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Overnight Therapy - Chapter Twenty-Five

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-Five

Unplugging the Blackberry from the charger, Lori sighed. She really wasn’t in the mood to deal with the outside world today. She kicked off her shoes and flopped down on to the bed landing on the pillow Lucas had used the night before.

Taking a moment to inhale deeply the natural musky scent he had left behind, Lori thought how she wished Lucas could have stayed with her and not had been required to go in to the grid. He deserved to have a weekend to himself to do as he pleased. But since it wasn’t meant to be, she got her butt in gear and checked who she had missed calls from before checking her voice mail. Her six missed calls were from and her reaction was:

1. Donovan at 11:36 p.m. - frowned

2. Tony Casso, her Estate Manager back home who took care of her personal business, home and such while she was away, at 11:45 p.m. – cocked an eyebrow

3. Joe G. at 12:18 a.m. - raised her eyebrows

4. Eric at 12:45 a.m. – smiled wryly

5. Donovan at 12:50 a.m. – rolled her eyes

6. Nicky G. at 9:00 a.m. – A genuine smile

Dialing voice mail, the computerized voice answered, “You have six unheard messages…”

Lori didn’t wait for the rest of the speech before pressing “1” to listen. Donovan’s voice came on in a teasing manner, “I wouldn’t be too sure you won’t be on Harry Pearce’s Christmas Card List this year. Seems he was quite taken with you. Congratulations on another conquest and thank you for playing nice with him.”

Lori didn’t quite know what to think of that message. She’d have to get more details from Donovan before speaking with Harry today. She pressed “7” to delete and moved on to message #2.

“Tony here, wanted you to know that the renovations finished today on the guest house and the main kitchen. As you predicted it came in ahead of schedule and under budget. Check your e-mail for photos of the finished project. Other than that, same old same old around here, will you be back home for Thanksgiving? Call me, to let me know,” Tony seemed to spill this out in one breath. Lori thought with a smile, “Some year, I really should tell him that I was joking about the fact that I quit listening after 30 seconds in to a message. And Thanksgiving, I hadn’t even realized it was getting close. I’ll have to call him and let him know I won’t be home to help with the food baskets this year.”

She deleted message #2 and moved on to Joe’s message. He said, “Well My Dear, I thought you would like to know that I have arranged to have your favorite European Assistant join you in London. The only drawback is Nick won’t be available till Wednesday. I hope this won’t be too much of a hardship for you. He couldn’t be more thrilled to be getting out of Rome and back home. He can’t wait to work with ‘Auntie Sam’ again. Oh and one other thing, I just hung up with Donovan and I would tread lightly where he is concerned. He doesn’t seem to be in the best of moods. Call me when you have a free moment. Have a restful weekend.”

Lori was thrilled to be getting Nicky as her assistant for this project. She’d worked with him several times before and they got on quite well. Nick Gianellie was thirty-one years old and the youngest son of Joe’s brother. And as far as Lori was concerned, he was obvious choice for the heir apparent to Joe’s vast empire. Joe had taken Nicky under his wing and in to his house at age eighteen. This was due to the fact his parents had disowned him when he had told them he was gay. Italian American families just didn’t have gay sons back then and they thought it was a phase he would grow out of eventually. Lori had become a surrogate Aunt. She had been an ear and a shoulder for him at a critical time in his young life.

As far as the second part of the message, she appreciated the heads up on Donovan’s mood but had already figured he’d not be pleased with her. Deleting and moving on to message #4 from Eric who said half jokingly, “You owe me fifty bucks that I lost in my poker game due to the fact I had to listen to Donovan rant for ten minutes instead of paying attention to what was being turned on the river. But I will let you off the hook if you promise not to bail on me for lunch on Tuesday, your treat of course. Got your six Snoopy, call me.”

Deleting Eric’s message, she steeled herself to listen to message #5, the second one from Donovan. Seeing how the two previous messages had basically been a warning regarding his mood, she was half tempted just to delete it but of course she didn’t. His voice was very controlled as he spoke, “So, I’ve just hung up with Joe and Eric who assure me that you are fine and resting. How many times do we have to go over the fact that you must eat and take proper care of yourself? I expect a call from you tomorrow morning, no excuses. Do I make myself clear?”

He had clicked off the phone in a bit of a huff. She was glad he’d had another eight hours or so to cool down. Well, she’d call him but he’d be the last one on the list of returned calls. Lori knew he meant well but she always did chafe when someone else tried to tell her how to run her life. She deleted the message and smiled with anticipation at the last message. Nicky didn’t disappoint. He was a ray of sunshine leaving his message, “I love you Auntie Sam! Thanks for seeing to it I got come home to London! Rome is alright for a vacation but it sucks to work here. I can’t wait till Wednesday. Call me with details. Oh and Bobby sends hugs and kisses. Hugs and kisses from me too, talk later.”

Robert “Bobby” Chester was Nicky’s life partner and had been for going on ten years. Lori was thrilled Nicky was so happy and that even though she wasn’t directly responsible for his getting to come home, she figured he wouldn’t have been asked if she wasn’t running the project.

Noting that it was a little after 6:00 a.m. EST, Lori decided to call Eric and Nicky back before Joe and Donovan. She dialed up Eric first. The “Linus & Lucy” ringtone went off at the other end. He picked up on the second ring, “Hey Snoopy.”

“Hey Red Baron, thanks for having my six last night,” Lori said

Eric responded, “Not a problem. You knew I would. So have you talked to him?”

“Not yet, I will though,” Lori answered. “So where do want to have lunch Tuesday?”

“How about I pick you up say around Noon and we can decide then. Work for you?” Eric said.

“Sounds like a plan, call me with my one hour warning,” Lori said

“Will do, got your six Snoopy,” Eric finished

“And I yours, Red Baron, see me Tuesday,” Lori said then disconnected. She thought to herself how lucky she was to have such a great best friend who always had her six, or in non-military terms, always had her back covered.

On the other end of the line that had just been disconnected, Eric gave a wry smile. She certainly had sounded better than when they had spoken last night. He hoped she had bought the poker game story, no need for her to know that hadn’t been the case when she and Donovan had called last night. Tuesday couldn’t come fast enough to suit him. He was very much looking forward to lunch. He’d be able to have her all to himself for an hour or two. But right now he had a hop to take, so it was time to take to the air.

Back at the flat, Lori was busy returning her next call to Nicky. He answered with a delighted squeal, “Auntie Sam, Auntie Sam, did I ever tell you how much I adore you?”

“I think possibly a time or two. But I never tire of hearing it from you. I adore you too,” Lori answered happily. “So what has my favorite faux nephew been up to? Have you been giving those Romans a run for their money?”

“Rome isn’t London. I’ll be so happy to get back there. Thanks for rescuing me,” Nicky said.

Lori answered, “Actually, this time kiddo you owe all your thanks to your Uncle Joe. He pleasantly surprised me with the news this morning. You know how good he is at getting us what we want before we even know we want it.”

“Yep, he’s the best, no denying it,” Nicky said warmly. “So it’s ok that I can’t make it till Wednesday? It won’t let you in too much of bind?”

Lori feigned weariness as she replied, “I will survive somehow but just barely. You know what they say about those that wait, good things come their way.”

“Oh Auntie Sam, you are such the drama queen,” Nicky laughed at the other end.

“I learned most of it from you,” Lori teased. “Give me a ring on Tuesday and I’ll give you details of where and when for Wednesday.”

“Yes Ma’am,” Nicky said all business like. “We will see to it you are well served Miss Smith.”

“I have no doubt Mr. Gianellie. We will be an unbeatable team as always. You have yourself a lovely weekend,” Lori finished.

“You too,” Nicky said before disconnecting.

Lori adored the way Nicky played off her. He could be all business when it was called for but in private he was still her Nicky who she doted on. She rang Joe G. and got his voice mail. Lori left the message, “Did I ever tell you how much I adore when you give me what I need and want before I even ask for it? Thank you so much for Nicky. This will make the project so much easier to deal with. Oh before I forget, I owe you a huge debt of gratitude for running interference for me last night with Donovan. Have a lovely weekend and I’ll check in on Monday.”

She disconnected and sighed. It was time to call Donovan. She turned over on the bed reaching for her Coke. As she did, once again she got a wonderful whiff of Lucas’ scent. It made her wonder how he was fairing over at the grid. The thought struck her that she now had the perfect excuse to call and check up on him. After all, didn’t she promise he’d know as soon as she did who her assistant would be? She scrolled through her received calls till she landed on his number and hit send. If he didn’t answer, she’d leave a message. Lucas answered on the third ring, “Good Morning, Miss Smith.”

“Good Morning Mr. North, and please it’s Sam,” Lori answered playing along with him. “I told you I would let you know as soon as I knew who my assistant was going to be on your project. I received confirmation this morning that it will be Nicholas Gianellie. He has the necessary level of security you require. I won’t be needing access for him till Wednesday. I hope that is enough time for you,” Lori said all business like.

“Yes, thank you, that should be ample time for us to make the necessary arrangements,” Lucas answered just as business like. The whole time she had been talking she could tell he’d been walking, probably to a more secluded area so they could talk.

He said softening his tone, “So, what are you up to?”

She said, “I know you won’t believe me, but I am actually doing as you wished and am stretched out on my bed resting while I return phone calls.”

Lucas pictured her on the bed and smiled. He said lightly, “And I appreciate you acquiescing to my wishes. It looks like I should be able to leave here no later than Noon. Anything in particular sound good for me to pick up for lunch? And no, you are not to get up from the bed to cook, do I make myself understood?”

“Yes, Mr. North, crystal clear,” Lori laughed. “You know though it is not necessary to provide me with lunch. I can fend for myself.”

“Humor me, I owe you more than one meal,” He said.

She asked, “Is there perhaps a Chinese place between here and there?”

“There is, good choice,” Lucas said. “What would be your pleasure Lori?”

“Didn’t I warn you about asking me those kind of open ended questions Mr. North?” Lori teased.

He teased right back, “You did, and I would be very interested to hear your response to such a question.”

“Right then, ok, well, in this instance my pleasure would be sesame chicken with white rice and an order of crab rangoon,” Lori said wondering as a blush formed on her cheeks if he could almost read her mind as to what her real pleasure would be in regards to him.

Lucas chuckled at her answer. He could feel her blushing right through the phone. He thought to himself, “Some day soon perhaps she’ll finish what she is always starting and give me an answer to what her true pleasure is.” Aloud he said, “I’ll see what I can do to accommodate you. I’ll ring right before I leave here. And thank you for the information on your assistant. So you were right, it is a man.”

It was Lori’s turn to chuckle. She couldn’t wait to tell him all about Nicky. She knew he needed to be getting back to work so she said, “See me in a bit then.”

“Looking forward to it, until then,” Lucas finished and disconnected.

Lori was pleased he hadn’t sounded too stressed. And Chinese did sound good for lunch. So she had something to look forward to. Having put it off as long as she could, Lori dialed Donovan’s cell phone and waited for him to answer. Her wait was extremely short, he answered on the very first ring, “Have you eaten today?”

“Yes Sir, I have,” Lori said knowing the conversation was going to be tense at best.

“So what happened?” Donovan asked his voice full of tension and frustration.

She gave him the full story not leaving out any detail. And when she’d finished, Lori said trying to divert his attention to a new topic, “So tell me about Harry and your conversation with him.”

Donovan wasn’t quite ready to let go of the first topic. He softened his voice and said, “If your well being weren’t so vital to me, I wouldn’t be so concerned. You, my girl, are one of the few people in this world who are essential to my well being. So I can’t have you not taking care of yourself."

“Gee, Donovan, I’m not dying. I just fainted due to my own forgetfulness to eat. I’m fine,” Lori said softening her own voice. She had known he cared but until this very moment, Lori had no idea the very depths of his regard for her. She continued, “I promise I won’t let it happen again while I’m here. I have a feeling between you, Joe, Eric and even Lucas I will be well attended to. Now, can we talk about what the deal is with Harry?”

Donovan eased up and took great delight in relaying the conversation that had taken place between Harry and himself. The only part he didn’t go in to detail about was when he had given Harry the whole story of how they had met and what it personally meant to him. He simply told her that Harry now knew how they had come to be Colleagues. He also conveniently left out the warning he had given Harry about not making a big deal over her being his hero. He knew that was a touchy subject with her. When he’d finished, he said, “Thank you for making nice with Harry. It meant a lot to me you would do it.”

Lori said saucily. “Oh sure, you know I’m all about making life easier for you. I bet when he loosens that tie and unbuttons that stuffed shirt of his, he’s not such a bad lot. Maybe, I’ll have to see what I can do to help him with that.”

Donovan laughed out loud at her last statement. He could just picture the scene of Harry with his tie undone and his shirt unbuttoned with Lori doing her best to get him drunk or something of the sort. He said, “I wouldn’t count on you being able to accomplish that particular task. But I do need you to call him today. He told me you said you would.”

“And so I shall,” Lori said. “So if you have finished with me for now, I will bid adieu and phone him before I have lunch with Lucas.”

“I will never finish with you, kiddo. I always have your six,” Donovan said.

“And I yours, so adieu, adieu parting is such sweet sorrow,” Lori said very dramatically trying to get a reaction out of Donovan.

He just shook his head at the other end of the phone saying, “Ok, overact much? Check in with me when you can.”

“You bet,” Lori said brightly before disconnecting.

Glancing over at the clock and seeing it was 10:30 a.m., she took a moment to collect her thoughts one more time before dialing Harry. The phone rang once before he answered in his crisp way, “Harry Pearce.”

Lori gave a little ornery smile before giving her greeting, “Excellent, because that’s whose number I dialed. Good Morning, Mr. Pearce and how was the match? What kind was it? Oh by the way, it’s Samantha Smith.”

“Good Morning to you Ms. Smith, the match went quite well. It was Rugby. Thank you for getting to back me this morning in order for us to finish our conversation,” Harry said still being very formal.

Lori answered trying to be friendly and put him at ease so he would loosen up a bit, “Rugby, huh? I’m not very familiar with that particular sport. Now if you care to discuss NHL Hockey, especially the Detroit Red Wings, I’m your go to person. You are welcome, and I told you I would. And by the by, I thought we settled this last night that you would call me Sam or Samantha. All my friends call me the former and I hope to count you as one before our association is through.”

Harry was finding it hard to hold on to his business like manner when it was so clear Samantha was trying her best to put him at ease and be friendly to him. He found it unique that a woman actually wanted to talk sports. He was amazed she would even consider counting him as a friend when they had gotten off to such a rough start. He said, “Rugby and Football, or as you call it Soccer, are probably two of the most popular sports in England. I, myself, am not too familiar with ice hockey. It will be my pleasure to call you Samantha but on the condition you call me Harry.”

“What a pity for you, you are missing out on the best sport going in my humble opinion,” Lori joked. “I’d be happy to go over the finer points of the game with you, if you like Harry.”

Harry had to smile in to the phone at the offer. He said, “I appreciate you wanting further my education Samantha regarding the sport, perhaps at a later date. Now, before we get started with your report on Lucas, may I ask you a question regarding your past endeavors?”

“Harry, you can ask me anything you like. I will give you an answer too, it just may not be the one you are looking for,” Lori said honestly.

“Very well,” Harry said. “Where did you acquire such keen observation skills? I must applaud your acute savvy in spotting not just one of the surveillance teams but all of them including my section leader within a matter of a few days.”

She chose to give him one of her non-answers, “It’s one of my many gifts, what can I say?” Lori couldn’t help but brag about how long it had actually took to nail the surveillance teams but kept her voice mild so Harry wouldn’t know she was, “In the interest of full disclosure, it wasn’t matter of a few days but twenty-four hours. I believe the time stamps on the photos will back up my claim. “

Harry knew he shouldn’t pursue it any further but couldn’t resist, “So no one actually taught you this skill?”

“Nope, I just honed it over the years,” Lori said. Wanting to move away from the subject and get back to the real reason for her call she continued, “Lucas is as good, if not better, at observing as I am. Who taught him?”

He took her not so subtle hint that subject was closed regarding her and silently thanked Donovan for the warning about her shutting down on things. Harry said, “Lucas is indeed one of the best I have encountered at observation. He too, was a natural and honed his skills over the years. Is this your way of confirming to me he knew all along he was being watched?”

“Yes,” Lori said simply. “And thank you for seeing to it that it was put to an end as of last night.”

“You are welcome,” Harry said, “I really did intend to have had it stopped prior to your arrival. I apologize and hope it doesn’t affect what you are here to accomplish.”

“No harm, no foul, Harry. You didn’t break any of my conditions so there wasn't any danger of my bolting over it. And speaking of which, I think I have seen enough that you can also have the monitoring of his apartment, flat, whatever you folks call it, shut down too. It’s important that Lucas know you really do trust him again,” Lori told him.

Harry was more than a bit surprised she was willing to give up the monitoring so soon. He said, “As you wish. I will see to it personally. Obviously we cannot physically remove the equipment from his flat. However should Lucas discover the equipment, he will know it is not in use.”

“Thank you, Harry,” Lori said. “I think that will go a long way with him. Now, does the old Lady actually live above him or will she be conveniently moving out soon?”

“She is being relocated even as we speak,” Harry said not knowing if it were true or not. But he would have it happen yet today.

“By the by, I would have called you today no matter what. It wasn’t necessary to have the ruse of Ms. Myers calling him in to the grid this morning,” Lori said gently but firmly. She wanted Harry to know she wasn’t impressed with his heavy handedness.

Harry, once again, was blindsided by her comment. He said, “I assure you Ms. Smith, Samantha, I did not arrange for Lucas to go in to The Grid this morning. This is the first I am hearing of it. When did Ros call him in?”

“About an hour and half ago,” Lori answered.

Harry said, “I am on my way there now and will check in to matters when I arrive.”

“It’s important Lucas have some down time away from work. From the sound of it, he’s done nothing but since he returned,” Lori said.

Pondering her last statement, Harry had to agree. He said, “Unless there has some development I have not been made aware of, I will personally see to it Lucas will have the rest of the weekend off. Besides the trust issue, which is of course very significant, is there anything else I should be made aware of or can do to help him without making him feel like he is being singled out?”

“Just be your normal self with him. If he feels he is being treated like the rest of the team, and not any different, he will make his way back faster. And the rest of your team will follow your lead and do the same,” Lori answered. Essentially finishing her end of the conversation she said, “That’s all I have to tell you for now, but I will keep updating you as developments warrant. I do want to compliment you on your forthrightness to date. It has helped tremendously in me knowing how to proceed. Good job Harry.”

Harry was flustered by the pat on the back. He was used to being the one who did the patting, not the one being patted. He knew she had just shut down and would get no further with her, so he said, “Thank you for that. I look forward to hearing from you again. Regarding your offer, when my schedule permits, I look forward to you educating me on the finer points of the NHL.”

“Will be my utter pleasure, Harry, any time I can talk hockey is great. You take care and have what’s left of a good weekend. I’m sure we will most likely be running in to each other next week,” Lori said.

“Before you go, I just wanted to say how remarkable it was to see you in action last evening. I was amazed how at ease Lucas already is with you,” Harry couldn’t resist telling her.

Lori was pleasantly surprised to be receiving an actual compliment from Harry. She said, “Why thank you for saying so. He’s got a long way to go but I think Lucas will be fine. It’ll just take time and I’m here for the duration. After all, I do have an actual renovation to complete.”

“That you do, but I do appreciate you confirming the fact you will be staying,” Harry said with relief.

Lori couldn’t resist being a bit cheeky, “Yep, you can’t get rid of a pain in the butt like me that easily. Nice try though, Harry.”

Harry hoped she was teasing him but he couldn’t be sure not being able to see the twinkle in her eyes. He said seriously, “I do not consider you a pain Samantha. A bit exasperating at times like when you decide to make unnecessary middle of the night phone calls but consider you to be quite knowledgeable in both your fields of endeavor.”

“Oooh, two compliments in a row, careful Harry or I might think you are actually beginning to like me,” Lori teased. She confirmed to him she was giving him a hard time for the fun of it “My dry sense of humor is something you will hopefully come to appreciate. Sometimes, I just can’t help myself from being silly.”

“I will make note of that,” Harry said once again smiling at his phone. He was concerned though what Ros was up to, so he said, “After I have looked in to why Lucas was called in, I will get back to you.”

“Good deal, Harry. I appreciate it. Well, that pretty much wraps things up on my end, so I’ll let you go. Catch me on the flip side,” Lori said, then disconnected without warning. She chuckled to herself picturing Harry’s face on the other end of the now dead phone line as she tossed her Blackberry up and down in to the air a couple of times before placing it on the nightstand. Perhaps she would have time for a short nap before Lucas called. Lori slipped under the down comforter, buried her head under the pillows and was soon fast asleep.

Harry shook his head. He wasn’t used to such treatment and didn’t quite no how to react to being hung up on. She had given him information without really revealing any specifics. That was something. Pulling in to The Thames House car park, he came to one conclusion about Ms. Samantha Smith. He found her to be enchanting and irritating all at the same time. He wanted to get to know this exceptional individual better.


 

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
bunkie77
May. 11th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
Another great chapter, thanks! Love the way "Sam" is getting under Harry's skin. Man, the girl can certainly juggle manipulating so many male egos simultaneously, can't she!
lsm71059
May. 11th, 2009 04:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I appreciate your feedback.

It's fun to get under Harry's skin because he is so stedfast and reserved.

What can I say, one of her many gifts is stroking the male ego while managing to keep them in check all at the same time.

Edited at 2009-05-11 05:35 pm (UTC)
betty_eyes
May. 12th, 2009 01:07 am (UTC)
Well, Happy as kid in a toyshop that I found this next chapter so soon. In part because of my delay with the last one.
Busy girl, this Lori. Six phone calls!
I had the feeling Nicky will give some good laugh and a side of Lori we didn't know yet!
Eric! What can I say? Love him? Did I say that before? Yes, sure I did. But it's true. Just waiting in line for two hours of her time.
Donovan! Pain in the ass, good one but sounds like a father. But she really know how to handle him! And Harry too!
She got everythig she wanted asking so directly. Even dealing with the Ice Queen's little treats!
Someone has a major crush on this little lady and it's not Only Lucas. (We already agreed who get the girl here, dont we? Just a reminder LOL)

i leave the best for last. Her, missing him already when she lay her head on the pillow and looking for an excuse to call him. I never knew ordering some chinese food could be so... *cough* you know.
Really, I LOVE THAT CONVERSATION!!!!!
You're going somewhere my lady with this chapter and it was a longer one.

Thanks so much! I change my avi just for you!!! You deserve it today!!!

Huggles!
Laura xxxx

P.S. I love the chapter, just so you know. Sorry for the speech! Kind of chatty tonight.
lsm71059
May. 12th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
I love it when you get chatty, don't stop! And the avi was the icing on the cake! Made my night!

Nicky is good comic relief for her. I am hoping everyone will love him as much as I do. And Snoopy has to give the Red Baron his due on a regular basis you know. Donovan can be overbearing but it's only because he cares so much for her.
Some times direct is the best path to proceed on. I am having fun keeping Harry off balance because he is always so grounded and steadfast. (And remind me again who gets the girl? LOL)

Made you want to go order some Chinese of your own didn't it? Glad you loved the conversation, I loved writing it.

I'm always going somewhere just sometimes I actually know where and sometimes I just go where it takes me.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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