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Overnight Therapy - Chapter Twenty-One

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 Twenty-One

Lucas reached over to turn off the lamp. The soft glow cast from the television softly lit the room. He gently moved enough to extract Lori’s arm from behind his back then stretched out fully next to her. He rearranged the pillows under his head with his free hand to prop him up just enough to see the television. 

Lori moaned slightly in her sleep from all the movement. Lucas resumed stroking her hair as he put the other hand behind his head. He smiled slightly as he reflected on what a challenge it had been getting Lori to rest. It took most of the night but finally he had accomplished his goal.

By the end of the game, Lori’s head had slid off Lucas’ shoulder and on to the middle of his chest over his heart. The sound of his heart beating in her ear and the stroking of her hair lulled her in to a very deep sleep. She rolled over to her other side. Her breathing became labored as she clutched his arm tightly. It was as if she was holding on as if her life depended on it and Lucas was the lifeline. He turned to his side pulling her in close, matching his body to the back of hers to reassure her. She responded to his touch. Her ragged breathing evened out after a few minutes and she relaxed in his embrace. Lucas continued to hold her. An hour or so later with no more outbursts from Lori, Lucas drifted off to sleep.

**********************

Lori awoke just before the dawn a bit disoriented. An arm was draped over her and she had a hold of a hand which she had tucked under her cheek along with her own. She could feel a warm steady breath on the back of her neck along with a body spooned up lightly against her. The sleeve on the arm attached to the hand had ridden up revealing the wrist tattoo which her eyes focused on. For a fleeting moment she was transported back to 2001 and the last morning she had woke up with Stephen. A flash of overwhelming sadness engulfed her and tears ran down her cheeks on to Lucas’ hand. Once they started to fall, Lori could not stop them.

Lucas felt the tears on his hand. His long lithe fingers moved from under her cheek and wiped the tears away swiftly before she herself could get to them. His voice still filled with sleep spoke in to her ear, “There, there, it’s alright. Don’t cry. Nothing to fear, I’m here.”

She rolled over on to her back, looking over at him. It was obvious from his expression that he was concerned about her. She knew something had happened while she slept to make him say that, but what? She wanted to know but was half afraid to ask. Plus she had this overwhelming need to be outside getting some fresh air to collect her thoughts and get control of her emotions. She said softly as she moved out from underneath his arm and started to get up, “Sorry I woke you, go back to sleep.”

“And where are you off to?” Lucas inquired as he rolled over to his back putting one hand behind his head watching Lori’s back closely.

In the middle of putting her ball cap back on and tucking her hair up in it, she sighed before turning round to face him and give him an answer, “I thought I’d go out for a bit of fresh morning air. I’ll be back in a bit and then I’ll make you some breakfast when you feel like it.”

Lucas knew what it was like to have the overwhelming need for fresh air. He so wanted to be there for Lori as she had been for him earlier in the week. But he did not want to intrude if she felt the need for solitude. He asked in a hushed tone, “Care for a bit of company outside?”

“I’d adore it, but haven’t I already imposed on you enough?” Lori responded as she sat on the edge of the bed tying on her running shoes. She was leaving it up to Lucas whether or not he joined her.

Lucas gave her a little smile as he rose to a sitting position and put on his own shoes, “It’s not an imposition. I wouldn’t have offered if it was.”

“True, then I guess you best come with” Lori said giving him her own little wane smile as she went to the closet and extracted a plain black down vest for Lucas and a Red Wings hoodie for herself. She tossed him the vest then put on the hoodie, zipped it up and pulled the hood up over her head.

As he stood up, Lucas pocketed the two sets of keys and his cell phone. Then he slipped on the vest and held out his hand to Lori, “Ready?”

“As I’ll ever be,” she said taking his hand.  

They walked hand in hand out of the flat, down the stairs and out in to the cool morning air. Stopping simultaneously on the front steps, Lucas and Lori stopped to take a deep breath and blow it out. Lori asked, “The Park?”

Lucas confirmed, “The Park.”

They didn’t feel the need to speak. Setting a brisk pace, they arrived at the park just as the sun started to peek over the horizon. Lucas wondered if Lori would head for the swings or elsewhere. She chose a park bench near them. 

Taking a seat, Lori put her knees up on the bench, put her arms around them and set her chin on top. Lucas sat next to her putting an ankle on top of his knee. He leaned back putting his hand in the pockets of the vest. He felt it best to wait for her to speak first. He could wait for as long as it took but he didn’t have to wait long. 

After a couple of minutes, Lori lifted her chin, put her feet on the ground and leaned back on the bench putting her hands in the pockets. She said, “Hope I didn’t freak you out too much back at the flat. Most men can’t abide a weepy female. I’m not one to tear up but, well, um, you see…….” And she trailed off not quite sure how much to tell Lucas what had set the tears in motion.

He took the hand closest to her out of the pocket of the vest and reached over to pat her thigh. Lucas encouraged, “Lori, you did not freak me out and I’m not most men. Wiping your tears away is rather a bittersweet undertaking for me. Bitter since I do not wish you any sadness that causes the tears, sweet because I was able to be there when you needed someone to wipe them away. And if you wish to tell me the source of the tears, I will be honored to listen. But you owe me no explanation.”

“Thanks for being so kind and understanding. It means a lot. Before I tell you what caused the tears, may I ask you something?” Lori said turning towards Lucas on the bench and tucking one leg up under her as she leaned against the handrail on the bench.

“You may,” Lucas said shifting his hand to her knee giving it a little squeeze.

“When you wiped away my tears, you said I had nothing to fear. Did something happen while I was sleeping to make you think I was afraid?” Lori inquired half way holding her breath in anticipation of his answer

“You don’t remember?” Lucas asked.

Lori shook her head no. Lucas answered trying to keep his explanation short and light as not to belabor the point, “After falling asleep, you rolled over and took hold of my arm as if something was frightening you.”

Lori cocked an eye brow, “And?”

“And I held you till the fright passed,” Lucas said.

“And then you stayed with me to make sure I was alright,” Lori supplied.

Lucas said simply, “Yes.”

Lori leaned over and gave a Lucas a big hug around his shoulders. She softly spoke in his ear, “Thank you. That is one of the most thoughtful things you could have done for me.”

Lucas turned on the bench towards her and returned the hug. He said, “You are most welcome.”

She squeezed him saying, “You know a good hug is the best remedy for making one feel better about anything, and it’s especially effective when given by a dear friend.”

Lucas smiled over her shoulder as he gave her his own squeeze before saying, “I agree.”

This time it was Lori who reluctantly let go and resumed her leaning position on the rail stuffing her hands in the pockets of the hoodie. Lucas went back to his original position with his hand on her knee. She took her hand out of the pocket, reached over and covered his hand with hers, took a breath, blew it out and started with her explanation, “When I woke up this morning with your hand tucked up under my cheek, your arm draped over me and our bodies spooned together, it was a very familiar scene that had occurred many times with my husband, Stephen. And it happened on the very last morning I woke up with him.”

Lucas turned his hand over and grasped hers. His thumb stroked the top of hers in a gesture of comfort. That certainly wasn’t what he expecting to hear but more than explained the tears and her need for a change of venue. The next thing she did and said took him totally off guard. And with Lucas, that was a very rare occurrence.

Lori continued, “And now, after this morning, I’m sad for you too.” She reached over with her free hand and slid the sleeve up on Lucas’ arm revealing his tattoo. “Stephen had a similar tattoo. If yours came from the same or similar place his did, I can only imagine the hell you went through. All that combined gave me an overwhelming feeling of sadness and hence the tears that I couldn’t stop.” She slid the sleeve back down in to place and covered it with her hand. Lori sat quietly waiting and watching for Lucas’ reaction.

Taking a few moments to process what he had just learned, Lucas kept stroking Lori’s hand with his thumb. He thought, “How compassionate of her to cry tears not just for her husband but for me. If her husband had a prison tattoo, then she obviously has an inkling of where I was when I got mine. There are many many layers to Lori’s life to still discover”.  He said, “You, Lori, are a very unique individual.”

“I hope you mean that in a good way,” Lori kidded

“I do,” Lucas answered.

She gave his arm a little squeeze and said, “I feel the same way about you. Thank you for being here and listening to me ramble. I know what we say to each other stays between us.  And remember, it’s a two way street.”

“No thanks needed, it was a privilege to be able to lend an ear. Now how about some breakfast and a cup of tea?” Lucas said subtlety changing the direction of the conversation.

“I think that’s a brilliant idea,” Lori said starting to get up from the bench pulling Lucas up with her. She got the feeling he wasn’t going to shy away from her but he wasn’t quite ready to open up either. She knew he needed time to gather his own thoughts.

Lucas lifted her hand to his lips giving it a light kiss before asking, “Feel better?”

“Much,” Lori responded as they started back towards the flat. To pass the time on the way back, Lori said, “If I’m not mistaken, I believe I owe you one more observation of your Colleagues. And this time, I’ll not be as hostile as I was about Ms. Myers. I promise.”

Lucas looked sideways at her and gave her a smirk, “You be yourself, that’s all I ask.”

“Fair enough, Harry Pearce strikes me as the quid essential, stiff upper lip, unflappable, English Gentleman type. He’s seems like a decent chap. But I’m no good in dealing with those types. It’s the devilish part of me that just wants to do things that get under their skin to watch them squirm, Lori said with a devilish grin. Then in her rapid fire style, she fired off a string of questions, “What’s your story with Harry? Have you known as long as Malcolm? You don’t’ seem to be very relaxed around him, is it because he’s your boss? Am I being too invasive? I don’t mean to be, I’m just curious is all, do you want to talk about something else?”

Lucas took a deep breath before responding, “Let me catch up to your rapid fire. No, we don’t have to talk about something else. No, you aren’t being invasive. Your curiosity shows me you are interested in getting to know more about me. Yes, I’ve known Harry as long as I’ve known Malcolm. Harry and I are complicated. Perhaps we can cover this topic later.” They’d arrived at their building and he took out the keys to let them in.

Lori stepped inside and turned to Lucas as he came through the door. She put her hand on his shoulder and got on tip toe to give him a kiss on the cheek. She said, “Just wanted you to know how much I appreciate you.”

Lucas gave her his lopsided smile and bent down to kiss her cheek and said, “And I, you.”

Lori said cheekily, “Now that we have the mutual admiration society firmly in place, what would you think of delaying breakfast long enough for us to get cleaned up and in to some fresh clothes?”

“I think we would survive the delay,” Lucas said just as cheekily as they headed up the stairs. He stopped at her door long enough to unlock it and let her in. He started to hand her the second set of keys and said, “Will 30 minutes be enough time or do you need more?”

“Why don’t you just hang on to those keys, that way you can let yourself back in when you are ready to come back over,” Lori said.

“Alright, see you in a half an hour then,” Lucas said as made his way across the hall to his door.

Lori waited for him to open it and gave him a little wave before shutting her own door and heading for the shower.

Lucas entered his apartment, closed the door and headed for his own shower. A sly little smile formed on his lips as he came up with an idea to give Lori a little surprise of his own.

 

 


 

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
betty_eyes
Apr. 19th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, how sweet chapter! I'm so glad they have each other and what a surprise to know Lori's husband was in a similar place as Lucas. I think she's doing a good job on him. She is making him feel comfortable before he's able to speak out. But on the other hand, she is letting herself go too.
The park bench scene was delightful. I can really picture them there, sitting together.
A surprise for her? Oh, my! You know how to end a chapter, my lady. A good cliffhanger.

Congratulations for this lovely chapter.
lsm71059
Apr. 19th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for your kind comment. I had a wonderful time writing the park bench scene. I'm glad you found it delightful.
bunkie77
Apr. 19th, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
I love, love, love the tender moments Lori & Lucas share! Wow, it seems like Lucas is the one taking care of Lori, vs. her "mission" of getting him to open up...can't wait to see how it plays out. Thanks!
lsm71059
Apr. 20th, 2009 12:33 am (UTC)
Thanks, glad you loved it.

She works slow and methodical. He's getting there but at his own speed.

You are welcome.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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