This story was written in response to the '5-minute Fic' challenge on MASH-Slash, to write a story with the opening line "He would have..."


He would have done it, even without the dare. Someday, somewhere, he would have given in to the temptation, would have thrown his arms around those shoulders and claimed that lush, inviting mouth. Would have offered his body for another's pleasure selflessly, in ways he had never done with a woman. No hedonistic coupling, just the desire to give and give, to keep on giving until the other owned him, body, heart and soul.

Even without the dare, he would have done that. But the challenge had been made, and who was he to ever back off from such a welcome advance?

Truth or dare, on the turn of a card: he had chosen the dare because to tell the truth carried too high a price. He turned the card and three diamonds sealed his fate. Groaning, he knocked back the last of the gin in his glass and resigned himself to whatever humiliation was to be thrust upon him this time, telling himself he really was old enough to know better...

"I dare you to..." the cool voice goaded him, its owner leaning back in the chair, watching him, weighing him up, no doubt wondering how far would he go this time?

He began to fidget, make 'hurry up' noises, a thread of fear weaving its way through his impatience for this to be over. The longer it took , the longer his tormentor had to think, the more wild the dare would be. Nervous now, he picked up the cards and began to shuffle.

"You sure you want to go through with this?"

"Just get on with it," he snapped, feeling the humiliation factor climb to new heights. There were some things even he would not do.

"I dare you to... kiss me."

His mind froze but his hands kept on moving, as if reordering the cards could change the words he had just heard. Thought he heard. Wanted so much to hear that he wondered if maybe he was hallucinating.

"Well?" Lazy drawl, eyes shining with laughter and - hope. That was unexpected.

"Just - one kiss?" Damn! He hadn't meant to ask that aloud.

"One... two... As many as you want." Creak of wood as he sat forward, laughter fading as need upped the ante on hope. "Whatever you want."

He stilled, swallowed, recognised the trap for what it was. Truth or dare, the answer would have been the same. Sucker.

The card table was knocked aside as he surged to his feet, took one step and straddled the green-clad thighs. Hands found warm skin, fingers slipped into silken hair and he leaned closer, breath mingling with breath, heart hammering against heart.

"Did anyone ever tell you, you cheat?" he whispered, an instant before he claimed that inviting mouth.

He would have done it, even without the dare - but with the dare it was so much better.