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Overnight Therapy - Chapter Thirty-Three

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-Three

Lori opened the door gesturing and saying, “You first, you are the one with your hands full.” 

Lucas asked as he walked in to the flat nodding towards the box, “Would you like this on the dining table or in the kitchen?”

Lori got a grin on her face as she followed him in and closed door. She said, “There’s always a third option.”

“And that would be?” Lucas asked knowing that whatever she was going to say would most likely be something fun and interesting.

“You could put it over on the coffee table. We could use the cushions off the window seat to sit on and pretend we are dining at some exotic location in the Orient.”

Finding her grin infectious, Lucas smiled back saying as he did her bidding, “You do enjoy making the mundane an adventure don’t you?”

“Keeps life from getting too boring,” Lori answered as she placed her shopping bags on the end table then took her coat off, tossing it on to the nearest chair then slipped off her boots and set them next to the chair. Lucas followed suit by divesting himself of his coat and shoes placing them where Lori had put hers. As he did saying, “I’ve a feeling your life doesn’t get boring often.” 

Lori moved the cushions from the window seat to the floor. She responded as she headed down the hall, “Oh it has its moments. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go wash my hands and get a couple of things to go with our adventure. I’ll be back in a flash.”

Lucas watched her go wondering what she had to get. Curiosity getting the better of him, he followed after her. Pausing in the doorway to the bedroom and leaning against the door jam, he watched as she bent over a bureau drawer pulling out a gorgeous red silk shawl. He could only surmise it had come from the Orient.

Lori didn’t seem surprised to see him there. She straightened holding it up and turned towards him saying, “Thought we could use this for a tablecloth and play a little oriental background music to add to the atmosphere. Work for you?”

“It does, what can I do to assist?” Lucas asked.

Lori said, “How about you get my laptop from the office and hook it up to the flat screen.”

“Done,” Lucas said as he straightened and headed towards the office. He collected the power cord, video cable and laptop taking all of it out to the living room. As he came back down the hall he heard the water running in the kitchen and glanced in to see Lori washing her hands.   By the time he had everything hooked up, Lori was back with place settings and such. She began setting up the table. Deciding he too should wash up, Lucas made his way down the hall to the bathroom. Using the facilities and washing his hands, he was mulling over what Lori wanted to talk about. There were several things that came to mind very quickly.    

And all were things he knew she would only want to speak of in private. Well, no time like the present to find out. Having finished, he headed back towards the living room which had taken on an oriental feel due to the background music and the table set beautifully complete with Chinese teapot and cups. There was a soft glow from the candles Lori had lit and placed around the room. It all looked quite inviting. She’d already poured the soup in to the bowls and added wontons on top in lieu of crackers. She patted the empty cushion next to her then poured him a cup of tea. He lowered himself down on to the cushion and tasted the tea commenting, “This is has an unusual flavour to it. What kind is it?”

“Do you not like it? It’s white ginger tea. I became quite fond of it while I did a project in Hong Kong,” Lori answered as she poured herself a cup.

“I like it very much,” Lucas answered before taking another sip and then setting his cup down. He picked up a spoon and began on his soup.

Lori did the same. She said, “I like this, it has a bit of kick but not too spicy that I can’t eat it.”

Lucas asked curious and concerned, “Is that why you have a preference for cooking your own food instead of going out to eat so you can control what spices are used?”

“That and not to blow my own horn, but in most cases I find my fare to be so much more palatable than that which you can get in a restaurant,” Lori said with a cheeky grin.

Lucas was pleased she’d given herself a compliment without adding anything derogatory at the end of it. He said being cheeky himself, “What I’ve had the pleasure of tasting so far, I would whole heartedly agree with your assessment. However, I do feel further research will have be done to make a proper determination.”

“Oh most definitely,” Lori answered.  

She picked up his plate asking, “So it’s my turn to ask, what’s your pleasure Lucas?”

Lucas groaned inwardly thinking back to the recent shower and what his fantasy pleasure had been. Aloud he said, “A bit of everything please.”

Lori nodded and dished up a spoonful from each container and placed a few Crab Rangoon on his plate. 

He picked up his chopsticks and began to tackle the mountain of food Lori had put on his plate. She picked up her own plate and added a small portion of white rice, a spoonful of the Sesame Chicken and a Crab Rangoon with a bit of sweet and sour sauce to it. Then she picked a fork and began to eat. He knew better than to fuss at her for the sparse amount of food so instead Lucas asked, “You don’t use chopsticks?”

“I’m not that talented. I envy you though for being able to.  The people in the Orient used to have a great time making fun of me about my ineptness with them when I worked there,” Lori said drolly.

“Perhaps you never had a proper tutor. Allow me to show you the trick to using them,” Lucas said putting his set down and picking hers up. He studied her hands and thought to himself how graceful they looked with their long fingers. He put his arm around her and picked up her hand positioning the sticks in between her fingers guiding them to the food. He continued, “Think of your chopsticks as an extension of your fingers and give it a go.”

Lori seemed to be able to make it work as long as Lucas was controlling her hand.   But as soon as he released her to do it on her own, she couldn’t control the sticks. She laughed giving up and picked back up her fork saying, “I give you props for trying but I told you I was not that talented. If I had to use those, I’d starve,” Lori said pointing to the chopsticks.

Lucas decided to keep his arm around Lori resting his hand on her hip. He rather enjoyed the feel of it in his hand. He picked up his chopsticks with his opposite hand and said before taking a bite, “It’s rather refreshing to know you aren’t good at everything. I was beginning to feel a bit intimidated by all the skills you’ve demonstrated so far.”

“Oh, please, there are many, many things I’m not good at. And I don’t believe for one moment you are intimidated by very much of anything or anybody. You have a confidence that is second to none. And trust me, I’ve been around a great many confident people. You must be good at a great many things to be in your position,” Lori said rather passionately. “Ok, ok, I’ll get off my soap box now,” She said looking sheepish as her rant winded down.

Lucas gave her a squeeze with the arm he had around her. That passionate side she had was a huge turn on for him. He asked with his charming half smile, “Do you know how good you are for my ego?”

“I’m just speaking the truth as I know it to be,” Lori said. It seemed to Lucas she was a bit shy as she finished with, “You’ll have to forgive my outburst. It is totally preposterous you would be intimidated by me on any level.”

“Nothing to forgive, you don’t give yourself enough credit Lori. You are very formidable whether you think so or not. I’ll wager when you are in “business mode” as you call it, no one can intimidate you. Am I right?” Lucas said.

“That’s a whole different set of circumstances. I’m good at my job and I know it. So it’s easy to hide behind the business persona. But I’ll let you in on a little secret, I’m not nearly as confident as I portray. The contractors are like piranhas. If they smell fear, they will eat you alive. And I can’t have that happen. Failure for me is not an option,” Lori said.

Lucas was getting further excellent insight to Lori through their conversation. He’d suspected as much about the confidence but it took a very unique individual to admit to their shortcomings. He wanted her to keep talking. He thought perhaps it might be therapeutic for her to have someone to talk to who just wanted her to be herself and not a character or persona. He knew how great it made him feel when she treated him in that manner. He said, “I understand about failure not being an option. In my line of work it could be the difference between life and death.”

“I can relate. When I was in the Navy it was that way a lot,” Lori said.

Lucas said, “We have plenty of time this evening, care to give me some of the Intel in that sealed “Eyes Only” military record of yours?”

“I can give you highlights but probably not details. You’d have to have an extremely high level of security clearance for that. Let’s finish eating and then I’ll tell you what I can” Lori said.

“Well, my clearance isn’t quite as high as yours, but I am certain it is high enough. I look forward to hearing the highlights. And it goes without question your Intel will go no further than me. In the meantime, may I pour you another cup of tea?” Lucas said removing the arm he’d had around her to be able to use both hands. 

“That would be lovely, thank you,” Lori said setting her cup close to Lucas.

Removing the tea cosy and picking up the pot, Lucas poured out the tea. He was quite pleased with the way the evening had gone so far. The shopping had been fun. The food and conversation had been good. Lori had provided him with even more details in to her being. And top things off, he couldn’t wait to hear about her Navy days.

Shifting gears, Lucas said, “Looks like we will have enough left over for a second meal.”

Lori said, “That’s ok, because the thing about Chinese is after you eat it you’re hungry all over again in an hour.”

“So there’s an upside to all this,” Lucas said.

“Yep,” Lori responded before sipping her tea.

“Tell me about this assistant of yours,” Lucas said casually as he continued to clean his plate.

“Nicky? Oh, he’s a hoot. I think you and he will get on famously,” Lori said her whole face lighting up

“So you are friends besides being Colleagues?” Lucas asked trying to hold off how he felt about her being so happy about this chap until he’d heard more from Lori.

“Nicky is part of my extended family. He’s not officially related to me, but I consider him to be what I call my faux nephew,” Lori said her voice obviously filled with admiration. She filled him in on Nicky’s background including what Joe Gianelli had done for him and the fact he now lived in London with his life partner who worked in the West End. She considered Nicky the front runner for the heir apparent spot in Joe’s vast empire. Then she added, “Oh by the way, I think I’m the only one on the planet that can get away with still calling him Nicky. He goes by either Nick or Nicholas. My boy Nicky really is a consummate professional on the job.”

Lucas leaned back against the sofa and watched Lori with wrapped fascination as she animatedly talked about Nick and Joe. It was quite apparent she had a deep fondness perhaps even love for them. And it was obvious she hadn’t been just an observer but probably had just as much if not more to do with helping Nicky out during his personal crisis. Plus this gave him a great opening to ask about the relationship with her boss. He’d been so caught up in listening to her, he hadn’t noticed her closing up the food containers, stacking the dishes and silverware and generally straightening up the table. He said, “Suffice to say you are pleased then with the assistant that has been provided for the project. I’ve a feeling your job became a bit more bearable with him coming on board. So what does Nick call you?”

“I adore working with Nicky. He is so in sync with me. And it depends, if we are at work it’s Sam/Samantha/Ms. Smith but the rest of the time it’s usually Auntie Lori. Is that your polite way of saying I talk too much and you really didn’t need that level of detail about Nicky?” Lori said with a teasing tone in her voice.

“Auntie Lori, I can see it. And not at all, to prove the fact I don’t think you talk too much since you’ve given me Intel on Nick  tell me more about Joe Gianelli.” Lucas said lightly.

“Are you sure? You get me started talking about him and we may be sitting here till the cows come home,” Lori said starting to get up to finish the table clean up.

“And wherever did you learn an expression like that? I wasn’t aware you had any knowledge of farm life. I figured you for a City Girl,” Lucas said chuckling at her particular turn of a phrase. He was surprised to see the table ready to be cleared. He thought, “She can be so mesmerizing with her story telling, one doesn’t even notice what else she might be doing. It’s a little disarming in a way. I bet that comes in handy when she wants to distract someone.”

“And you’d figure right. I am so a City Girl. My idea of roughing it is a Hotel without internet access. However, to answer your question, My Mom’s older brother owned a farm. So we spent a couple of weeks every summer out there when we were kids. That’s where I learned the phrase,” Lori answered starting to load up her hands with items to take to the kitchen.

“Is this same Uncle that had the rule about eating dessert first? Are you still in touch with him?” Lucas asked as he got up to help.

“Nope, Uncle Keith was my Mom’s younger brother. They both passed within a year of each other around ten years ago,” Lori said nonchalantly heading for the kitchen.

Lucas noted she didn’t seem too distraught over her Uncles. So there was no need to comfort her or continue with that topic. He loaded up his own hands and as he entered the kitchen returned to the topic of her boss. After setting down the food he’d brought in, Lucas looked at his watch and cheekily said, “Let’s see, it’s almost 8:00 O’clock and if I remember correctly the cows used to come home between 5:00 to 6:00 a.m. so that gives you roughly a little over nine hours to fill me in on Joe Gianelli.”

Lori rolled her eyes at Lucas then gave him a playful shove before grabbing the tray and heading back to the living room. As she walked she said, “Actually Joe was a part of my Navy days. So I can cover everything in one shot, how fortuitous of you to inquire about two topics that go together so well.”

“Yes, I’m nothing if accommodating,” Lucas teased following her back out to the coffee table.

“That you most certainly are. And let me say as always, if you have any questions feel free to interrupt or if you get bored with my tale just tell me to hush up,” Lori said as they both stacked the rest of the food and dishes on the tray.

It was Lucas’ turn to roll his eyes but he didn’t give her a playful shove. Instead he picked up the tray to take the kitchen saying, “Stay put, I’ll finish the clearing up.”

Lori said, “I’d rather give you a hand then sit in here on my own. Besides, we will get done twice as fast.”

“True, then I can hear your tale without any distractions,” Lucas said walking back to the kitchen setting down the tray on the counter. Lori was right behind him till there was a knock at the door. 

Lucas stuck his head out of the kitchen keeping watch. He appreciated the fact she used the peephole before opening the door. And he relaxed once he recognized the shop girl from the bed and linen boutique who with a nod and a smile handed Lori two oversized bags before disappearing from view. Lori had taken a moment to set the bags on the dining before shutting door. But before she could, Mr. Norton appeared both hands full.   She directed him over to the dining table to set down his delivery.

Lucas could no longer resist being an observant bystander so he joined them at the table giving Mr. Norton a handshake. Mr. Norton again gave assurance Lucas’ suit would be ready after 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday and inquired if they would like it delivered. Lucas declined saying he’d be by to pick it up. Then with another handshake he ushered him to the door and sent him on his way.

As Lucas turned back from closing the door, he said, “I don’t know how you managed to get London shop keepers to deliver. I’ve never found them to be so accommodating.”

“They were probably just taking pity on a poor American that they didn’t want loitering around their establishments,” Lori quipped then continued, “Know any place we can take all this to get run through the wash so you can start wearing your new clothes and I can start pummelling you with the new pillows in their cases?”

“Funny you should bring that up. I was going to ask you this evening if you would care to keep me company tomorrow while I did my laundry,” Lucas said. Then grinned and asked, “So does this mean you are laying down a challenge to a pillow fight rematch?”

“It would appear so, brave enough to accept? And sure I’d be happy to keep you company while you do your laundry as long as you don’t go too early. Sundays are supposed to be a day of rest. And I take my sleeping in very serious,” Lori said grinning back picking up a pillow and giving it a test swish through the air.

Lucas took a step back putting his hand up in a defensive gesture declaring, “Since you find me so confident, I would damage my reputation if I didn’t accept your challenge. So I accept, but can we schedule the rematch for later when the pillows are in their new cases? I believe you have a tale to tell at the moment.”

“So I do, but first we really should finish what we started before our delivery interruptions,” Lori said putting down the pillow and heading back to the kitchen.

Lucas had an excellent suggestive retort about what she’d been starting and needed to finish but thought better of it. He joined her in the kitchen and they soon had it put rights. As they finished, he asked, “Care for an after dinner drink?”

“Sure, sounds good, I’ll bartend. The usual Lucas? ” Lori asked as she reached in to the freezer for a tray of ice.

“Please,” Lucas said reaching up above the sink for a couple of glasses then setting them on the counter.

Lori emptied the last of Vodka in to a glass. There was just enough for a double shot. Lucas said, “Since I was the one who drank it all, I’m going to have see about replacing that bottle for you.”

“No need,” Lori answered reaching in to a lower cabinet and producing a brand new bottle setting it on the cabinet. She rinsed out the empty one before tossing it in to the recycle bin. She fixed herself a DiSarrona on the rocks.

Leaning against the counter, Lucas said after taking an appreciative sip of his drink, “Lori, you are spoiling me too much. I really must insist you let me repay in some way.”

“I’ll think about it,” Lori said with a devilish grin as she put the ice tray back in to the freezer. She crossed over to Lucas putting her arms around his neck giving him a hug and as she did slipped a piece of ice down his shirt collar. She quickly backed away from him towards the door giggling.

“You little minx,” Lucas said as he set down his drink and pulled his shirt tail out of his jeans trying to dislodge the piece of ice When it fell in to his hand, he said, “I should turn you over my knee for this.”

With that statement, Lori doubled over crying with laughter her back to him. Lucas could not figure out what he had said that had struck her so funny but capitalized on the opportunity to have his revenge by coming up behind her and sliding his hand in to the front of her shirt holding the piece of ice in place just above her breast against her warm skin.


 

Comments

lsm71059
Jun. 20th, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)
A little romance you shall have...............eventually ;)

NO, thank you for validating my little musings.

You are such the woman!!!

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