That Ben had died and she had lived was a constant reminder of the underlying problem of their work. Another problem was who had done it, and where in the multiverse had they gone?
Moriarty had nothing on Ben's brother, Caleb.
She walked back to the bathroom and picked up the stick. Positive. Candace studied herself in the mirror for a long moment. It was the third test she'd taken that day and three days past when she should have ended her period.
Sitting down on the toilet, she held her head in her hands and tried to force down some deep breaths. James had been so distant lately and the last time they'd made love it had been perfunctory and quick. She hadn't even orgasmed. Not that she did manage that most times they made love anymore.
"Shit... Shit shit SHIT!" What the Hell could she even do about it? Nothing really. She wanted kids, but not if James couldn't even give her the time of day. She had to talk to him about this when he got home.
Being an average Friday, he would probably be home late, so she had to call him to try and get home earlier. She cleaned up the box and set the stick on top of the bathroom cabinet that stood above the toilet. Then she proceeded to clean.
First the bathrooms, then the kitchen and living room. She called James to ask if he could get home early tonight since she really needed to talk to him about something important. Once laundry was done and everything was dusted and she had finished vacuuming, she finally felt like she could relax.
Any time she was really stressed out, she would clean. After sitting for fifteen minutes, she was in the basement, cleaning and sorting through the random junk being stored there. By six o'clock she was exhausted and filthy, so she decided to take a shower before James got home.
As she towel dried her hair, she heard his key in the lock and quickly got dressed. Meeting him in the living room, she offered him a drink. He smiled at her questioningly as he took off his shoes.
"Candace, what's up..." He jiggled his Scotch glass inquisitively. "Come sit."
She smiled tensely but didn't sit. Instead, she paced, trying to formulate how she wanted to say what she needed to say. He had almost finished his scotch.
"Would you like another one?" She really wanted a drink too, but she couldn't, obviously. He was losing his patience.
"No Candy, I'd like to know what the Hell is going on. The house is spotless, you're a pacing nervous wreck and you're trying to get me liquored up. Spit it out already." For as stern as his subject matter, he seemed remarkably calm and gentle.
She held up a finger to indicate wait a minute and trotted to the bathroom while holding back tears. He hadn't talked to her like that in years.
She returned with the test and held it out guiltily.
James blinked at it for a split second before he was on his feet, embracing her first, then picking her up and spinning her around.
"This is great news!" Candace herd his words and felt his enthusiasm, but all she felt was dread.
She returned to his place at the bar with a mysterious and large glass of what looked like a margarita.
"Don't over think it, just give it a try. You'll like this, I can tell." Her eyes were glowing and she had on a mischievous little half-grin. He sniffed at it doubtfully before taking a sip. It was a margarita, but there were a couple extra ingredients that made his tastebuds stand up at attention.
"See? I told you you'd like it." She grinned wider. "You're gonna want to eat something with that, though. What'll it be?" She already had out her notepad and a pen from her apron and was waiting patiently.
"Cheeseburger with pickled jalopenos on the side. French fries and a small side of ranch." She nodded her approval, grinned again and walked over to put in his order and help some other customers who had just come in.
He was still trying to figure out what to say to her when she came over with an ice water and asking if he'd like a refill. She'd have to charge him for the next one, though. He nodded yes and managed to smile back. Not the debonnaire smile that he used to pick up women, but his own, slightly goofy one.
He was still mentally beating himself up when he noticed the three people come in and take turns hugging his mystery woman. In all of the excitement, he still hadn't caught her name. hi