Title: Overnight Therapy
Spoilers: Season Seven
Summary: Lucas North has someone to confide in and take care of him when the nightmares and bad flashbacks happen.
Disclaimer: All Spooks Characters are the intellectual property of the BBC.
The Inspiration for this story was taken from the song "South City Midnight Lady" by the Doobie Brothers
(Time Line for chapter: Just Prior to Episode 7.04)
Lucas was going to speak of his inspired revenge but the words stuck in his throat. He was captivated peering over her shoulder with rapt fascination putting his free hand on her hip as she covered his hand with both of hers. Slowly straightening up, Lori guided his hand with the ice cube up her chest on to her neck and then over the chin finally landing on her lips leaving behind a wet trail that made her skin glisten.
Reaching the intended destination, Lori sucked the ice cube out of his palm and in to her mouth. She released his hand then proceeded to chew the ice cube and swallow.
Lucas released the pent up breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. She was such an erotic creature whether meaning to be or not. The touch of her hands on his, the feel of her breath and lips against his palm, her body however lightly up against his and his hand on her hip, the glistening of her skin had him stirred in to an early state of arousal. He moved his hand from her lips over to her chin cupping it lightly.
Lori leaned in to his touch for a moment before turning around to face Lucas. She tucked her hands in to the back pockets of jeans and looked down at the floor before speaking very softly, “I was wondering after we finish our after dinner drinks if you would be inclined to accompany me on a stroll to nowhere in to particular. I could do with bit a fresh air.”
Lucas looked down at her with a tender smile. He noted the slight blush which he knew would be on her cheeks. It seemed to be her way to first react to then deflect away from intimate situations. He was determined at the right moment to discover what the cause of her shyness was. But for now, he lifted her chin so that he could look in to her eyes in order she could see his intentions were honourable. He said, “It would be my pleasure.”
“It’s appreciated,” Lori said quietly as she gently turned out of his touch and back towards the counter to fix her drink.
Lucas took a moment to tuck his shirt back in before joining her at the counter. He finished off what was left in his own glass before cracking open the new bottle of Vodka and refilling his glass. He thought of once again telling her that she spoiled him too much but didn’t. It seemed to give her such pleasure to be able to do it.
Lori held her glass up in salute giving him an impish smile and saying, “Here’s to our upcoming little jaunt and to you not being too bored by listening to me ramble about my time in the Navy and Joe G.”
Lucas clinked his glass with hers smiling and replying, “To the jaunt and I can guarantee I won’t be bored.”
Lori leaned against the counter with her ankles crossed and one hand gripping the counter as she sipped her drink. It was Lucas’ turned to mimic her stance. He watched her out of the corner of her eye wondering what was going through that phenomenal mind of hers. A moment later she said thoughtfully looking straight ahead instead of at him twirling the ice in her glass, “Minx, huh?”
Lucas said gently, “It suits you.”
“Which part of the definition.......?” Lori asked trailing off looking over at him then shook her hand in a negative gesture. She continued, “Never mind, I don’t really want to know which one you find suits me.”
Lucas smirked a bit at her wanting but not wanting to know which part of the definition of minx he had in mind for her. He said, “I’ll guarantee you it is a positive one, not negative.”
“Fair enough, moving on then,” Lori said obviously not wanting to pursue the subject any further. She drained the rest of her drink and set her glass in the sink.
Lucas did the same then asked, “Are we ready then?”
“Not quite, there’s a bit of business I want to get out of the way before we go,” Lori said reaching out for Lucas’ hand and leading him in to the living room and over to the couch to sit. She stared down at his hand she was holding in her lap. He sensed she was struggling with what she wanted to say next. He put his hand over the ones they were holding and gave it a slight squeeze of encouragement. She took a breath then looked up in to Lucas’ eyes saying, “I’m not very good at expressing sentiment but I wanted to say this week has been one of the most pleasurable weeks I’ve had in a very long time. And that is due entirely to you and your kindness of giving me the great gift of your time and company.”
Lucas started to respond but Lori put her free hand up to his lips pressing her fingers against them for a moment. She continued taking her hand off his lips, reaching over for the shopping bag and handing it to him, “Shhh, no, no, don’t say anything till I’ve finished. This is a little something to say thank you and to perhaps.........well, open it and I’ll explain.”
Lucas was touched by her words and kindness to him. He released her hand, sliding the two presents and card out of the sack on to his lap. He opened the card first. The front was a pencil sketch of two wolves, one sitting and one standing. Both were howling up the full moon. Opening the card, he read in her bold handwriting:
Thank you for keeping me company while I howled at the moon this week. It’s been a real pleasure getting to know a little of what makes Lucas, Lucas. Please accept these as a token of my gratitude. I hope they will be of comfort to you when the need to express one’s self comes and the words can’t find a voice. As you have done, please allow me the honour of repaying you by being a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen anytime it’s needed. Here’s to the adventures we’ve had so far and those to come. As you Brits say, Cheers!
Lucas thought, “By now anything Lori says or does shouldn’t take me by surprise, but once again she’s managed.”
He was overcome by the sentiment and his eyes glistened from unshed tears. Setting the card off to the side, He blinked them away and picked up the smaller of the two packages first. Deftly removing the ribbon and wrapping paper, Lucas noted the Mont Blanc logo on the lid before opening the box and peering down at the pen. He said in a husky emotion filled voice, “This is too much, you shouldn’t have.”
“No, it’s not near enough. Now go on, open the other one,” Lori said in what Lucas knew to be her kind but firm voice that would bode no argument.
“Very well,” He said as he took the pen out of the box and slipped it in to his shirt pocket before putting the box to the side with the card. Opening the large box and folding the back the tissue paper, he ran his hand along the binding feeling the finely crafted leather before taking it out and opening it. On the corner of the inside cover, Lori had inscribed today’s date and his name.
Lori covered his hand with hers gazing at them then launched in to a lengthy explanation why she had given Lucas the journal and pen. She said, “There’s been many a time when I either had no one to express my thoughts to or just couldn’t talk about what was going on with me. When my parents died, I used to spend hours writing down anything that came to mind in a spiral notebook. I must have filled over fifty of them that first year. But it brought me a sense of peace and comfort that nothing else could. So, I thought perhaps in view of your current circumstances, this might do the same for you. I’ve seen that fleeting intense haunted look in your eyes before. And I know it only comes from someone who has been through a recent very traumatic experience. I don’t want you feeling self conscious, I’m sure no one else notices. From the few things I’ve pieced together through our conversations, I’m pretty positive you were in the same prison or one very much like it that Stephen was and had dealings with the same person he did. It’s totally up to you if you want to tell me the particulars. He never could voice his experiences so I encouraged him to write it all down. After it was finished, he put it in a box, tied it up with ribbons and put it away telling me that there would come a time, and he knew I’d know when, to sit down and read it. I’ve only recently been able to honour him by reading it. And that’s enough about that for now; I don’t mean to make you uncomfortable by talking about Stephen so much. You have got to stop me from going on so.”
Lucas gave her his sideways glance that said she wasn’t going on too much, but did reassure her by trying to keep his voice as steady as he could in his emotional state saying, “Lori, you can talk about Stephen or anyone or anything anytime with me. I can’t tell you................
She got up from the sofa and extended her hand to Lucas. He was still absorbing all Lori had shared with him in the past few minutes but had enough presences of mind to willingly take the hand offered still holding on to the journal with the other. She cut him off by saying, “No need, there might be concern on your part about someone finding the journal and after being married to an intelligence type, I know how you spies or as you folks say spooks have to guard your privacy. If you will come with me, I will show a safe place you can keep the journal if you choose to do so.”
He nodded his acknowledgement and they made their way down the hall to the office. Lori dropped his hand, leaving him standing in the doorway. She made her way over to what looked to be three 4-drawer file cabinets standing side by side on the far wall. She pressed a button that blended in to the side seam on the middle cabinet. The middle two drawers were a false front that swung open to reveal a safe. Bending slightly, she lined up her eyes with the optical scan to open the safe door. There were a couple of shelves and two compartments with locks on them. She opened the top compartment with the key that was stuck in it revealing a space just large enough to accommodate two or three journals the size of which Lucas was holding in his hand. She rambled, “I think this will be secure enough for you to keep the journal in. You’ll have the only key to the compartment. And I’m the only one with the capability to program the optical scan to read an eye signature. You already have a key to the apartment, I mean flat, and here I thought I was getting used to using the Queen’s English, which I want you to hang on to so you can come and go as you please. Feel free to use the office or any place here to write. Have I covered the privacy issue to your satisfaction?”
Lucas observed intently intrigued by the workings of the safe. It dawned on him that she was very much used to having deal with a spook’s lifestyle and their need for security measures. He crossed the room in two strides to Lori placing the journal on top of the cabinet then gathering her up in his arms lifting her up off the floor and giving her a huge hug. He kissed her on the top of her head while setting her down then saying almost formally, “Very much to my satisfaction and more so. This is brilliant. You, as usual, have thought of everything. My sincerest thanks for the journal, pen and most of all for sharing the reason behind them; I will be happy to take you up on the kind offer to secure the journal.”
“Good answer, now let’s set up your optical scan. Hold your head just so,” Lori said closing up the safe and directing him where to move his head and guided it in to the exact position by holding it on both sides of his head. She said moving her hands away, “Now hold very still for a moment and whatever you do don’t blink.”
Lucas saw a brief flash of the strobe light before he had to blink. Straightening up, he apologized still blinking trying to clear the spots from his eyes, “Sorry, the light made me blink. Do we need to do it again?”
“Nope, you did just fine. Let’s give it a try, shall we?” Lori said.
Lucas nodded and put his eyes in line with the optical scan. It read it in five seconds and the safe door popped open. Reaching in to extract the key and handing it to Lucas, She said, “Perfect, and here’s your key.”
“Thank you,” Lucas said accepting the key. He unlocked the compartment and placed the journal inside. Locking it back up, shutting the safe door and pocketing the key, he asked turning towards Lori, “Was the haunted look you saw before Stephen’s?”
“Yes, his was one of them. Have a seat, and I’ll explain. It is part of my Navy career tale I promised to let you know about,” Lori said gesturing towards her oversized leather executive chair.
Lucas took the seat offered. Wanting to have her closer to him, he reached out for Lori drawing her down on to his lap and said, “There now that’s much better. Let’s hear your tale.”
He was pleased she didn’t fuss or try to move away from him. Instead she reclined her head on to his shoulder, drew her legs up on to his lap and put her hands on the arm wrapped around her waist. He heard a very soft contented sigh before she launched into her narrative, “My Navy career was spent as a Naval Aviator.”
Lucas couldn’t resist asking, “What inspired you in to that field of endeavour?”
“Flying is second nature to me. It’s a bit hard to explain, but when I’m up there, I feel in total control of my destiny. Actually, I think I didn’t choose to fly, it chose me.”
“How so? There must be a story behind that statement,” Lucas said wanting to know.
Lori lifted her head to look at Lucas saying, “There is and I’ll tell it to you. But aren’t I getting a bit heavy for you to hold? I should get up and sit in my own chair. Can I get you something to drink?”
Lucas put his arms tighter around Lori’s waist answering, “You are not too heavy and you have a seat right here. I’m fine. Quit stalling and talk to me.”
“Fine, but you are the one who will have cramps in your legs,” Lori said with a half smile.
Lucas said giving her a look that said she wasn’t getting out of telling him the story, “If I do, you can rub them out for me.”
“Then I best get started so you don’t cramp up. When my parents and siblings died, my world as I knew it ceased to exist. Being only Nine, I didn’t really comprehend the finality of it all. On the day of the funeral, I thought if I hid and they couldn’t find me, then my family wouldn’t be buried and they could come back to me. Our next door neighbours, the Barons, had two sons, Eric, my best friend, who was ten and Alexander, sixteen. Alexander had a Chevy pickup with a hydraulic cover on the back of the bed. I managed to sneak out of the house just before sunrise. Made my way over to his truck, get the back open, crawled in and after an hour of hiding fell asleep. Next thing I knew the truck was rumbling down the road. When it stopped, I peeked out the back to discover we were at their Great Uncle Max’s air field where Alexander had a part time job. Wanting to get a closer look at the planes, I got out of the back and went in to the air hangar. Alexander spied me almost immediately. He came over and asked if I wanted to go for a hop. I said sure not knowing what a hop was but if it had to do with hanging out with him, I was so there. He was my first major crush and I hero worshipped him. God bless him, he was very tolerant of letting me shadow him all the time. In fact, he’s the one that gave me my call sign.”
“Which is?” Lucas asked, fearing she’d forget to tell him what it was if he didn’t make a point of it.
“Snoopy, you know after the beagle in the Peanuts comics. Alexander said I was his faithful companion and he knew how I so enjoyed the Peanuts gang, especially Snoopy with his Sopwith Camel. So that was his special nickname for me. Anyway, back to the day of the funeral, he said he needed to go in to the office to clear the hop with his Uncle Max. When in reality, he went to call my Grandparents to let them know I was safe. Uncle Max came in to the hangar, asked me if I was the new pilot he’d requisitioned, and proceeded to strap me in to the co-pilot’s seat of a twin engine Cessna. Before I knew it, we were up in the air and he was giving me my first flying lesson. I took to it faster than anyone he’d ever saw. It was so exhilarating and liberating to up in the air,” Lori spouted all in one breath. Lucas had to smile at the sparkle in her eye as she spoke of flying. He gave her a little nod to continue.
“By the time we landed, my Grandparents along with Alexander were waiting on the tarmac for us. I wasn’t thrilled they were there because I knew it meant I had to go to the funeral. Uncle Max unstrapped us telling me he’d speak to them about me taking regular flying lessons if I apologized for worrying them. That seemed to lessen the blow. I walked up to them looking at my shoes and murmured my apology.
Grandpa knelt down and instead of reprimanding me gave me one of his big bear hugs saying that he loved me and there wasn’t anything I couldn’t talk to him about ever. There was no need to run. Then he got what I referred to as “the stink eye” from Grandma. Grandpa always talked to me as if I were an adult and not a child. He said if I didn’t want to go to the funeral, I didn’t have to. I could stay at the air field. But, in his opinion it would be something I would regret the rest of my life not taking the opportunity to say one last goodbye
I couldn’t bear to look at my Grandma because I just knew she’d have that “I’m very disappointed in you” look on her face. So instead, I turned to Alexander to ask his opinion. He concurred with Grandpa. So, it was settled I’d go to the funeral with Alexander and his brother Eric as my escorts and Uncle Max would see me on a regular basis for flying lessons.
With Alexander on one side and Eric on the other, I went to the funeral and said my goodbyes. I know a lot of people couldn’t understand why it was the Baron boys by my side and not relatives. But to me, they were who I needed and my Grandparents understood that. They made sure I was shielded from prying eyes. After everyone had departed the cemetery, Alexander and Eric were the ones who stayed with me at the grave sides after everyone else had left till I was ready to go. On the drive back to the house, Alexander told me that I could count on him to be there whenever I needed him and if he wasn’t available Eric would be. Eric nodded solemnly not saying anything because he was in awe his big brother would bestow him with such an awesome responsibility. And to this day, those two have been true to that promise,” Lori finished seeming to be wore out from relating her story.
Lucas had to admire that this woman in his arms had been through such a tragedy and had had such great family and friends to lean on. He reached up and guided her head back down to his shoulder. He stroked her hair a couple of times before saying, “Seems you were destined then to fly.”
“Yep, so it would seem,” Lori answered. They sat for a few more minutes in their companionable silence as Lucas continued to stroke her hair and hold her. She absently stroked his arm with one hand and wrapped the other around his forearm.
When she spoke again, Lucas detected a note of weariness in her voice she tried to hide but it hadn’t been there before, “Let’s take five, use the facilities, get a couple of bottles of water and go for that stroll I mentioned earlier, ok?”
“If you like,” Lucas said releasing her from his hold. After spending a week with her, he knew it was just as much for her benefit as his that there be a change of venue.
Lori straightened out her legs making her knees pop as she did. Then got up and stretched her arms over her head making her elbows pop too. She rolled her neck and it cracked. Lucas sat watching her wondering how much she physically hurt because it all sounded so painful. He said, “Remember, I do owe you that massage I promised earlier.”
“I remember. Perhaps when we return or I know you’ll be good for a rain check, right?” Lori asked.
“Yes, I will honour my promise whenever you wish,” Lucas said getting up. He excused himself to go across to his place on the premise he wanted to put on a pair of trainers for their walk. Lori escorted him to the door handing him his dress shoes. He accepted them with a hug before crossing to his place. While he quickly used the facilities and slipped on his trainers, he pondered all that had happened over the evening. To say the least, spending time with Lori was always unpredictable and never boring. And there was still the rest of the evening to hear about the Navy career and her boss Joe G. He finished up and let himself back in to her place. She was coming down the hall ready to go.
- Current Location:Home
- Current Mood: nostalgic
- Current Music:"Learn To Fly" by Foo Fighters