"Frank was fond of his beer," Mrs. Henderson says, as she pours Rebecca a cup of tea. "And when he drank, he got... testy."
"Testy. Why on Earth did you put up with it this long?"
"With all due respect, Agent St. Clair, you're a working woman, not a married woman. I made a vow to stay with him, and I had no plans of breaking it."
Rebecca sighs, but she can see that there's no point in arguing. She would have thought that through a bit more before committing, had it been her - but it wasn't, and they've been in what Jack persists in calling the cursed cul-de-sac for three days now. (Jack thinks it's haunted; Charlie insists there's no such thing as ghosts; Phyllis and the Lovelace haven't been able to disprove either of them yet.)
"What happened on Saturday?" she says instead, hoping to get back to the matter at hand; Mrs. Henderson's husband is the fifth death in the neighborhood in three months, which is what brought it to their attention at the Warehouse.
"He had been drinking, as usual, and... normally, he stopped at shouting. I don't remember exactly what got to him beyond that, but he threw a vase at my head. After that, he said he wasn't feeling well and went upstairs. I went to get the broom and dustpan, to clean it up, and by the time I came back the vase was whole again."
Rebecca blinks; she doesn't need Jack here to know that sounds like Artifact activity if anything ever did. "And you're sure it broke?"
"As hard as it hit the wall, it must have done. Anyway, when I went upstairs, Frank wasn't breathing, and I called the ambulance."
"I see. Do you still have the vase?"
Mrs. Henderson nods, rising from the couch as she does so. "It's been going around the neighborhood all summer, actually," she says. "I think the Rosenbaums brought it with them when they moved in down the block. They're Jewish, you know - not that there's anything wrong with that - anyway, Elaine gave it to the Wilsons, I think, and we've all been passing it around ever since."
"We talked to the Wilsons," Rebecca says, half to herself (trying not to think about the three-year-old who knocked a vase off the coffee table quite by accident, according to her sobbing mother). But before she can say anything else, Jack - always one for impeccable timing - comes tearing into the living room.
"It's a vase, Becks, Mrs. Rosenbaum said her uncle--"
He stops short at the sound of pottery breaking on linoleum. In the few moments before Rebecca regains her senses enough to act, she can see the pieces of the vase moving toward each other, and Mrs. Henderson leaning rather heavily in the kitchen doorway.
"Jack," she says, "give me the canister. Now."
He blinks, then hands it over; Rebecca opens it and sloshes a good half of the neutralizer onto the pieces of the vase, before it can creep together any further.
"Smooth move, Becks," Jack says. "If this thing's that bad, how are we supposed to keep it from putting itself back together again on our way home with half the neutralizer soaking this poor woman's linoleum?"
"I rather thought it was better than her dying on the spot," Rebecca points out. "Anyway, you were saying, when you so rudely interrupted?"
"Talked to Mrs. Rosenbaum. She said her uncle ran a shop in Vienna - or used to, before Kristallnacht, and the next morning, that was the only thing inside that was still in one piece."
Rebecca can't suppress a shiver. "Somehow, I doubt that was the case the night before. I'm sorry, Mrs. Henderson--"
Mrs. Henderson waves a hand (the one that she's not still holding to her chest). "You can stop that thing from hurting anyone else, right?"
"We can," Jack says. "I really am sorry, I shouldn't have startled you like that."
"You two just get it out of here before we have another Susan Wilson in the neighborhood."
Jack frowns the way he does when he's having one of his damned vibes, but nods; Rebecca sets to work scooping the pieces of the vase, and what neutralizer she can, back into the canister.
It's two years after that case before Rebecca has reason to go into the Dark Vault, something she avoids whenever possible; there are enough reminders of just how much she's putting on the line with every case in the rest of the Warehouse.
She's not surprised to see the Kristallnacht vase there.
She is surprised to note that it's in one piece.