Wax Jism Rushes In Where Mary Sues Fear To Tread
by Wax Jism

Silly me.
The X-files © Ten Thirteen Productions, Fox Television.

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 must have said it out loud, because the hooker (because it surely was a hooker - who else would wear ... that?) turned sharply and stared at her.

"Where the hell did you come from?" the woman asked, and the question answered a couple of easy questions (one being: Where am I? and the answer being: "Well, her accent would suggest America. As in, the USA. As in, quite far from home.") and posed any number of new and hard ones (the most important of which was still: "Huh?").

Still, it wouldn't do to look like an idiot here (she refused to amend that she already did. Look like an idiot, that is, what with sitting in a pile of rotting newspapers wearing only her nightie) and it sure as hell wouldn't do to be impolite. Who knew what a streetwalking tough girl like that one over there might do if she got ticked off. She might have - the horror! - a pimp. Or big and burly rentboys for friends. Or- and that was how far the accidental traveller's imagination and movie-and-TV-based knowledge would take her.

So she opened her mouth and answered the question with what she believed to be the truth: "Heisala," she said.

The woman of ill repute looked at her blankly for a while. Then she shrugged lopsidedly, the gesture seemingly dismissing everything and anything around her - the girl in the alley, the alley itself, the city, her job, the cars cruising endlessly to and fro in the street ahead.

The girl in the alley herself couldn't dismiss things as easily. She got up, a little stiffly - apparently she'd been asleep in this unsavoury place for a while. Looked down on herself and sighed. Jeez. She really was wearing her white-and-aqua nightgown with the stripes and the hole under one arm and the frayed cuff. At least her panties were- no, they weren't, they were those formerly-white-now-peagreen ones that she had planned to throw away after this time. So, greatness, she looked like a complete skank. And she was very far from her wardrobe.

That, and she was, to all appearances, in a foreign country without the benefit of a passport or any sort of ID, or money, or so much as a pair of jeans and a watch. She was, thankfully, wearing her glasses. And - socks? Why would she be wearing- because she'd been sitting in front of the computer, that's why. Hence the glasses, hence the socks (mismatched - one of them was blue with a stylised picture of a hedgehog on it, and the other one was brown with a pattern of happily grinning squirrels).

She took a couple of hesitant steps, wincing when the squirrel-clad foot landed in something squishy, and called out to the silent lady of the night still standing at the mouth of the alley.

"Hey, excuse me?"

The woman turned slowly. "Yeah?" she said.

"Well, um, I know this sounds a little silly, but ... um, where exactly am I?"

The hooker laughed heartily now that she got a good look at the nightie and the socks, but she answered, at least. "Washington, DC, honey. And let me tell you, aqua is not a good colour for you."

"I know, I know. That's why I only wear this monstrosity at home. Which is where I was when I last looked."

"You're not from around here, are you?"

"Not really, no." She was secretly annoyed that the woman had spotted her accent. She sometimes liked to fool herself that she could fool people.

"Are you from Canada or something?"

That one was so hilarious, it momentarily took her mind away from the alarming circumstances. She had to laugh. "No, I'm not from Canada."

"What's your name, honey?" the woman asked, and she looked less exotically slutty up close, and more like someone's mom in really awful make up.

"I'm-" She was about to say, 'Maria', which would have been true, and ended up saying, "Wax Jism," instead, which was also true. In a fashion.

"Whoah, didn't your mama like you?" the woman asked.

"It's a ... um, it's a Finnish name," Wax Jism hedged, crossing her fingers behind her back. "What's yo-"

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.

Wow. That actually sounded like a pretty good one, as ideas to kill yourself go. Wax Jism was instantly overcome with the goodness of that idea. She stopped complaining about how boring this dream was, and started dreaming up ways to annoy Krycek. It could be a new hobby of hers. Wax Jism wasn't known for the length of her span of attention.

"Hey! You!" she shouted. "Yo, Krycek!"

He turned very slowly. Very, very slowly - like they only do in movies when they are really pissed off and are counting to ten in their head to keep from just pulling the trigger off the bat. Wax Jism thought she could hear that creepy little tingelitingting part of the X-files theme playing somewhere.

"How," Krycek said, and his voice was deliciously low and husky, "do you know that name?"

"Well, duh," she said. "I, like, watch TV."

"Did your mother have any kids that lived?" asked Krycek. Wax Jism felt affronted at the low calibre of the insult.

"What kind of thing is that to say? Aren't you supposed to be cool?"

"You're on crack, aren't you?" he said conversationally.

She snorted, unladylike. "This might be a fascinating way to start you on the road to a Truman Burbank-like epiphany, but somehow, I don't think you'd even be surprised, so why bother."

"You know, I think I'm going to kill you now," he said.

"Okay," she said, swallowing. Maybe this idea wasn't-

He had the gun raised and everything, pointing straight at her (and dear me, how very big and black the hole in the barrel looked from this perspective) when someone behind him said:

"FBI! Freeze!"

Krycek spun around like a dervish on amphetamine. Behind him, Wax Jism sagged against the unpleasantly slimy brick wall. Saved by the feds. Saved by - what do you know? - Mulder.

"I thought you weren't coming tonight," Krycek purred (purred?) throatily. Mulder shrugged insouciantly, re-holstering his gun and pocketing his wallet.

"I thought you weren't going to kill people when you were waiting for me," he said, and then proceeded to push Krycek up against the wall (completely unmindful of its inherent sliminess) and kissing him like it was going out of fashion tomorrow.

"Who am I, Invisible Girl?" Wax Jism said, rather petulantly. She was used to being ignored, but it stung more when figments of her own twisted imagination did it.

"Shut up and scram," Krycek panted. He was trying to unbutton Mulder's jeans with one hand.

"Come on, you were gonna kill me, man," Wax Jism goaded. No way was she staying in this dream while those to got it on. Sure, she liked M/K slash like the next girl, but living it was perhaps pushing the issue just a few steps further than she liked.

She gathered her courage (or what was left of it) and stomped (as much as one can stomp wearing only mismatched socks) up and tugged at Krycek's sleeve. The leather was slick and heavy under her hand. Cool.

He didn't even look at her, only extracted his right hand from Mulder's fly and backhanded her across the face. She bounced against the wall, and stars flew, thunder walked, lightning flashed. Ouch.

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.

And she sure wasn't in Kansas anymore. In fact, this place looked suspiciously like ... like California, if California was anything like it was from inside a studio. The vegetation looked rather plastic, and all those tombstones tilted just a little too artistically. And the way that vampire leaned against the crypt over there? Pretty predictable, wouldn't you say?

Shit. "And all I wanted was some pot," she said, before she turned and ran.