background and someone missed him when he's away. I like the pub couple, look cheerful and friendly.
Luckily he decided to bring some chicken along with the fish or poor Lori would be starving.
You write so well and calm as well as teasing playful conversation for the two of them. That's it's what I really love about your writing.
I'm being bad but... I really adore Lori for trying Lucas to be shirtless by offering a Wings' T-shirt. I already knew what the answer would be before even she made it but... LOL.

They both had such a background!!! Twisted soul-mates!!!

Thanks so much for writting and this was a very loooong one.
Impatient to know what she thinks about the rest of the team.

Lovexx
Laura
lsm71059
Apr. 5th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
See, I told you I didn't need to write it since you knew what was going to happen :P.

You are welcome. Sorry RL has been getting in the way of my writing time. I'll try to do better next week and get something out sooner.
betty_eyes
Apr. 5th, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC)
No apologies! Now what you mean. RL has given me a continuos headache. Please feel free to have some rest, slaves time was far behind us. LOL.
We/I will be here waiting for some of this cosy spy sort of non-romantic romance you give us!

My best wishes!

Laura
lsm71059
Apr. 5th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
oraetlabora2008
Apr. 5th, 2009 04:13 pm (UTC)
Another great chapter Lori.

I'm still very unsure about Lori and Lucas and where their relationship is going.
It credits you as a writer that you have them spend lots of time in bed without the usual "antics" going on. And still I'm hooked! You big tease, you!

I adore this Lucas that you have shown us here in this chapter. Especially his lighthearted, affectionate banter with Blackie and his flirting and kissing with Emma. Then he compares her with Elizabeta and knows the value of real love. He is a man with much love to give. And very nurturing to Lori. Lovely.

Hope RL isn't giving you too hard of a time.

As always, it's a joy to read this story and I'm always pleased to see a new chapter up.

xxxdmania
lsm71059
Apr. 5th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the kudos. Yep that's me, nothing but a big tease just like our Lori in the story.

I figured Lucas had to have some friends prior to his life at MI-5 that he kept in contact with.

RL is just kicking my butt time wise during the week. I hate it when that happens, but it's all good.

annietennant
Apr. 5th, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
Great chapter. I love the way the story is developing. But I have to ask, have you read, 'A Woman of Substance?' Becasue one of the main protagonists in there is called Blackie O'Neill, though he's Irish. And he's great friends with Emma Harte...I was just curious is all.
lsm71059
Apr. 5th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'm excited to know you love the way it's developing.

Yes, I'm a great fan of Emma Harte. And I did know he was Irish, just forgot. I'll edit the story so it matches.
annietennant
Apr. 5th, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC)
Sorry. I wasn't trying to correct you as regards his nationality! I just saw the name and thought I wonder, was all.
lsm71059
Apr. 5th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
Don't be sorry. I was happy to know the correction. I'd just forgotten is all. It's been years since I read the book. It's all good, really.
frivol
Apr. 5th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you for updating your story. It's a lovely way to begin my week.
No pressure, but Looking forward to more!
lsm71059
Apr. 5th, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
You are welcome, glad I could make your week lovely.

No pressure at all, I'm working on Twenty now, will post when ready.
lynbryt
Apr. 8th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks for another great chpater. I am headed for Old Blighty for 16 days so no story updates for me. Looking forward to new chapters when I get back.

Thank you and have a great Easter.
lsm71059
Apr. 8th, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
You are very welcome. Have a lovely time on your trip.

You Too!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )