Truth or Dare
Wednesday, November 16, 2005

It's late. River's got a question for Mal. First of (hopefully) 100 blurbs from the Joss100 challenge. This is Mal/River, so bail if you don't like the idea.


Title: Truth or Dare Author: Ana Sedai Rating: PG Character(s): Mal, River Prompt: 074 - Truth Word Count: 640

Author’s Note: Okay, I’m trying the Joss100 thing with a Mal/River pairing. I don’t want to tread on any toes with this. I just want to give it a shot. Feedback will be very much appreciated.

***************************************** “Truth or dare?”

“Wha-?!” Mal jumped a bit in the pilot’s seat where he’d been dozing. He spun around to face River, leaning against the back of the co-pilot’s chair that had become her domain these past few months. She was looking at him, her face intent. “Almost gave me a heart attack there, Albatross. Shouldn’t be sneakin’ up on a man like that.” He shook his head a bit to clear it. “What was you askin’?”

“Truth or dare? Actions speak louder than words, but words harder to speak. Hearts speak truth. Heads too confusing, too many variables for one paradigm. Why doesn’t everyone speak from their heart?” She sounded a little lost when she asked that last question.

Mal sighed and leaned back. He wondered when everything she said had begun to make sense to him. “Well, darlin’, that there is a mighty big question. Most people are prob’ly afraid they’ll look foolish or be disappointed, so they say somethin’ different than what they really think.”

River shook her head. “Don’t mean other people. People don’t speak to themselves. Run around and around but they don’t listen. Refuse to speak the truth, refuse to hear it, even when they know it.”

Mal thought the conversation was getting just a mite too close to home for his liking. His thoughts hadn’t exactly been tranquil of late, an’ even less so when she was around. That knowledge, of course, brought its own set of problems, ones he wasn’t prepared to deal with right now, if ever. He wondered if a distraction might help her focus shift. “You want to fly for awhile, Little One? Let a tired old man get some sleep?”

“Not old. Untruth. Wants the girl to be quiet. Doesn’t like knowing confusion.” She looked smug and sad all at the same time.

He flushed. Damn, guess not. “Aw, honey, I’m sorry. You’re right. People don’t like hearin’ the truth, ‘specially ‘bout themselves. They…” He squinted at River a bit suspiciously. He really didn’t like the idea of her wandering in his brain, picking out thoughts like cherries off a tree. “Now, girl, don’t be crawlin’ in my head so much. It’s not polite. Dong ma?”

River nodded, then leaned over and brushed his hair off his face. Her hand felt cool against his skin. He jerked his head and blinked, startled. “Whatcha doin’, girl?”

She gave him that intent look of hers again, like she was lookin’ for something. She kept her hand on his head. “Wanted to see if touching could help the head hear truth.”

He didn’t know what to say to that. He felt off-kilter, like the floor had tilted and left him trying to find his balance. He thought he should be annoyed (I just told her to stay outta my head!), but he wasn’t. Her fingers rested on his forehead for a few more seconds, then she lifted her hand and backed away. She gave him a sad smile. “Touching didn’t help, just made more variables.” She bit her lip. “Didn’t mean to crawl around. She was just trying to help.”

Mal swallowed. His throat felt tight. “Darlin’, I know you want to help, but believe me when I say there ain’t nothin’ you can do to help folks sort things out. ‘Specially me.” ‘Specially ‘bout her. He decided it was time for one of them to leave. Standing up, he tried to sound casual. “I’m gonna go grab some shut-eye. You can fly if’n you want, or I can just turn on the autopilot.”

“I’ll stay,” she said, looking away from him and out the window. He nodded and headed for the door. He pretended not to hear her when she said, very softly, “Head lies, but heart speaks truth.”

He could still feel her fingers in his hair.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005 3:35 PM


Sorry, auto-login on this board just doesn't seem to work... anyway a big 10 out of 10 here! And I actually like the Mal/River you wrote here... unlike some stories which are *definitely* NC-17 in intent this one is truly romantic and intimate.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 4:00 PM


Awwww, wonderful. You have River's voice down so well. And Mal, all confusled like.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 5:21 PM


Wow....very easy to picture:)

Thursday, November 17, 2005 11:57 AM


I could so see a scene like this! Wonderful and very shiny. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Sunday, December 25, 2005 3:47 PM


I have to admit, I'd never pictured this pairing, but I really like this story. I like how Mal discribes himself as a "tired old man" almost as if he's trying to distance himself even more from River by using his age.


You must log in to post comments.



Mal/River Prompt - Stand and Stand By
Simon weighs in on Mal and River's relationship...thing.

Battered Dreams
Mal remembers youthful hopes. 20/100 for Joss 100

Night Visitors
River’s dragons finally stop roaring.

Everything else swirls around her, but Mal remains still.

Sometimes the most insignificant things are the ones that can elicit the most wonder.

Cliff's Edge
An introspective piece (yes, another one) on falling, dreams, and waiting.

Zoe corners River about Mal.

Day is done, everyone’s whole, and dinner is served. Some observations are made.

Unpredictability may be the spice of life, but it tends to give Simon indigestion.

Mal thinks on the traps that River gets him in, and out of.