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Overnight Therapy - Chapter Thirty-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: Just Prior to Episode 7.04)

 

Chapter Thirty-One

“Just give me a second to slip on my boots and I’ll be good to go,” Lori answered Lucas as she came down the hall with her coat and boots in her hand.

 

As she came closer to him, Lucas took in her appearance. He found it very appealing the way the well tailored silk shirt and the jeans hugged her curves in all the right places. His fingers itched from wanting to run them through the soft curls framing her face. He wanted to tell her how fetching she looked and thank her for leaving her hair down for him but knowing her aversion to being complimented decided to pass. He spied the pink bunny socks as she tossed her coat on to the table and took a seat to put on her boots. He smiled and asked, “Would you like to go to a department store to get the pillow or do you prefer a boutique type of shop?”

“Oh a boutique for sure, I find department stores a pain to navigate and they are so impersonal,” Lori answered sliding on her boots and zipping them up.

“Then a boutique it is. There’s a street filled with all kinds of boutiques and shops not more than five streets from here. And they are in the same area as the Chinese place,” Lucas reported as he extended a hand to help her up.

Lori smiled up at him as she took his hand to stand quipping, “You are such a kind young man helping your elders out of chairs.”

Lucas rolled his eyes at her but the corners of his mouth did twitch slightly in to a quick smile before responding, “I’ve always considered age to be more a state of mind and how you feel physically rather than a chronological progression.”

“I like your way of thinking. If that is the case, some days I feel like 110 and others like I’m a little kid again,” Lori sassed grinning at Lucas.

“And by your current demeanour, I would say today you are definitely leaning in the younger direction,” Lucas said as he gave her a lopsided smile.

She said, “You would be correct. That’s what happens when I get to take a nap in the middle of day. I pity you having to deal with me tonight”

“Oh, I think I’ll be fine. Remember, I rested too. I do alright holding my own, even against a minx such as you,” Lucas said as he picked her coat up holding it for her. The evening was getting off to an excellent start in his estimation. He did so enjoy bantering with her. He gave her shoulders a short rub after she had slipped it on.

Lori said with a wistful sigh, “That feels nice. You keep that up and we won’t get going any time soon. I’ll give you an hour to stop.”

Lucas was pleased she had responded to his touch. He saw an opportunity for later and said patting her shoulder, “Tell you what, we go now and I’ll give a massage when we return.”

“Lucas, you strike a hard bargain, but I accept,” Lori said as she turned sticking her hand out to shake on it.

He grasped her hand and brought it up to his lips for a kiss before releasing it. He crooked his arm saying, “Shall we?”

“We shall. You’ve got the keys right?” Lori said as she put her hand on his arm.

He held up the keys jingling them before sliding them in to his coat pocket. As Lucas opened the door, they were momentarily held up from leaving by two moving men carrying down furniture from the third floor. Lori said, “Hmmm, looks like we are losing an upstairs neighbour.”

“So it would seem,” Lucas responded. Stepping out in to the hall once it was clear, he shut the door and locked it before taking up Lori’s hand putting it back in the crook of his arm and left his hand covering hers. They only had to wait a minute before they could descend the stairs and out of the building.

Both of them paused on the front step to take a deep breath of clean crisp air. Then turned to each other and smiled. Mindful Lori was wearing heels instead of walking shoes, Lucas asked, “Would you rather take a taxi than walk?”

“Oh no, I love to walk,” Lori said giving Lucas’ arm a squeeze.

Lucas nodded then inclined his head in the general direction they would be heading. He said, “It’s over in this direction.”

They set off at a sedate pace. As they passed the Launderette, Lucas was reminded of his need to do the wash. He thought, “I’ll ask her on the way back if she would care to join me tomorrow to do laundry.”

Lori broke in to his thoughts, “I’ve been remiss in thanking you for taking such good care of me yesterday and today and for apologizing if I seemed ungrateful. Lord knows, I’m terrible when it comes to having someone look after my comfort. It’s not something I’m accustomed to, as if you couldn’t tell.”

“You are quite welcome. It was the least I could do to repay in small way all the kindness you bestowed on me this week.  Perhaps, you will allow me to help you in becoming accustomed to letting someone dote on every now and again,” Lucas said affectionately.

“I think the kindness was mutual, Lucas. You bestowed the great gift of allowing me to monopolize your free time this week. When, I’m sure you could have been doing something much more appealing, like actually getting some sleep in your own bed at a decent hour. Plus, I had the huge extra added bonus of your assistance in obtaining my access pass in an expedient manner for the project and showing me the lay of the land. As far as I’m concerned the only repayment you owe me is allowing me to collect on my twenty question debt and maybe suffer through a bit of my cooking every now and again while I’m here in town,” Lori said sincerely.

“Never let it be said, I didn’t honour my debts. And suffer is not the correct term for having the privilege of eating what you prepare. I’ve a feeling if you ever tire of the Project Liaison career, you could open your own place with great success,” Lucas said. Then he couldn’t resist asking while watching her face for the reaction, “Why are you always putting yourself down?”

“Because it saves the other person from having to do it,” Lori answered with a wry smile.

Lucas mulled the full weight of that statement for a bit. It all clicked in to place for him. That’s why she couldn’t take a compliment about anything personal. And why Lori had the drive to be the best at everything she did. He’d love to get his hands on whoever this individual was and let them experience the rage beginning to build inside him on her behalf. Instead he quelled his temper, before responding, “There was someone in your past who hurt you deeply on a personal level wasn’t there?”

Lori simply nodded her head in affirmation as she looked down studying their feet as they walked. He gave her hand an encouraging squeeze as he changed topics to lighten the mood saying, “Do you think it will be safe to purchase another feather pillow or shall we go with a foam one? They might hold up a bit better.”

Lori raised her head and grinned at him. She said, “Oh but the feathers are so much more fun when they give way.”

“True,” Lucas answered returning her grin as they turned the corner on to street lined with boutiques and shops.

Lori took in all the store fronts at once and let out a squeal of delight, “How charming! Do we have time to do a little exploring or must we go straight to the bedding and linens store?”

“We have all the time you’d like,” Lucas said thinking it was going to be amusing to watch her explore. She was so resilient, not letting any bad memory keep her down for long. He would like her to teach him how she did it. He asked, “Where would you like to start?”

“How about the one right across the street,” Lori said pointing to a store named Norton & Sons. It was a men’s clothier store. Lucas cocked an eyebrow at her choice but nodded his consent and escorted her across the street. The bell jingled as they entered the store. An older gentleman in a finely tailored suit emerged from the back room to greet them. 

He introduced himself, “Good Evening, Grant Norton, Proprietor, at your service what can I help you with this evening?”

Lori extended her free hand to shake saying, “Good Evening Mr. Norton. I was struck by your fine window display and couldn’t resist coming in to peruse your goods. I, myself am interested in possibly purchasing a pair of cufflinks depending on your selection. As for my friend, he is indulging me by showing what London’s finest has to offer.”

Lucas thought, “She’s good, he will be fawning all over her in no time.”

Grant Norton took the hand offered to shake. He noted the fine crafted cufflink in the cuff that stuck out of her coat sleeve. In fact, he assessed her from top to bottom as he shook hands noting the fine Italian leather coat, belt and boots, the perfectly tailored silk shirt and the designer jeans. Although she was American by her accent and seemed to be very casual, this woman exuded confidence and richness. He said, “How kind of your friend to think of us as London’s finest. I hope we can meet his expectations. Please, if you will follow me, I will show you our cufflink selection.”

Lori smiled at Lucas as she dropped his arm and followed Mr Norton over to the counter. Lucas took the opportunity to browse through the shelves and racks of clothes. He found many things in his size that he needed to fill out his sparse wardrobe. Mr. Norton left Lori to review the cufflink selection and joined Lucas. Reaching for the items Lucas had in his hands, He asked, “Would you like me to put your selections in a dressing room for you?”

“That would be grand, thank you” Lucas said handing him the pile of clothes he had accumulated so far.

As he continued to browse, Lori came up behind him putting a navy blue pinstripe suit in front of his face. She said, “This is begging to be tried on, care to oblige?”

Lucas took the suit from her hand. Turning around to face her, he was but wasn’t surprised when he checked the tag it was the exact size he needed. He said starting towards the dressing room, “Since it spoke especially to you, yes I will oblige. If you see anything else that seems to be begging to be tried on let me know.”

“You know I will,” Lori called after him. 

He heard Mr. Norton complimenting Lori on her excellent taste as he entered the dressing room. All the clothes, he’d picked out fit like they had been made just for him. He was pleased how well it was all going. Just as he was slipping out of the last pair of jeans, a light blue dress shirt with French cuffs and a burgundy silk tie came flying over the top of the door landing on his head. Lori’s giggle reached his ears. She said, “Thought these might go with the suit.”

He pulled the shirt and tie off the top of his head. Leave it to her to find a way to make him smile even while trying on clothes. He did admire her taste. After donning the suit, shirt and tie, Lucas emerged from the dressing room to stand on the little platform in front of the three way mirror. Mr. Norton came up with his tape measure and pins. The trousers would have to be cuffed and hemmed. But the coat and shirt fit perfectly. He rolled his eyes and had to fight from blushing as he heard the appreciative low wolf whistle behind him. He caught Lori’s eye in the mirror as she came up beside him.

She picked up one of his wrists and inserted a cufflink in to the cuff. Then walked around in front of him and did the other side. Lucas lifted up the cuff to look at it. Lori quietly said, “They don’t quite match up to mine, but I think they suit you.”

Lucas nodded his head slightly in agreement. While Mr. Norton finished pinning the hems, Lori removed all the clothes he’d been trying on from the dressing room and brought them over to the counter to refold. Lucas watched her every move in the mirror without ever moving his head. He smiled slightly when she winked at him. 

Having finished marking the alterations, Mr. Norton informed Lucas the suit would be ready for pick up by Tuesday evening. Lucas nodded his acknowledgement before returning to the dressing room to change back in to his street clothes. He thought, “Add Personal Shopper to the list of talents Lori has. And leave it to her to try to make me blush with the wolf whistle. She is a piece of work and I adore every bit of her.”

Coming out of the dressing room with the suit, shirt and tie draped over his arm, he looked over at the counter expecting to find Lori waiting but she wasn’t there. He quickly scanned the store finding her clear over in the back corner bent down looking at something. He dropped off the clothes on the counter and walked up behind her to see what was holding her attention. She had taken the liberty of finding matching socks and boxers to go with his outfits, even managed to find a couple of belts too.

Her arms full, she stood up and turned to him holding out her findings. She asked, “Will these help round out the wardrobe?”

He took the pile from her saying, “Yes, very nicely. I’ve a question for you.”

Lori looked expectantly at him waiting for him ask. He did very quietly, “How did you know I’d need all this?”

She smiled kindly answering just as quietly, “I put two and two together and came up with an answer. We can talk about it later.”

“Fair enough,” Lucas said as they went back over to the counter to pay for the purchases. He was not surprised she’d been able to put some of the pieces together and was grateful she didn’t feel the need to push the issue in public.

Considering Lucas had just made his sales quota for the week in one sale, Mr. Norton was very accommodating when Lori asked if he could to see it that the clothes and accessories be delivered to the flat in a couple of hours as they had more shopping to do. He wished them well and assured Lori personally the clothes would be there as requested.

Lucas looked at his watch as they exited the store and was surprised they had accomplished so much in forty five minutes time. He said, “If shopping could be that painless every time, I’d enjoy it more.”

“Well, I don’t know about painless, it certainly hurt your wallet,” Lori said as she turned in to the store next door. Lucas looked around at the walls filled with all types of candy and assorted treats. Watching her having fun picking out all different kinds of products, He thought, “Lori is literally a kid in a candy store having fun.” After she had paid for her candy and gum, he couldn’t resist saying as he picked up the bag and watched her stuff a tootsie roll pop in to her mouth, “You are going to spoil your supper young lady.”

As they left the candy store, she removed the sucker from her mouth just long enough to playfully say in her best little girl voice, “Oh Mr. North, it’s just one lil’ ol’ tootsie pop. I promise I’ll be good and clean my plate later.”

He wondered if she had any clue what a turn on it was to watch her as she licked and sucked the lollipop. He imagined what else that tongue of hers could be licking and sucking. Lucas quickly had to give his mind a shake and something else to think about for fear his desire would become evident in his jeans. He said, “What’s next?”

“What we came for,” Lori said all business like as she took his arm to cross the street to the Bedding and Linens boutique. He held the door for her and she went directly to bins of pillows.

He asked, “Should we get a couple of extras?”

“Building up your arsenal for a rematch?” she retorted.

“Possibly,” Lucas grinned as he picked up four feather down pillows. He insisted on buying them claiming he was indeed building up his arsenal. Lori laughed as she picked out 1000 count Egyptian cotton pale blue pillow cases to cover the new ones and the ones already at the flat plus a set of sheets to match them. They were in and out in less than ten minutes with Lori once again having charmed the boutique owner in to having their purchases delivered.

Lori asked as they left the store, “Would you mind terribly if we get the Chinese to go and eat back at the flat instead of there?”

“Not at all,” Lucas said.

“Thanks, I’m going to run in to the stationery store down the street. To save some time, why don’t you go ahead to the restaurant and I’ll meet up with you there.” Lori said. Looking her over out of the corner of his eye as he dropped her in front of the stationery store, he worried she might be feeling tired or faint from all the activity and not eating a proper meal since breakfast but sensed she wanted a moment or two to herself and was too polite to come right and tell him.

“Still want the same you thing you requested for lunch or would you like to change your order?” Lucas asked.

“Perhaps add some hot and sour soup to the order?” Lori requested.

“As you wish, I’ll see you in a bit then” Lucas said as he opened the door for her then took off towards the Chinese place. He took a seat at the bar and ordered Vodka straight up while waiting on the food. Lori joined him within a few minutes sliding on to the stool next to him. He told her it would be ready to go in fifteen minutes so she had time for a drink. The bartender had sauntered over by then and Lori ordered a Coke. When she didn’t order any alcohol, he asked, “Are you not feeling well?”

“I’m good,” Lori answered, her voice sounding a bit wistful. “Just have some things to talk to you about but would prefer to do it in private.”

He reached over to cover her hand resting on her knee with his. He said in a soothing voice, ‘I’ll be happy to listen and understand your need for privacy. We will be on our way soon. In the meantime, enjoy your Coke.”

They sat in companionable silence sipping their drinks till the food arrived. Lucas paid the bill. Lori picked up the bags with the candy and the stationery. Lucas was going to protest he could carry everything but got the feeling she wouldn’t relinquish her packages so he picked up the box of food and they set off for the flat. He quipped as they headed out the door, “You just want to carry the candy so you can snack all the way back.”

“Once again, you have managed to uncover my nefarious plan. No wonder you are the best of the best,” Lori sassed back with a grin

 “Uh huh,” was Lucas’ response as they both laughed. He asked, “Where did you get that quick wit of yours?”

“Well, actually I was sort of trained to have it,” Lori said.

“Trained?” Lucas inquired.

Lori relayed the story of why to him, “See when I was a little kid, I used to stutter. When I was five my parents sent me to speech therapy, they trained me to think what I was going to say before I said it. It took about a year to really make a difference. And so, I can compile a response faster than most because my brain processes things faster. That’s also the reason I have trouble remembering names or saying them. They trained your mind not to let you say a name or word if you were going to stutter it. Over the years, the stutter became barely noticeable. But when I get exhausted or very very angry it becomes predominant. That’s also why when somebody teases someone else about stuttering I let them have it with both barrels. It’s not funny to someone who has to live with it.”

“Thank you for sharing with me,” Lucas said sincerely. Once again, she had shared another facet of her being with him. He was fascinated with the aspect of being able to be taught to think or process things in a faster manner.

“Oh sure, but once again that’s Intel I’d rather not be made public knowledge,” Lori said.

“Of course,” Lucas assured her. It was becoming quite apparent she trusted him with even her deepest secrets and he was honoured.

 They arrived back at their building just as she finished her story. Lucas asked Lori to get the keys out of his coat pocket since his hands were full. She reached inside pulling out the key ring on the first try. Opening up the door, Lori bowed slightly while motioning Lucas in the door. He gave her a nod and a smile as he passed her waiting at the foot of the stairs to accompany her up. They walked up side by side pausing at her door as she unlocked it and pushed it open. 


 

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
bunkie77
Jun. 1st, 2009 04:11 am (UTC)
So we have Lori's excellent taste to thank for dressing Lucas in that gorgeous suit & tie combination from Spooks episode 5 I think it was? Yum! Very nice chapter, as always. Love the kid in her...I can really relate as I approach a milestone birthday and yet behave like a 10 yr old frequently. Interesting detail about the stuttering...but who was it that hurt Lori so badly...very intriguing. Thanks for sharing!!
lsm71059
Jun. 1st, 2009 08:43 am (UTC)
You are welcome! Thanks for commenting over here. Live Journal was beginning to feel very neglected. LOL.

Gotta keep up the inner kid, it keeps one alive. All will be revealed very soon.
betty_eyes
Jun. 1st, 2009 10:17 am (UTC)
Having fun shopping around town? Well, that's great if shoppiing ends up with Lucas having a great suit (we all know it really fits him!!!!). I so can picture the mirror glances and the wink like they were sharing some kind of little secret of their own.
The Candy shop! Oh, what a temptation! (I can totally rely on Lori about this one. Just imagine what this comment would be with a sugar high and a Coke running through my veins LOL) And the thing about the lollipop sucking... Poor Lucas! After that previous shower, that's the last thing the man needs.
I'm too very intrigued about who hurt Lori and what does she want to talk about with Lucas?

Great chapter! No pressure but I hope you post next soon.

Hugs,

Laura

P.S. I'm becoming LJ lonely rider LOL
lsm71059
Jun. 1st, 2009 12:36 pm (UTC)
I know you are, please, please don't desert me over here!!!! LOL

Go have your Coke and sugar rush then come back!!!!!!!!!!!!

Working on it, will try to post soon.
betty_eyes
Jun. 1st, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
I'll be here , darling. This is where we started it and this is where we'll end.
Will try to be patient.
lsm71059
Jun. 1st, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you Darling! I knew you wouldn't abandon me.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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