Warnings: Netiquette violations: language and adult situations
Further warnings: If you are a Rachel Quest fan read no further - delete now.
Disclaimer: See Prologue.
We arrive back at the hotel after a very strangely silent ride. Hadji holds out his hand to assist me from the van. I manage to mumble a "Thank you." He gives me a shy smile and takes off to walk beside Jonny before Jonny can notice he isn't walking beside him.
At the elevator we come across Special Agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder of the FBI. "Will Harkness!"
Fox Mulder holds out his hand. I shake it and ask what are they doing here. Before replying to my question Scully gives me a long suffering-look. "X-files."
"Oh, the Vodun activity?" Dana nods her head yes. Mulder is looking like the cat that swallowed the canary.
After the round of introductions while waiting for the elevator, Scully asks, "And what is your function in the Quest Team, Agent Harkness?"
Jonny's seemingly innocent voice responds, "Will is Race's assistant. She performs functions for Dad that Race can't. Will fulfills Dad's needs in ways that none of the rest of us can." I can feel the heat rising in my cheeks. Jonny and Hadji both flash each other a knowing smile. Mercifully the elevator arrives.
The FBI Agents' rooms are on the ninth floor also. Both groups bid each other a good afternoon, with promises of getting together later to compare notes over the Vodun activity.
Jonny asks if it's all right for him and Hadji to go swimming. Race tells the boys sure; he will join them shortly.
Benton is sitting on the couch staring into space. I am sitting at the table tracing a water stain. Race is leaning against one of the bedroom doors watching both of us. The boys come out of their room with their towels. Race escorts them out of the suite.
I wish I knew what Benton is thinking. One of the thoughts that keeps circling around my mind is, *I have nothing personal against witches. I just wouldn't want to be married to one.* I think I am going to be sick.
The following morning the Quest Team and the two FBI Agents go to Café du Monde for beignets, and cafe au lait. Race looks at everyone before announcing, "It's going to be a long day, I noticed this morning in the newspaper that there was another possibly Voodoo related murder last night."
Mulder suggests that he and Scully start at the police station to see if they can get more details on last night's murder. Race has made a list of Voodoo shops listed in the phone book. The Quest Team will check the shops on the list. You never know when you might get lucky and find a lead. I will leave the group to follow up on my leads. I know some people who will talk to me, but only to me. I am returning to my grandparents La Croix's house, where I will try to learn what I need to fight my sister Angelique.
It's late by the time I return to the hotel room. The teenagers have long since gone to bed. Fox and Race give me a brief summary of what they have learned today. At the hotel Mulder learns that he may be the paranormal expert, but I know more about Voodoo. I confirm that the murder last night was indeed Voodoo related. It is a warning for anyone who tries to oppose the Bokor. I write out a list of places that you won't find listed in a phone book that might provide better resources.
A few days later things are still no better between Benton and me. There is a polite distance between us. To the FBI agents this seems natural, but to Race and Hadji it's unnerving. The boys and Bannon are used to seeing Benton and I blush at a word, or a glance. We can always find reasons for touching, a caress here, a touch there, walking our fingers across the other's back. Oh, we can find hundreds of reasons and ways to touch each other. Now we don't talk and as for touching . . . Even Jonny is becoming unnerved by this turn of events. There is more to blame for this distance than just the Vodun problems and our inability to find Angelique.
The days and nights continue in this fashion until October 23. I can't take this polite silence between Benton and myself any more, not on our first anniversary. After the FBI agents left for their rooms I confronted Benton.
"I can't stand this distance between us any more, Benton, I don't blame you for hating me." I'm standing close enough to him that I can whisper just in case Jonny and Hadji aren't asleep, as they should be.
"No. That isn't it. Don't you have any faith in me, Will? Why did you feel that you couldn't tell me about your heritage or anything else about yourself? I don't understand why you have been so dishonest with me, Wilhelmina." He looks at me. I can see the hurt in his eyes. "Do you believe that my love for you is so shallow that it couldn't survive the truth? Well, do you? Damn it, Will! Zin knows more about you than I do."
"Benton, you know that isn't true." I look at him pleadingly.
"Maybe he doesn't know about your family; however, there were some other things that he does know about---such as your annulled previous marriage."
"What does that have to do with this?" I whisper to him in the high hopes that he will keep his voice low.
"You haven't been honest with me about many things." The Doctor scowls at me, but his eyes tell a different story. I flinch away from the hurt I see in his eyes. I start to say something, but he stops me. "Why did you wait so long before you told me you were pregnant? Maybe all cats do look gray in the dark." He throws my poison dart back at me. Before I know what is happening I slap him. Both of my hands fly to cover my mouth as waves of nausea and dizziness slam into me. Struck mute I can only watch as he slams the door behind him.
I turn around. Race is politely pretending to not have heard a word of the fight. He pats my shoulder as he walks by me. "He didn't mean what he said, Will. I'll stay with him until he cools off and calms down enough to talk."
I mutely shake my head. As I finish the circle I am turning in I notice a door that is partially open; standing in the dark looking at me are Hadji and Jonny. Hadji wears a hurt and sick expression as he calms a 'ready to explode at any moment' Jonny.
Jonny shakes Hadji's hand off his shoulder, and delivers one more 'death by glare' look in my direction before whirling around to disappear into the darker reaches of the bedroom. Hadji will not even raise his head to look at me. He softly closes the door.
This is turning into some first wedding anniversary! I dash away a tear and start to leave the suite. Taking a deep breath I pick up the phone. "Mulder, Doctor Quest and Race had to leave. My contact has some vital information for me and wants to meet me now. I can't leave the boys alone. Fox, would you mind watching the kids until the Doctor and Race gets back?"
The time between the phone call and his arrival seems interminable. I am pacing the floor. "What's taking Mulder so long?" I ask myself out loud.
Finally, there is a knock at the door. I step past Mulder as I open it for him.
"I'm sorry, Agent Mulder, but I really don't have time to explain." I don't see Race or Benton as I flee the hotel.
Once I am back at the La Croix house I try to reeducate myself on my heritage. I don't have much luck that night or the following day. I keep rereading the same sentence over, and over, and over again. At some point the following afternoon I fall into an uneasy sleep.
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