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: Between Episodes 7.03 & 7.04)
Having quickly showered and changed his clothes, Lucas let himself back in to #2. It had taken him a total of ten minutes. Since it was Saturday, he hadn’t bothered with shaving.
He’d donned a pair of plaid boxers, a long sleeved navy blue t-shirt, a pair of jeans, a pair of navy blue socks and his trainers.
He tossed his mobile and the two sets of keys on the end table by the sofa before heading to the bedroom to hang up the down vest Lori had lent him earlier. As he walked down the hall, he could hear Lori singing in the shower again. He couldn’t be positive but thought it was a song from the musical “Rent”. He had seen the show in the West End with Elizabeta just before he had went to Russia. An image of Lori using her back scrubber as a microphone as she sang formed in his brain,. It had Lucas highly amused, so he didn’t take time to dwell on Elizabeta or Russia. After stowing the vest, he turned his attention to making the bed. That finished, he grabbed the glasses off the nightstand along with the bottle of vodka to finish tidying up the bedroom and returned the items to the kitchen.
Lucas had a series of surprises in mind for her today. It was a small way to pay her back for the kindness she had shown him all week long. Plus he had the feeling she was always doing for others and not expecting it to be reciprocated. His first part of the plan was to surprise Lori by having breakfast ready by the time she was out of the shower. He was going to make one of the few things he was good at cooking, an omelet.
Lucas took out the milk, butter, eggs, some grated cheese, bacon bits and mushrooms from the fridge. Putting the kettle on for tea first, he then looked for a skillet, which was found in the oven. He let it heat up on the stove for a bit as he cracked six eggs in to a bowl then added a splash of milk, a dash of salt and whipped them with a fork till they were frothy. He added some butter to melt in the pan before adding the egg mixture. Just as it started to set, he added the mushrooms and bacon bits mixing them in. While he waited for it to finish cooking, he put some bread in the toaster. He added the cheese at the last moment before folding the omelet over and sliding it on to a serving plate.
The toast popped up just as the kettle whistled. He buttered the pieces of toast and cut them in half adding them to the side of the serving plate. Lucas made two cups of tea, poured two glasses of Orange Juice and loaded everything on to the serving tray along with plates, forks and napkins. He carried it out to the dining table and set it on the dining table just as Lori opened the bedroom door and emerged.
Lori had hurried through her own shower singing at the top of her lungs. It was one of her guilty pleasures she enjoyed because no one was ever around to hear her. Usually it was a Broadway Show tune. Today she belted out “Rent” from the show by the same name. Toweling off and slipping in to a plush Turkish robe that had belonged to Stephen which was huge on her, she hurried in to the bedroom to dress. She stopped cold when noticing the bed had been made, the clutter had been cleared and the down vest was hanging back in the closet. Lori thought, “And I thought I was quick in the shower. That Lucas, he’s something else, isn’t he?”
She closed the door to bedroom and proceeded to get dressed. Since it was Saturday and Notre Dame Football would be on later today, after putting on a white lace bra and underwear, she showed her Alma Mater spirit by donning her Notre Dame long sleeved polo shirt and socks. She finished off with a pair of jeans and her running shoes. She even had a hair scrunchie with the team’s logo (a fighting leprechaun) on it to put her hair up in to a ponytail.
Opening the door and walking out of the bedroom, Lori was pleasantly surprised to find Lucas sitting at the table with breakfast waiting. She took her seat and smiled across at him. She said, “Haven’t you been a busy little beaver? What inspired all this?”
Lucas gave her his sly smile, “Since I was the one who suggested breakfast while we were in the park, I thought it was only fair, I cooked it.”
“What a lovely thought, thank you for it,” Lori said.
“You are welcome,” Lucas said as he cut the omelet down the middle, and then slid one half on to Lori’s plate and the other on to his. He waited for her to take a bite. He wasn’t disappointed with her reaction. She closed her eyes with a delighted look on her face and leaned back in her chair as she chewed. After swallowing, she opened her eyes and said, “This is excellent. I don’t think I could have done better myself. What other hidden talents do you have that I should know about?”
Lucas took his own fork full and chewed. He gave her one of those “wouldn’t you like to know” looks. Instead of giving her an answer, he asked, “And what would be on your agenda for today Ms. Montgomery?”
“Let’s see Mr. North, after I finish this splendid breakfast that was provided, I thought I’d do up the dishes because we all know the rule is if you don’t do the cooking, you do the washing up. And then, of course later on there’s a rugby match to watch. That is if we are still on for it,” Lori answered.
“We most certainly are. I was wondering if you would consider instead of watching it here, accompanying me down to ‘The Yard’. Give you the benefit of the whole pub experience on game day the first time out,” Lucas said.
“I will consider it on one condition,” Lori said cheekily.
“And that would be?” Lucas asked.
“You provide me with the necessary data,” Lori said with a mischievous smile. Lucas looked at her quizzically as he ate, so she continued, “like what teams are playing and who we root for, the proper mode of dress to go to the pub on game day, what time do we need to be there and any other pertinent data I haven’t thought of. This is essential information to my accepting your invitation.”
Lucas leaned back in his chair, crossed his arms and grinned. He said, “You really take your sports viewing seriously. And I reckon by the mode of your dress today, that Notre Dame will be playing later on. So it’s not just ice hockey but American football that you watch. Any other sports you enjoy?”
“You would be correct about Notre Dame. They are playing the Trojans at USC. Did you know that the USC Marching Band’s nickname is the “Rubber” band?” Lori said with a grin throwing out some of her wealth of trivial knowledge. She was so tickled when Lucas put two and two together and the realization dawned on his face why they had that nickname. She literally cried with laughter. She doubled over holding her stomach and almost fell off her chair as the tears ran her face.
Lucas wondered if Lori had totally lost it. But he adored how she just let go and went with it when something tickled her. He asked, “Do they really have that nickname or are you making that up?”
Lori could hardly answer she was laughing so hard so in between peels of laughter she said, “No, they really do. And if you don’t believe me, I’ll show you proof on their website on the internet.”
Lucas shook his head and had a smile of his own. He couldn’t help snicker himself. He was pleased that this time she had let him in on what had her tickled. Sometime he’d have to find out what set her off the first time when they were walking home.
With great effort, Lori sobered up. She wiped her eyes and cheeks with her napkin saying, “The look on your face when you put two and two together was absolutely priceless. I wish I would have had a camera to capture the moment. To answer your original question before I went to silly land, it would probably be easier to give you the list of the sports I don’t like. Obviously there are some I have more passion for than others. But, in the end, if there’s a sporting event on, I’m probably watching it. It’s something I can enjoy anywhere I’m on assignment and you don’t have to worry about the language barrier. Heck, when I was in Canada for a rather lengthy assignment, I got in to curling big time. When anything having to do with the Olympics is on, forget about it. I watch everything and am glued to the television. My DVR is in overdrive going full time. So besides rugby what do you like? Ok, there I go rambling again. I told you to stop me when I do that.”
Lucas reached across the table picking up her hand giving it a squeeze. He said, “I also wish I had a camera to capture the sparkle in your eye when you speak of things that stir such passion in you. And you were answering my question not rambling. As to answer your question, football or as you refer to it across the pond soccer, a bit of cricket and I’m finding out I quite like ice hockey.”
“That’s nice of you to say about hockey," Lori responded as she gave his hand a little squeeze back before removing it from his grasp and picked up her fork to resume eating to cover the blush on her cheeks caused by such a simple but intimate moment.
Lucas moved the conversation along to cover her blush, “So you need more data before accepting my invitation, do you? I don’t know off hand who is playing today, but most games start around 3:00 or so. I can find out the exact time and who’s playing though easy enough by looking it up in the newspaper. As for mode of dress, what you have on would fine.”
“Pending your report then, I would be delighted to accept your invitation Mr. North,” Lori responded.
“Splendid,” Lucas said. “I’ll get your report as soon as we finish breakfast.”
Having eaten a little under half of her side of the omelet and a piece of toast, Lori moved her plate off to one side then picked up her juice glass and drained it dry. She leaned back in the chair to watch Lucas finish eating. Lucas looked over at the plate with a cocked eyebrow, she said, “I’ll eat the rest in a couple of hours, I promise. So let me turn the question back on you what is on your agenda for today Mr. North till time to go to the pub?”
“After we clear up here, of course there is the report to prepare for you then I’ve a few errands to run. But I should be back in plenty of time for the match,” Lucas said casually.
Lori could sense he was up to something. But she let it slide not wanting to ruin his fun. She said, “Why don’t you let me clear up. That way you can get started with your own day’s agenda.”
Lucas rose from the table and started stacking the dishes. He said, “I have time to help with the clearing up.”
Well, if you insist, who am I to argue?” Lori answered getting up herself to help.
Lucas stacked his dishes in the sink, turned on the water, squirted in some dish soap and slid up his sleeves. He felt comfortable exposing the tattoo now that Lori knew he had it. Lori put the remaining food on her plate in to a storage container before placing her own dishes in the sink. She picked up some bubbles and playfully blew them at Lucas totally missing him saying, “So I take it you intend to take the dishwashing duty today so that means I’m drying.”
Lucas picked up his own handful of bubbles and mischievously placed them on top of Lori’s head. He said smiling, “I believe the past few times you have done the cooking, you also did the dishwashing so I thought it was standard operating procedure.”
She wiped them off with the tea towel in her hand. Lori sassed, “Mr. North, aren’t you the cheeky one? Well, fair warning I will be getting even for that.”
Lucas laughed as he started washing the dishes. He actually was looking forward to see what her retaliation would be instead of feeling at all threatened. Thinking how to broach what he considered would be a sensitive subject with Lori. He decided the best approach was to dive right in. He said in his soft rich voice, “Lori, I was wondering if it wouldn’t be too painful, if you would elaborate on what you told me about Stephen in the park earlier.”
Lori wistfully said, “No, I don’t mind at all talking about him. I miss him every day but as time goes by the pain of losing him keeps diminishing. Just sometimes, I get caught off guard unexpectedly and all the pain and loss comes crashing back. Is that what you wanted to me to elaborate on or was it about……?” Lori trailed off. She was pretty positive Lucas wanted to know the circumstances of how Stephen had obtained his own prison tattoo, but Lori felt it was best to ease in to it speaking first of her own feelings of loss and pain.
Lucas said his voice faltering ever so slightly, “There was that and also the part about feeling sad for him and myself due to seeing this.” He pointed at the tattoo on his wrist.
“Ah, I hope I did not make you uncomfortable by mentioning it. I only felt sorrow for you at most likely having gone through a similar type of situation that Stephen had,” Lori answered in the same soothing voice she had used the night he had come out to find her on the stoop.
“You did not. Actually, I was quite touched that you would feel sorrow on my behalf without knowing any of the details. I could have been a hardened criminal who deserved to be incarcerated and deserved no one feeling sad for me.”
“Not likely,” Lori said with a wry smile. “You wouldn’t be at MI-5 and in a position of authority if that were the case.”
“True,” Lucas responded.
“I have no quandary sharing Stephen’s story. But in return, I’d be honored if you would share yours with me. That is, when you are up to doing so,” Lori said.
“That is a fair exchange,” Lucas said as he put the last dish in the rack for Lori to dry. He drained the sink, took the other tea towel to dry his hands, slid his sleeves back down then turned around and leaned against the sink with his arms crossed over his chest and his ankles crossed in preparation to hear Lori tell Stephen’s story. While he waited, he reflected on what she had said about the pain of loss lessening as time went by. His own loss was too fresh for him.
Lori dried the last dish and stowed it away before saying, “Why don’t we adjourn to the sofa to talk.”
Lucas nodded his agreement. Lori took the time to get out a couple bottles of water from the refrigerator and opened them before holding out her hand to Lucas. He took it and led the way out to the sofa. She placed the bottles of water on the end table as Lucas pulled her down beside him not relinquishing her hand. He set their hands on top of the leg he had crossed setting them on top of his knee. His thumb absently stroked the top of her hand as he waited for her to gather her thoughts and start the story.
Lori tucked her legs up under and said, “Stop me if you have any questions along the way or if I’m not telling you what you want to know about it.” Lucas nodded not trusting his voice to speak but gave her his full attention. She started, “I suppose the best place to start is to tell you how Stephen became incarcerated. He was a rising star in the Military Intelligence community for the Navy. He was tapped for a joint black ops of five military personnel with the Air Force, Army and the Marines. Their missions took them all over the world. One such mission went terribly awry. They were in Moscow and were compromised by sadly one of their own.”
Lucas’ slight pressure on her hand indicated to Lori that she had hit a chord with her last statement. He switched his focus from her to their hands. She waited a beat by taking a drink of water to see if he would say something or ask a question but when he didn’t, she continued keeping the details of Stephen’s capture to a bare minimum, “The entire team, save the one that compromised them, was gunned down in a known Russian Mafia owned restaurant near Red Square. The only reason Stephen survived the attack was because he had got up to use the facilities just prior. When he emerged the KGB Agents overpowered him and had him taken in to custody. He was immediately transferred to a prison somewhere in Siberia.”
Lori could tell Lucas was reliving his own capture by the way he would not look at her. His thumb would pause stroking the top of her hand as she spoke and his free hand gripped his other knee. She knew the next part would really hit him so she reached over with her free hand and squeezed his bicep asking, “Shall I continue or would you like me to stop?”
He covered her hand with the one that had been grasping his knee and focused on it. Giving it a squeeze of his own, he said in almost a whisper, “Please, continue.”
But he didn’t remove his hand over the top of hers that was holding on to his arm nor let go of her other one he’d been stroking with his thumb. Lori could tell he needed her to go on even though he knew it would be difficult to hear. So she soldiered on, “Stephen said they interrogated him every day at all hours during the first month. After that, he was set to hard labor and put in general population. He had the same KGB agent come to see him every week on Wednesdays for the duration of his imprisonment. That man was his only visitor and company who spoke English to him. He told me it was hard to fit in at first because he didn’t know any Russian. But one of the ways that helped him even before he could learn Russian was his willingness to be tattooed. This went on for five years till one day they told him he was being moved back to Moscow.”
Lucas looked back down at his lap and nodded his head in agreement of everything she was saying. He asked two questions his voice very raspy, “Do you happen to know the name of the KGB agent? Would you describe the tattoos for me?”
Lori thought a moment whether she should reveal it was Arkardy Katchimov or not. Lucas took her pause to mean it was too upsetting to talk about Stephen’s tattoos, so he said, “You don’t have to describe the tattoos if that’s too painful. Forget I asked,”
“That’s not it at all, Lucas. I was just trying to recall the name of the KGB Agent. You’ve witnessed how bad I am at remembering names. I think Stephen told it to me, the last name was Katchi something.”
“Katchimov?” Lucas asked as he tighten his grips ever so slightly on both of her hands.
“Yea, that sounds right, and I think his first name was Artie or something like that,” Lori said.
“Arkardy,” Lucas couldn’t help himself from supplying for her.
“Oh, is he someone you know of?” Lori asked gently.
The only word Lucas could get out without having his voice betray him was, “Yes.”
Lori took her hand that was holding his bicep out from underneath his. She reached up touching his cheek and turning his head gently to look at her. As his eyes met hers, she could see all the pain from the last eight years coming out that he’d been masking. Lori put an arm around his shoulder and drew him in. Lucas let go of Lori’s other hand and wrapped his arms around her waist. She maneuvered the both of them so she was leaning against the arm rest of the sofa with her legs wrapped around Lucas. As he laid on top of her with his head cradled against her chest, Lori lightly stroked his hair. And that’s the way they stayed for the next few hours till Lucas’ phone rang.
- Current Location:Home
- Current Mood: thoughtful
- Current Music:"When You Say Nothing At All" Ronan Keating