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Overnight Therapy - Chapter Thirty-Four


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-Four

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?”

She’d been thinking about creating their own little Oriental getaway on the walk up the stairs so Lori said with a grin as she followed him in and closed door, “There’s always a third option.”

“And that would be?” Lucas asked.

Hoping he find the idea appealing Lori said, “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.”

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 honestly as she placed her shopping bags on the end table. She was dying to take off her coat and shoes. So she found the nearest chair to toss the coat on and slipped off her boots setting 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 as she formulated her response. She said as she headed down the hall to collect a few things she thought would help set the mood, “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.”

First stop was the bedroom. She went over to the bureau and bent down to the bottom drawer pulling out a gorgeous red silk shawl that Stephen had bought her while they were together in Hong Kong. Lori wasn’t surprised to feel watching Lucas watching her from the doorway. When she straightened and turned to look, he was leaning against the door jam. Holding it up, she 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.

Wanting to make him feel useful, 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. 

Lori went in the opposite direction, laying out the shawl on the coffee table before heading in to the kitchen. She noticed that one of the lower cabinet doors hadn’t been closed all the way. Opening it up, she was pleased to see the service had been in to deliver the six of bottles of Vodka that had been requested. She shut the door tightly then proceeded with washing her hands. She caught Lucas out of the corner of her eye go past with his hands full. Putting the kettle on for tea first, Lori collected the place settings and some candles to take out to the living room. 

Lori saw as she came back in Lucas had accomplished hooking up the laptop to the flat screen. She began setting up the table. As Lucas made his way down the hall to the bathroom, she watched his retreating back. She thought, “I hope it’s not just my wishing it were so, but I do think Lucas is beginning to look much better than he did when I arrived on Sunday night. Here’s hoping tonight is his breakthrough night.”

She went back to setting the table, distributing the candles throughout and lighting them, switching off the lamps then finally turning on the laptop and bringing up her Oriental playlist to finish setting the mood. Satisfied it had an Oriental feel, she went to the kitchen and made the tea using her Chinese teapot. Returning with the teapot and cups, she went ahead and poured out the soup in to the soup bowls adding a generous handful of wontons to each of them.

She took a seat on one of the cushions just as Lucas came back in.  Lori patted the empty one next to her. She 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. The tea was decaffeinated and said to have a very soothing effect on those that drank it.

“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 praying the soup wouldn’t be too spicy for her stomach. She took a taste and said, “I like this, it has a bit of kick but not too spicy that I can’t eat it.”

Lucas asked, “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. She always felt a little embarrassed when it came to blowing her horn.

Lucas 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 was pleased he seemed to have every intention of continuing to keep company with her.  

She picked up his plate and couldn’t resist being a bit naughty by asking, “So it’s my turn to ask, what’s your pleasure Lucas?”

Lucas 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. She wanted him to eat till he was so full he couldn’t move.

He picked up his chopsticks and began to tackle the mountain of food Lori had put on his plate. She watched how graceful he was using the chopsticks out of the corner of her eye. 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. After eating all of her soup, she really wasn’t all that hungry anymore but knew Lucas would fuss if she didn’t try to eat some of the other food. She picked a fork and began to eat. 

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. She really was envious at the dexterity Lucas displayed eating with the chopsticks.

“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 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.”

With Lucas controlling her hand, Lori was actually able to eat a few bites using the chopsticks. But as soon as he released her to do it on her own, like it had always been 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,” pointing to the chopsticks.

Lucas kept his arm around Lori resting his hand on her hip. She rather enjoyed the feel of it. 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.”

Without thinking about how it sounded, Lori said passionately, “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.” Feeling a bit sheepish she’d went on so, she said as her rant wound down, “Ok, ok, I’ll get off my soap box now.”

Lucas gave her a squeeze with the arm he had around her. He asked with his disarming 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 firmly. Then becoming shy because she knew there was no way possible Lucas could ever be intimated by the likes of her, 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.

Then wanting to set the record straight about how she was when in business mode, Lori 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.”

Lucas said, “I understand about failure not being an option. In my line of work it could be the difference between life and death.”

Wanting to let him know she could empathise with him on that front, Lori said, “I can relate. When I was in the Navy it was that way a lot.”

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?”

Even though Lori knew Lucas did indeed have high enough security clearance to at least see most of her military record, she carefully said, “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.”

 “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 as she inwardly mourned the loss of his arm around her.

Removing the tea cosy and picking up the pot, Lucas poured out the tea.  He said, “Looks like we will have enough left over for a second meal.”

Sharing her thoughts on having Chinese leftovers, 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. It was nice just to sit here and share a cup of tea with him.

“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. She was delighted Lucas had broached the topic before she had the chance.

“So you are friends besides being Colleagues?” Lucas asked as leaned back against the sofa and watched Lori talk about Nick and Joe.

Closing up the food containers, stacking the dishes and silverware and generally straightening up the table as she talked, Lori said “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,” her voice filled with admiration for her boy. 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 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 knowing she’d probably told him way more than he’d bargained hearing about.

“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. There was close to thirty years of Intel she could impart about Joe if he really was so inclined to hear about him. But surely Lucas just wanted the highlights and not details.

“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.

 “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. It was time to get up and move about before she got too stiff from sitting so long.  The Country Life was not for her at all and never had been.

“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. Her Uncles had always taken every opportunity they could to let her know what a great undertaking it had been to for Grandpa and Grandma to raise her at their advanced age. In their opinion, she didn’t show them enough gratitude for their sacrifice in doing so.  She knew her Grandparents never felt that way, and figured her Uncles were jealous of the attention paid to her. There was the big falling out when her Grandparents’ wills had been read and basically left everything to her instead of them. So when the two had passed, it hadn’t been sad for her at all.  It was more of a huge relief she'd not have to be lectured to by them ever again.

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 was enjoying this cheeky Lucas. But she couldn’t resist rolling eyes at him then give 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,” Lori said then knowing it was futile to say it but did anyway finished with, “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.”

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. And Lori was a bit disappointed when instead he picked up the tray to take the kitchen saying, “Stay put, I’ll finish the clearing up.”

Not one to set still and do nothing when she could be busy helping, 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. Making her way over to the front door, she could feel Lucas’ eyes on her and it made her smile that he thought she needed watched over. It had been ages since anyone had done that for her. She looked in to the peephole before opening it. Greeting the shop girl from the bed and linen boutique with a nod and a smile and she returning the same handed Lori two oversized bags before disappearing from view. Lori took a moment to empty her hands of the bags before shutting door. When she turned round to do so, there was Mr. Norton standing in the doorway with both hands full. Figuring it was easier to direct him over to the dining table then to try and take his packages, she motioned him in and over.

Lucas came out from the kitchen and 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 knowing that most shop keepers worldwide would be accommodating to anyone who spent a great deal in their store in hopes for return business. Thinking all the new clothes and linens needed run through the wash with a good dose of fabric softener added she 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 in anticipation of a rematch. She couldn’t resist 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. It seemed she'd had good luck so far getting him to open up more so when they did the washing up together. But this time it was not to be.

As they finished, Lucas 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 to make her drink with.

“Please,” Lucas said reaching up above the sink for a couple of glasses then setting them on the counter. Lori was tempted to see if he was ticklish or not when he put his arm up in the air but resisted the impulse. She’d save that for another time.

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 wanted him to know there was plenty to drink and he was welcome to it. 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 what looked to be 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. The Devil sitting on her shoulder told her that Lucas looked like he could use an ice cube down his shirt. So she crossed over to Lucas putting her arms around his neck giving him a hug and as she did slipped it down his shirt collar. She quickly backed away from him towards the door giggling. Lori knew there would be retaliation and felt it best to be just out of reach.

“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.”

Between his statement, which brought the memory of the vision she'd had of turning him over her knee on the way back from the park the other morning and the sight of him trying to get the ice cube out of shirt, Lori doubled over crying with laughter. She made the mistake of turning her back to him. She felt his breath on her neck before his hand sliding in to her shirt and combination of the sensation of the cold of the ice cube and the warmth of his hand around it. 


 
 
 

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
alexandra_vieir
Jun. 22nd, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
“I hope it’s not just my wishing it were so, but I do think Lucas is beginning to look much better than he did when I arrived on Sunday night. Here’s hoping tonight is his breakthrough night.”

I'm hoping!!!! ;-)
What do you mean? He'll open up to her about elisaveta?...
I would like to know what this is, with her I mean, it really looks like he has some effect on her but is it really what we are thinking (and hoping)? Wouldn't that be a little unprofessional? Did she do this with all the other men she "fixed"?... Is he different? Do you understand what I'm saying? Is he going to feel kind of used or something? What happens if he falls for her and she doesn't? What if she does too? OHHHHHHHHH write faster woman! I want to know what happens next!!!
lsm71059
Jun. 23rd, 2009 12:32 am (UTC)
She's hoping he will open up about everything and anything. There is no professional or unprofessional about what she is doing. It's something totally unique.

Lori doesn't have to manufacture being a very caring person who can recognize when someone is hurting and could use a shoulder. She's one of those that people either gravitate to and adore or absolutely loathe her. There doesn't seem to be anything in between where she is concerned. But it is true, Lucas and she did hit it off right off the get go.

All of her other 'boys' save two of them still to this day do not know they were an assignment. Lori became lifelong friends with all of them and she chose to stay in touch them. It was not a requirement, she did it because she cared. So there is no reason to think that anything will be different with Lucas to that end.

Also, Stephen was her husband. Her last name is now Montgomery, her wedding license and her rings are safely tucked away in the Mausoleum with Stephen. Donovan and Stephen were the two that knew what she really did to help the "boys". And Stephen had no problem with her keeping in touch.

Also, no, she did not get romantically involved with the others. That's why Stephen had to chase for so long, smiles.

I'll start working on it for you. Hope this answers your questions.

betty_eyes
Jun. 24th, 2009 01:04 am (UTC)
Sorry for the delay. Busy week and a lot of updates on my friend's page. I discovered it through DF but you know this is my home. So here it is.


++“I hope it’s not just my wishing it were so, but I do think Lucas is beginning to look much better than he did when I arrived on Sunday night. Here’s hoping tonight is his breakthrough night.”++
If she means "looking good" as hot (which I think she doesn't), Lucas was THIS HOT all the time, baby!!! But so good to know she is (you are) taking a note on that.
If she means "looking good" a step forward his "therapy", Of course he is. He's open and smiling and showing some "male" behaviour at last... And that's thanks to her, the darling, patient and extremely strange kind of sweet Lori.

++what’s your pleasure Lucas?”++ Beware what you ask, Lori... You may get a true answer and then.... I WILL BE SOOOOOOOOOOOOO HAPPY!!!

About the chopsticks must be with Lucas, so nice to find she's clumsy about something... I'm a mess with them, more food out of my plate than into my mouth NEED A TUTHOR HERE, Lucas. *rising and waving her hand*. And it's kind of sexy to have his hands all around (in the most innocence of the senses :P) while eating.

** “Do you know how good you are for my ego?”** Well, Lucas, darling... We discovered that about three or four chapters ago.

**“I should turn you over my knee for this.”** That's your (dirty) mind speaking for you, Lucas? Look, I don't blame you... It's eight years I know LOL!

Sometimes you made me forget they've been knowing each other for such a short time. It seems they've been chemical-reaction-kind of bestfriends like forever.

And I don't know If I'm wrong but Lori suggested to have dinner at home so they can talk about something, what is it? What happen to the presents she bought for him? Do we have any chance to find a topless Lucas while laundry like Lori could do as a favor and "ooops, sorry I spill my tea over your shirt what a silly girl I am you need to wash this inmediately, let me help you" sort of thing? Am I ever gonna end this comment?

I only have the answer for the last one. Yes, this very minute.
Thanks for another joyful chapter and hope to read you soon again.

Hugs!

Laura

lsm71059
Jun. 24th, 2009 09:20 am (UTC)
Why do you say extremely strange kind of sweet Lori? Please explain further, I'm intrigued.

Good for his ego discovery, could you possibly be referring to a possible shower scene?

As to your other questions, I'm going to be answering them very soon. These two chapters were just the setup for them.

Hope things calm down for you soon!

Lori

mhj2009
Jul. 3rd, 2009 11:05 am (UTC)
I've really enjoyed reading this story on another site. It's great to have discovered your Live Journal site. Hanging out for the next chapter.
lsm71059
Jul. 3rd, 2009 01:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your commment. I'm working on it now. RL got in the way of writing the past couple of weeks.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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