These are excerpts only. I didn't write any of the stories - they've been specially hand-selected from a cast of hundreds, with the intent of sucking you into the Mulder/Krycek fandom. If you like any of these bits, go read the entire story. There's a good chance that you'll like more of my recommended stories. If you don't like any of these bits, you're not meant for Mulder/Krycek. Go back to The Sentinel, or give up on slash entirely.

p.s. I didn't create the fantastic images at the top, but I forgot who did, so I can't give credit where credit is due.

In the Lamb White Days (excerpt)
torch 1997
In the early days of their partnership, Mulder and Krycek investigate a messy mystery.

* * *

They trudged across the field, passing several more extremely deceased cows. Even the flies stayed away from the purple mess. Mulder looked at Krycek, who had a purple smear across his forehead and whose suit was practically plastered to his body. Then he had to admit he looked just as bad himself.

At least the lights were on, someone had to be home. They rang the doorbell and didn't have to wait long; a plump, grey-haired woman opened the door and the smell of fresh bread that wafted out almost overpowered the stench of the purple goo. "Oh, you poor boys!" she said. She wore an apron and had a dot of flour on her nose; at that moment, Mulder felt she was the girl of his dreams.

"We're Federal agents," Mulder said, fishing around for his ID. The slime had gotten into his pockets and the picture resembled nothing so much as a special effect in a fifties horror movie.

"And we need a shower," Krycek added piteously, fixing the woman with a pleading puppy-dog stare that looked damn near lethal.

The woman all but dissolved into a puddle of goo herself. "Of course you do!" She opened the door a little wider, as if to invite them in, then a remnant of sense asserted itself. "Wait right there." They waited right there while she bustled off and a moment later returned with a pile of towels. She opened the door to the right and went in there. Mulder caught a glimpse of porcelain tiles. He yearned for them. "We don't have much hot water," the woman said as she came out again. "You'll have to take turns." She held the front door open wider. "Hurry in now and try not to drip on the floor."

Both of them at the same time? Mulder shrugged. He was the senior agent. He had first dibs on the shower. Krycek could just suffer, again, although it would be a bit too unkind to make him stand outside the house and suffer. Besides, it would mean that he finally got to see Krycek out of that ugly suit, a prospect that held more than a passing interest for him.

They dashed across the hall and into the bathroom; Mulder closed the door.


He turned around to see what had caused the smile in Krycek's voice, and beheld a huge claw-footed tub, with a yellow rubber duck perched on the rim. Definite wow factor there, and the duck was cute. There was no shower curtain. There was no shower, period. Just the tub. "We'd be better off pouring buckets of water over each other," he groused.

"It might be better to start that way," Krycek agreed in that disconcerting way he had of sounding perfectly serious when Mulder was trying to make a wry joke. His hands were already tugging at his tie, unbuttoning his shirt. "Do you see a bucket anywhere?"

"No." Mulder looked around anyway, but found that his spontaneous answer had been the right one. When he turned back he saw that Krycek was stripping, completely unembarrassed. He looked like the product of a thousand locker room hours, when taking your clothes off was just something that you did, a necessary preliminary to putting on the team shirt, or getting in the shower. On his pale skin the purple smears stood out like bewildered refugees from an abstract painting.

Mulder started to untangle his tie. The goo made it squish unpleasantly between his fingers. He felt silly. It wasn't that he minded getting undressed in front of someone else. But none of his scenarios for getting Krycek out of his suit had included purple goo and little old ladies, or Krycek asking for a bucket. Thinking about it, he had to suppress a snort of laughter.

Krycek, still wearing briefs and socks, paused in his undressing to turn the water on. Mulder had been told repeatedly by lovers who'd sounded pretty damn sure of what they were saying that nothing was less sexy than a man who took off his pants before taking off his socks. To his amazement he was just discovering that they had been completely wrong. Krycek was bending forward over the tub, adjusting the water temperature. Oh... god. Briefs, socks and purple goo made for the hottest combination Mulder had seen in his life. And if he'd had any idea of just how good those shoulders looked, and those legs, and that--Mulder swallowed--that ass, he'd have ripped the clothes off his partner a *long* time ago.

"There isn't enough hot water to run two baths," Krycek reported, still using that matter of fact voice.

"I get to go first," Mulder said immediately, wadding his shirt up and using it to wipe off the worst of the mess. He took his pants off as well and looked sadly at the remains of what had been a very nice Armani suit once. No use crying over ruined clothes, and besides, it would be a full time job. Instead he stripped off underwear and socks and climbed into the tub. "Ah. There is a heaven after all."

"I never imagined heaven would be full of dead cows," Krycek said, throwing his socks on top of the pile of clothing. "You're going to need someone to wash your back." Mulder was still trying to work out the connection there when Krycek got in the tub with him. "Hand me the washcloth."

It was a big tub, but not so big that two tall men could share it without bumping into each other. Mulder felt he ought to say something, possibly along the lines of 'what the hell do you think you're doing?' Instead he handed Krycek washcloth and soap, and moments later Krycek *was* washing his back. Mulder sighed; he should have known that there was no real limit to how surreal his day might get. "And do you expect me to wash your back in return?" he asked.

"Of course," Krycek said. Hang on a moment, Mulder thought. No one could possibly be *that* matter of fact in a situation like this. He tried to squirm around, splashing some water over the edge of the tub. "Mulder! All the hot water will end up on the floor if you jump around like that."

The washcloth slid across his shoulders and down across his chest. "Krycek, stop it."

"But you're not clean yet." The soft touch hovered right over his nipples before returning to his shoulders again and sliding safely down his arms. Mulder cursed silently.

"That's not what I meant." He made an effort to turn his head 180 degrees but only caught a glimpse of Krycek over his shoulder before his muscles protested. "You can drop the oblivious act. You know and I know that this is not standard behavior for field agents."

"I'm just trying to be helpful," Krycek said, in a tone of faintly injured innocence.

"Yes, but--" Mulder had to catch his breath as the washcloth returned to his chest and grazed his nipples, sliding down towards his stomach. "Actually there *is* something I need you to give me a hand with."

"Really?" Before he could turn around and smack his partner, Mulder felt a warm touch on the back of his neck, lips and tongue and teeth, a caress that set him shivering. "Just a *hand*?"

Mulder laughed and finally allowed himself to lean back; arms came up around him and Krycek went on nibbling on his neck. He could feel Krycek's erection pressing into the small of his back. Surreal or not, this was turning into a really good day. "Maybe that purple stuff is an aphrodisiac," he speculated, tilting his head back to give Krycek better access.

"No," Krycek disagreed with absolute certainty. "But it's a very good excuse." The washcloth had been abandoned and Krycek's hands stroked along Mulder's sides, curving up around his ribcage, fingers dancing along the skin to play with his much-teased nipples. Krycek flicked his tongue in Mulder's ear. Mulder closed his eyes with a contented moan, only to open them again abruptly as the bathroom door opened and their hostess came in.

Pyrolagnia (excerpt)
by A. Leigh-Anne Childe and torch
Mulder's in his flannel PJ's when Krycek comes in from the cold.

* * *

torch: Now I wanna see him in flannel PJ's.
AnnaB: Ooh yeah.
AnnaB: With aeroplanes all over.
torch: NO!
AnnaB: And a teddy bear clutched in one arm.
AnnaB: No planes?
torch: No bloody aeroplanes or UFO's or goldfish...
AnnaB: No bear?
torch: No planes, no bear, no daddy Skinner.
AnnaB pouts and clutches Mulder's bear.
torch: Just Mulder in a cabin somewhere on a reluctant vacation, sitting in front of the fire wearing flannel PJ's because it's really cold
AnnaB clutches Mulder's bare unmentionable.
AnnaB: Ooh, lovely lonely Mulder.
torch: and he's feeling lonely and thoughtful, when he hears a soft tap on the window
AnnaB: And in comes Alex, shaking off the snow...
AnnaB: Holding a gun.
AnnaB: "Hey, that gun looks cold..."

Mulder got to his feet and stood there staring, unsure about the best approach to take when you're held at gunpoint in flannel sleepwear.

And Alex grinned. "Hey, that's a good look on you. But I've seen my fill, so take 'em off." Mulder shivered and told himself it was just because Alex didn't close the door properly. "Mulder--move it or lose it--well, you're going to lose it anyway." Alex cackled nastily. "High time we got that cherry popped free, baby."

"Why don't you shut the door, Krycek. With yourself on the outside."

"Now, now. Aren't you glad to see me? And here I was touched that you waited up for me." Alex kicked the door shut and walked closer, dripping snow on the floorboards.

"Alex, all good snakes are out in the woods where they belong." Mulder stepped back.

"Don't retreat, Mulder. I want to work for this. A little, anyway."

Mulder, on the verge of backing into the fireplace, stopped. "Are you just going to point that thing around, or do something with it...?"

"Your mouth hasn't changed a bit...thank god."

"Why don't you get out of those wet clothes and into a pair of handcuffs."

Alex dropped the gun in his haste to comply. He began ripping off his leather jacket. Mulder watched, smiling. Alex, flushed, slowed down a little. Peeled out of his leather, tossed the jacket aside, knocking over a lamp. He skimmed free of his sweater, chucked it off too. In jeans and boots, he looked almost like a normal boy.

Mulder moved to one side, so the light from the fire could fall on Alex. He was watching intently, taking in every graceful movement, every line of the other man's body. But he couldn't resist saying: "You couldn't have just gotten an ear pierced, Alex?"

Alex kicked off his boots. His dark hair fell forward into his face; his skin gleamed in the firelight with a sheen of breaking sweat. The gun lay forgotten on the floor; Mulder was starting to feel entirely too hot in his flannel PJ's, maybe he was standing too close to the fire. The fire that was Alex, the fire that had burned under his skin for so long now...

"Flannel, Mulder. I wouldn't have pegged you for something so wholesome. Flannel's awfully hot, Mulder," Alex said huskily.

Mulder was tugging unconsciously at the collar of his pajama top. "The black lace is in the wash."

Alex blinked alertly. "I'll bet it is...they told me you were a pervert. I always hoped they were right."

It was choking him. Maybe he'd better take it off. He took a step closer to Alex and smiled. "You wanna find out? Help me get out of this."

Alex whipped out a knife. "Let's do this the quick way."

A chill ran down Mulder's spine and before he knew it he was nodding, waiting for the cold touch of metal. "I might need those buttons later," he gasped out, as Alex flicked the knife tip against the collar.

"I'll save them for you." Mulder closed his eyes and groaned as the knife teasingly stroked his nipple through the fabric of his pajama top. A pervert? Was he a pervert for liking this, the beautiful menacing presence of a half-naked Alex Krycek, caressing him with a knife blade? "I'll bet you've got some other buttons, don't you, Mulder? Want to find out what they are?"

"You want to push my buttons, Krycek?"

"You know it, partner."

I *am* a pervert, Mulder thought. He let Krycek cut him free of the flannel, the armor of wholesomeness. When the knife finished he stood, chest bared, gleaming with an arousal to match the other man's. It was a happy thought in its way; there was something soothing about it, freeing. It left him free to arch his back against the teasing touch of the knife, free to look into Alex's glittering green eyes and see his own desire mirrored there.

Firelight gleamed on the moving knife blade that he'd half forgotten about, as it rose and touched his cheek. "You can do better than that, Alex," he said.

"I could make you come just with this, Mulder. Do you believe me?" Oh yes, he believed... "Wouldn't you like a few scars to mark the occasion. A brand or two." Alex jerked his head toward the fire, face dangerous. Mulder couldn't tell how serious he was. He let himself consider the idea, touch it, skirt away from it.

Then he smiled. "Can't you touch me?" he asked.

Alex's eyes glowed darkly and he threw the knife hard over Mulder's shoulder. Mulder heard the dull soft thunk as it entered the wood of the wall. The sound was almost buried underneath the wild beating of his heart.

"You should be more worried about what I can do with my hands, Fox," Alex said in a voice that was no more than a breath.

Truth or Dare (excerpt)
by Jane Mortimer
Krycek seems to be better at this game than Mulder

* * *

"We were talking about your attraction to me," Krycek continued, in the kind of self-pleased voice that invited violence.

"I'm going with dare again."

"Jesus, Mulder. What happened to your desire to share the truth with people? Keep this up and you won't be my hero anymore."


"Don't move."

Krycek pulled himself over till he kneeled in front of Mulder. Very slowly, he leaned forward, as though for a kiss. Controlling an urge to panic, Mulder managed not to move as he said softly, "I'm not holding still while you fuck me, Krycek."

Krycek's face was about an inch from his own, and Mulder was aware of a ringing in his ears. "Your virtue," said Krycek, his breath warm on Mulder's face, "is perfectly safe. If you think about it..." His lips brushed Mulder's, moved away. "I can't possibly fuck you..." Lips touched his again, dove-soft, brief and repeated, like some poignant stammer, not at all what Mulder expected. "...if you don't move."

The ringing in his ears was getting louder. "Uh, what?"

"Physically, I mean." A delicate tongue ran across the border of his lips, but refrained from forcing its way in. "You're sitting on your butt, Mulder."

Gentle, sure touches. It felt like some infinitely clever paintbrush, re-creating his mouth, stroke by stroke.

Christ, the man could kill people, he could lie, he could steal government secrets and sell them around the world -- what in god's name was keeping him from an open-mouth kiss? In a minute Mulder was going to have to initiate this himself --

His mind filled in alarm bells and big rainbow warning signs around that thought, but just then there came a happy sigh, and Krycek sat back. "Your turn."

It took a moment for him to catch up. The game. Right.

He realized abruptly that he'd been holding his breath, and let out a long exhale of relief and disappointment. Lack of oxygen to the brain, that was it.

What was it he'd been thinking about, earlier? On cue, his brain presented him with a metaphorical knock on the door and a white postal box -- leave it to the government of his mind; punctual, neat, and ruthless. And not a democracy. Inside his mind, the trains ran on time. They carried passengers who were refugees from Fellini, but they ran on time. "Were you able to learn anything from the alien?"

"I learned oil is a bitch to get off. Sorry, Mulder, it didn't pass me much. I could tell it was scared. Not of us, though. Of time."

"Time? What about time?"

"That it was running out."

"For what? Is something going to happen here, and that's why it wanted to get away? Or was it going to die?"

"Like ET, if it didn't phone home? I don't know, sorry. That's all she wrote." He spoke firmly. "And it's my turn."

At the phrase, Mulder's treacherous cock twitched to attention. Don't look, don't call attention to it. Instead his gaze moved to Krycek's face and locked there. In the dim light, Alex's skin seemed more pale, his eyes larger than ever; like that moment in Hong Kong, when Mulder had gotten his first good look at him since Washington. That moment of alarm.

Now Alex looked back at him and flashed an angelic smile. He said, "What's your favorite color?"

Mulder blinked. "What?"

"Is it blue? I'm guessing blue." You fuck. Mulder knew exactly what the man was doing. "Or maybe not, maybe blue is what you'd prefer it to be. Kind of a calm, average color choice. Maybe it's something more specific. Like the shade of light you see through water on the shore of a warm country. I'm fond of that, myself. But no... you'd go for more of a northern light, I think. Less stained glass, more pure."

What are you, a fucking art historian? Mulder bit down on the words.

"White," he ground out, instead.

"Come on, nobody's favorite color is white. Unless you're trying to make some kind of symbolic statement. And if you are, I'd get my hat back from the check-girl and hold it under the light, because it's gotten a little discolored lately."

"White contains every other shade."

"All truth in one place? Jeez, Mulder, that's not a color preference, that's a wish-fulfillment."

"My turn," he said, before he could give himself time to think. Let's fuck with his mind for a change. "Kiss me again."


Mulder went on innocently, "Unless you'd rather go for truth. I always have more questions."

A gorgeous, if short-lived, second of confusion passed over Krycek's face. You could actually see him snap to it and pull himself under control. "Anything to oblige, Mulder," he said, and leaned forward again, inflicting another teasing brush with his lips.

"You call that a kiss?"

He did it again, not one whit deeper, and Mulder shivered, forcing back an impulse to pull Krycek's head close and grind their mouths together. He was willing to kiss Krycek -- more than willing -- but he wasn't going to let him know how much he liked it.

Alley Trap (excerpt)
by AnneZo
Mulder spots Krycek in another alleyway

* * *

A lunge, a quick struggle, and Mulder was pressed against the brick wall, his gun in Alex's hand. Alex reached past him and opened the door, shoving Mulder in ahead of him. The room was filled with crates.

He bent Mulder over one, and pinned him there, gun pressing the other man's ear.

"Don't touch me." Ragged, uneven breathing. "You're under arrest."

"Why not?" Alex breathed the words into Mulder's ear, next to the gun barrel. "I want to. I want to hold you. I want to feel your hands and your mouth all over my body. What do you want, Mulder?"

"I don't want you." Mulder gulped for air. "Get away from me. And you're under arrest."

Alex twisted one hand in the brown hair, pulling Mulder's head up and back until he could kiss him. Forcing his mouth open.

"Yes." A moment of triumph, and he was pushing a knee between Mulder's thighs, holding him hard against the wood of the crate.

"I fucking hate you." Useless struggle, Mulder pushed against him intensifying the pressure against Alex's hips. "Get away from me, or I swear I'll kill you."

"No you won't." Alex thrust against the firmness of Mulder's ass, feeling the throb in his own body.

"Why are you doing this?" A ragged whisper. Mulder's hands clenched around the wood of the crate.

"I want to. I told you. Weren't you listening?" His fingers untangled from Mulder's hair and wrapped themselves around the back of the other man's neck.

"Why? Because you think people talk about me too much?" Mulder sounded half-crazy.

Alex didn't blame him. This wasn't where he'd expected this to go either. He leaned against Mulder harder, listening to the other man's heavy breathing.

"What?" Mulder's voice again. Cautious. Confused.

"I ran out of things to say," Alex admitted.

"Jesus." Mulder sighed. "And people think I'm crazy."

"You are." Alex was sure of that. "Why did you follow me in here? What the hell are you arresting me for, this time?"

"I . . . " Mulder shrugged. "Habit."

"Habit?" Alex couldn't believe it. "What? You just fucking see me and you don't have anything else to do so you chase me down a fucking alley and try to shoot me?"

"I didn't try to shoot you." Mulder sounded defensive.

"You threatened to." Alex shoved the gun in Mulder's ear. "I should make a citizen's arrest myself."

"Like anyone's going to believe you." His scorn was obvious. Ignoring the gun, Mulder propped himself up on his elbows and buried his face in his hands. "I don't know. I just saw you and . . . like I said. Habit."

Alex settled himself more comfortably against Mulder's ass which was feeling better every second. "Habit," he repeated thoughtfully. "You must be pretty bored. I thought they re-opened the X-Files?"

"They did." Mulder wriggled, a delightful sensation. "Would you get your dick away from my ass?"

"Nope." Alex rubbed the gun against Mulder's temple warningly. "Word is that you saw a hell of a lot not long ago. I would have assumed you'd still be in the frozen waste, investigating."


"That's not very informative," Alex objected. He rested his chin against Mulder's shoulder. "You change your mind? Want to have sex?"

"No!" Mulder sounded outraged. "I Am Not Having Sex With You." He enunciated the words clearly.

"Why not?"

"I don't want to." Between clenched teeth. "You're a criminal. My prisoner."

"Bullshit." Alex kissed the back of his neck. "Bet you're hard," he added smugly.

"Don't you even think about touching me," Mulder warned.

"You're pretty fucking arrogant for a guy with a gun to his head," Alex nuzzled his neck gently.

"You're not going to shoot me." Mulder tried to move away and only succeeded in trapping himself against the surface of the crate again. "You're having too much fun watching them drive me crazy by inches."

"I'd rather do it myself," Alex offered. He moved the gun out of the way and started licking Mulder's ear, feeling the suppressed shudder. "Looks like I found the right place to start," he whispered.

"You won't." Mulder sounded sure of himself. "You may be a fucking shithead and nine kinds of criminal, but I don't think you're a rapist."

"I'm not raping you, asshole, I'm seducing you." Alex nipped him sharply.

"You always carry on your seductions at gunpoint?"

Alex laughed in his ear. "You're a special case."

Bulletins from Bedlam (excerpt)
Jessica Harris
Mulder/Krycek, after a clandestine meeting in an alley

* * *

Some day a little assassin will sit at my knee and sweetly lisp up at me, "Daddy Alex? How did you and Daddy Fox fall in love?"

"Men with guns," I'll say to her, with a warm nostalgic smile. "Men with guns brought us together at last."

They were waiting for us at the next meet. Teach me to think with my dick. I was so busy with my plans that I didn't even notice the still black shapes poised along the roof-tops. They waited until we were only a few feet apart, and then they opened fire. Lucky it was that alley - I had almost forgotten my original reason for choosing it. They didn't know about the hatch down into the maintenance tunnels beneath the warehouse, and when they started firing I yanked it open and pushed Mulder down it. Pain exploded in my arm as I followed him, but I slammed the metal door down and got it bolted, and we were OK. Except for my arm. I checked it out quickly - small entry wound, big nasty exit wound, too much blood.

My arm, and the screaming. Mulder was screaming, high, loud, crazy. I'd forgotten he had a thing about bugs, and when I clicked on my flashlight I saw the tunnel was crawling with roaches, dozens of them scuttling around Mulder where he lay curled on the floor. Screaming, like I mentioned. I guess he was closer to the edge than I had realised. I yanked him to his feet and brushed him off, but he didn't stop, so I stuffed one of my gloves in his mouth and pulled him along behind me. The hatch would hold them for a while, but not forever.

Something happened to him down there, I don't know what exactly. I only remember snatches of it myself - trying to keep my grip on Mulder's arm, trying not to get lost in the winding tunnels. My head floating lighter and lighter above my shoulders. A bare tiled room, Mulder half-naked and his hands smeared with blood. And then his eyes, his eyes *changing*. His lips pressed to my temple. Darkness.

And when I awoke, I was in my own bed, and Mulder was cuffed there beside me, Carl glowering at us both from a chair in the corner. Not much of a honeymoon, when you think about it, but one way or another we've been together ever since.

Wax Jism Rushes In Where MarySues Fear To Tread (excerpt)
By Wax Jism
Wax meets a one-armed piece of rough trade in an alley

* * *

All she remembered was that there had been some pretty darn impressive pyrotechnics. Lightning had flashed rapid-fire, like cameras at the Oscars, thunder had walked the earth like ... anyway - pyrotechnics. With sound effects. Other than that, though, it was all a big old blank.

Now it wasn't so much blank anymore as just black. As in dark. As in, maybe it would be a good idea to open your fool eyes, girl? Yeah, okay.

She wasn't in Kansas anymore, that much was clear. Although, on second thought, who was to say she wasn't actually in Kansas? Seeing as she'd never been there before, this might be what Kansas looked like. What it wasn't was home. Alleys in Finland just didn't have this deliberately run-down, smoky, butt-end of a movie set ambience to them. There weren't, usually, scantily-clad women standing by overflowing dumpsters. That just wasn't the done thing at home. Not even in the capital, which wasn't half as disreputable as its inhabitants liked to brag.

And she hadn't been in Helsinki when ... whatever had happened, happened, anyway. She'd been out in the archipelago, and there weren't alleys of any sort at all there. Just apple trees and sea gulls and rocks and the occasional cow.

All of this thinking, this deducing, only brought her back to the same question, and the question was, "Huh?"

* * *

She was interrupted when someone walked into the alley, walked into it like he owned it and thought it was a pretty cool place to hang out in.

The new arrival was a man, a tall man, and he was so ridiculously well-known to the girl calling herself Wax Jism that she, at first, only stared at him with her mouth open in an unattractively slack-jawed way.

Then he turned to her and she closed it with a snap. The man's green eyes narrowed. "Get out of here," he said, and his voice was just the way she remembered it. Wow. Of all people to meet in a dark alley--

She could feel her mouth opening again, about to spout something fannishly inane, like, 'Could I have an autograph,' when it registered in her abused brain that a) he wasn't really acting like a film star could be expected to, and b) he had a really big gun in his hand. In the hand that wasn't covered in a ... in a black glove. In the hand that wasn't hanging uselessly by his side.

Oh, shit.

She said it out loud to make sure she was still alive: "Shit."

She was still alive. Krycek - for that was who it was, wasn't it? Not Nic Lea (who everyone said was such a nice person), but Krycek, and the evil, canon version of Krycek, not the Krycek you would hope for in a situation like this, the Krycek you got in, say, curtainfic, or schmoopy little PWPs that featured Mulder in an apron and possibly an eggbeater or two - was ignoring her in favour of the streetwalker now.

"Dammit," Wax Jism whispered to herself (she never could stop herself from vocalising her apprehensions; she was a talker and that was that). "I get thrown through a vortex, or a rip in the fabric of space, or down the wrong trouser of time or whatever, and who do I meet? Not Oz, who might have some pot. Not Blair Sandburg, who might think this was interesting. Not Mulder, who might also see the interest, and who might actually believe and give a shit. Not Fraser, who'd help no matter what, not Ray Kowalski, who'd (heh heh) get Fraser, not-" She clamped down just as she was about to say '-anyone, who's not a fucking sociopath,' because it might be inadvisable to expound on someone's mental problems in front of that very someone, especially if that someone in particular was carrying a large-caliber handgun. Wax Jism's mother (Mrs. Jism, of course) hadn't raised any complete idiots. Just this one half-wit.

Half-wit or not, she thought it prudent to switch language, at least. She went on swearing blithely in Swedish, and then, once her vocabulary proved insufficient, in Finnish.

Meanwhile, Krycek had managed to get the hooker to give up her spot, and was now standing there himself, leaning against the dumpster, staring at Wax Jism with an insufferably smug look on his handsome face. He seemed to be finding her rather entertaining, so far.

She stood in the alley, still spouting sotto voce profanities, and had a thought. She could feel the thought building itself from a harmless, little thought-bunny, into a real, big-ass thought-elephant.

The thought went as follows: this is a dream.

Okay, so not exactly an elephant, then. A bunny, but a golden bunny, in any case. Tiny, but heavier than it looked, and pretty valuable. And easier to carry than an elephant.

This is a dream explained quite a lot. It put the universe back exactly where Wax Jism - who had quite an imagination, but preferred to keep it apart from reality - wanted it.

Okay, she thought, okay, I can hack this. I can deal. Just, you know, wake up.

She pinched her arm. Apart from hurting, it had no effect. She was still in the alley; Krycek was still glaring at her from behind the Dumpster. What a boring dream. Usually, when I dream about Krycek, it's less real and more fantasy, if you know what I mean?

How do you escape a dream you don't like? Weren't you supposed to wake up once you clued in to being in a dream?

You die, that part of her that usually came up with the really bad ideas piped in. You die, and then you wake up in your own bed. Easy as pie.

"Yeah, sure," she muttered to herself (or to that part - she wasn't entirely sure it was a part of her; surely no part of her was ever that dumb?). "Or not. What if it isn't a dream?"

Oh, so this is real to you? Stupid bitch. That part was also frequently rude to the rest of her. She didn't like it much.

"Well, whatever. So, if I - hypothetically - wanted to kill myself, what do you suggest, O voice of my inner jerk? I'm not going to start slicing my wrists with broken glass, I don't think so."

Hey, you got a guy with a gun just over there. Just ... annoy him.

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