Years ago I read this 1X4 fic by BigSister2, in which Quatre was a cross-dresser, and for some reason it stuck with me. This idea, however, came to me only a month or so ago and I'd been fiddling with it for a couple of days when The Danish Girl was suddenly on the telly. I thought it was a sign. Not that this is going to be as serious and sad a story as Lili Elbe's, au contraire. I don't know exactly where it's going yet, as I haven't really thought of continuing it, but if I do I don't mean it to be a long story. Chapter titles will be jazz song titles (artists in the parenthesis). Enjoy!

Deception

CHAPTER 1

Someday My Prince Will Come

(Miles Davis)

It was dark inside the jazz club, but Quatre located his friend easily enough. Duo, sprawled on one of the corner booths, already had a girl in each arm. They both gave the newly arrived blonde predatory looks as he approached, unaware that he was no contender or that they stood no chance either way.

"Whoa!" his braided friend gapped at him for a moment. "Ya' wanna win this really bad, huh?"

He felt his cheeks heat up as he contemplated his disguise. He hadn't been able to think of anything creative to do with his hair so he had merely brushed it away from his eyes. Eyes which had received some black eyeliner and mascara. A little blush had given his pale skin a healthy rosy colour and the wine coloured glossy lipstick, his sister had lent him, had outlined his mouth splendidly. The dress was also Iria's – a black knitted turtleneck with long sleeves – as were the barely noticeable pair of pantyhose. The black stiletto shoes he had had to purchase himself. And, as a final touch, a hippie style necklace which had, surprisingly, belonged to his mother.

"Is it too much?" he wondered self-consciously.

"Oh, definitely, honey." One of Duo's admirers nodded vehemently as she gave him a once over.

"Too much cloth." The other one agreed. "Very prudish."

"Come on, girls. Be nice. There's enough of me to go around." The braided man chuckled charmingly. "You look splendid, Quat', though still not half as hot as I did."

Unaware of their bet, the girls shared an awkward look. "What do you mean?"

"Oh, did I not tell ya'? I was a woman last Friday myself." Duo explained cheerfully, but his companions merely gave him a sceptical once over and shrugged their indifference.

"I knew there was something unusual when I saw your hair." One of them mumbled unconvincingly.

"How can you walk on those things?" his friend asked as Quatre finally slid into the booth.

"I've been practicing for a week now." He confessed, smiling smugly. "It's not that hard, really."

"I doubt that. My toes ache just to look at those shoes."

"Maybe I should be named victor then?" Quatre wondered innocently.

"Ha! You make a very funny lady, Quat'. I'm gonna pick you a guy now." Duo stretched his neck so he could see the bar in its entirety. "I'll give ya' as easy a challenge as you gave me."

The blonde followed his friend's gaze. It was still rather early, the band hadn't even arrived yet, and only three men were sitting at the counter. The oldest one, on the furthest stool by the wall, had been glancing their way ever since Quatre had walked in. He just knew that man's eyes had been the ones to chase his tail all the way between the door and Duo's booth. He hoped the braided man picked him. It wouldn't take the blonde 2 minutes to get his number.

"Brown haired one in the leather jacket." Was the sentence he was ordered instead.

The aforementioned man had sat staring at his glass, lost in thought, a deep frown on his face throughout the whole time they'd been talking. He showed no interest whatsoever in what went on around him. Quatre wanted to curse. "Why not the other brown haired? The one in the grey T-shirt, texting non-stop?"

His friend chuckled. "Come on, Quat'. Ya' think I'm stupid? That guy clearly already has a girlfriend. He'd give ya' a fake number right away just to get rid of you."

"Well…"

"Revenge's a bitch, huh?"

"Yeah."

He stood up, reminding himself that – aside from the fact that he was supposed to be a woman – this was as ordinary a situation as any other. Then he took a deep, calming breath and made his way to the bar. The oldest man's face lit up with a beckoning smile, but Quatre stopped 5 stools short of him. He felt a little sorry for the guy.

"May I?" he asked his distracted prey, grinning brightly.

The man barely glanced at him as he waved dismissively towards the stool. Great. Trying not to get discouraged, the blonde took the seat with his back to the counter. The easier to run away, he mused, and as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, to his left, the older fellow sipped his drink, giving Quatre a loooong glance over the rim of his glass. The blonde watched that scene from the corner of his eye before turning to the man on his right. He had ordered a single whisky, but, though he'd been sitting there forever playing with the tumbler, he had yet to touch its contents.

"Are you going to drink that?"

It seemed as if the stranger was only just noticing the glass between his hands. "Do you want it?" he pushed the drink towards Quatre who thought he sounded surprisingly good-natured.

"Thanks." The blonde leaned against the counter, holding the glass in both hands as he crossed his legs. He wondered how to start a conversation… Then, suddenly, a whole strategy took shape in his head. Duo had gotten his prey's phone number in about an hour and, with this plan, Quatre knew he would win. "I got stood up."

A dark eye silently appraised him before the man signalled the bartender for another whisky. "Boyfriend?" he questioned just as the blonde was giving up on getting a response at all.

"Just a blind date."

"If you've never seen him, how can you be sure he's not here?"

Quatre eyed the man suspiciously out of the corner of his eye. Did he see through his lie? He surely sounded clever. "He sent a message through a mutual friend."

"The long haired guy in the back?"

"Mmm." The blonde nodded, surprised his apparently detached companion had seen and noticed so much. "I didn't realise you were watching."

"Hn."

"What about you? What brings you here?"

"I like jazz."

"Do you?" Quatre could not help but laugh. Tell a lie and you'll hear one. The tiny smirk that curved the stranger's lips was genuine though, and something inside the blonde came alive at the sight for more reasons than just the bet. "Fair enough. How did you tell?"

"That you were lying?" he sipped his new whisky. "No sane man would stand you up."

The blonde took a swig of his own drink, trying to ward off the blush that had taken his cheeks even as he savoured the compliment. Not that his companion was any less affected by his own seemingly unexpected words. "If I tell you my truth… Will you tell me yours?"

"That hardly seems fair."

"How so?"

"You're on the hunt. There's no mystery to it."

He was right, in a way. If only he knew… Quatre mused, knowing the man would probably walk away if he told him the whole truth and he couldn't afford to let him go. Not just yet, not before he'd gotten his number. "But there's mystery to you."

"You wouldn't be interested otherwise."

"Not everyone likes a mystery…or a challenge."

"But you do."

"I do." He admitted nonchalantly. He also loved men who played hard-to-get. As hard as he wanted that man to be though (in more ways than one), he still had to beat Duo's time and the clock was ticking. "Fine. Don't tell me. Let me guess, but – if I do – I want your number."

Mystery-man seemed to consider the proposal as they finished their whiskies. "Just one question before we start. The long haired man at the back?"

"He really is a friend." Quatre held his gaze. "Do you believe me?"

"Hn."

"Another drink? This one's on me." He ordered two dry martinis, smirking when his companion raised his eyebrows. "No lying."

"Very well… But it'll either be a 'yes' or a 'no' for an answer. No more."

"Well…" Quatre purred, ready to start playing. "Tough luck. So… You're dressed rather casually though not at all shabbily."

The man shrugged as if that meant little.

"You came here straight from work."

"Yes."

"You were fired."

"No."

"Of course not. It couldn't be work related…" he picked up his drink, making sure he was being watched before making a show out of eating his olive. "A woman or a man?" for that he simply received a questioning look. "Right. Yes-or-no questions…"

He had only hoped…

"It's really not that hard to guess." The man confessed, turning to his drink with a pensive look.

"You got dumped."

"Yes."

"Sorry about that. Had you been together long?"

"Yes." He smirked at Quatre's annoyed frown.

"I didn't realise we were still playing." The blonde complained half-heartedly as he could not help but return that smirk with one of his own. "Anyways… Here. Your number?" The stranger glanced at the mobile Quatre was offering him and quirked an eyebrow. "You're here to drown your sorrows. I've guessed it." He reminded the man whose dark eyes searched his. The blonde felt his mouth run dry as he wondered if his prey could have possibly seen through his disguise. "I promise I won't call…unless you want me to."

And, just when the man started looking convinced, the phone began to ring in Quatre's hand. He brought it back to his face, saw it was his sister calling and bit his lip, torn between answering and ignoring her.

"Go on." The stranger told him, finishing his drink.

"Excuse me. I'll only be a second."

He stood up and made his way towards the toilets lest he revealed his true identity. It was no emergency, as he had feared, but merely his sister's curiosity which had driven her to call him to ask how the farce had turned out. It must have taken him two minutes at most, but when he returned to the bar his prey was already gone.

Crestfallen, Quatre collapsed on his stool. He'd lost the bet. No, worse even, he had let that man walk away without even getting to know his name. Maybe he hadn't really been interested… Maybe he'd seen through the blonde's disguise. Still, he felt way unhappier than he should have for someone he'd just met.

The barman came to collect the empty glasses. "Miss." He called. "Miss."

Unused to the title, it took him a while to notice he was being addressed. "Yes? Sorry."

"I think this may have been left for you."

Suddenly, Quatre couldn't believe his eyes. On the napkin the barman had just given him, in a very precise hand, was written a phone number.