Disclaimer: Once again, I don't own these GW characters and make not even a dime from spending hours writing about them.

Warnings: AU, sexual situations, yaoi 1x2, 3x4, and various past relationship

The Pretender
Chapter 17
by Dyna Dee

Tuesday didn't fare much better than the day before. After being confronted by two reporters, one in the elevator and the other just outside his office, Duo called the building's security office to firmly remind them that they were being paid to keep unauthorized intruders from gaining access to the upper floors. The call seemed to be taken seriously, because for the remainder of the week all persons entering the building had to present their ID and verify the reason for their visit, which meant no more unexpected visitors. Not everyone was happy with the tighter security, but it helped to keep the press out on the street where they belonged. Unfortunately, the tighter security measures didn't stop reporters from locating and showing up at his apartment building. And how the hell did they get his phone number?

He left work late on Wednesday, well into the evening, having helped Charise go over some fabric samples that needed to be selected by the next morning for cutting. The designer offered him a ride home, not wanting him to be out alone that late at night, and she adamantly refused take no for an answer. He shouldn't have been surprised when, even at that late hour, they were met by a couple of reporters, waiting at the exit of the underground garage, but he was. At least the dark tinted windows of Charise's pale blue Mercedes SL 550 convertible offered some measure of protection from their prying and cameras. To his delight, the news hounds were completely thwarted in their attempt to corner him or capture a decent picture of the only survivor of the serial killer's victims.

Thankfully, the day, at least up until that point, had been relatively free from confrontations with the press. Unfortunately, his luck looked to be running out when he found himself faced with several doggedly determined reporters stationed at the entrance of his apartment building. He dashed from the safety of Charise's car for the doors, brushing past the four reporters while repeating the same phrase he'd given them since they first discovered his identity; no comment. Hoping not to appear panicked, he forced himself not to break out in a run and walk with measured steps to the elevator doors. He sighed with relief as he stepped off the elevator on his own floor, but his relief was brief and his footsteps faltered when he realized who waiting for him almost in the same exact place he'd faced Trowa Monday night.

Dammit. "What are you doing here, Wufei?"

Wearing a suit and tie, it appeared as if the Chinese man had been on his way home from work before he stopped by.

"I just wanted to see if you were all right?"

Duo was both skeptical and suspicious of his former boyfriend's sudden appearance, not to mention his interest in him. "From your past actions, I'm having a bit of a hard time believing that you would spend even a moment worrying about my welfare."

The Asian shrugged. "We were friends once, weren't we? Just because our sex life was non-existent doesn't mean I'd want anything bad to happen to you."

Duo frowned, not believing the other man for a moment. The last time he'd interacted with Wufei had been a less than stellar event. He remembered very clearly being called a cock-tease. No, not a happy memory at all. He moved forward somewhat warily, unsure of why the other man was there. Looking into the dark, unreadable eyes as he neared Wufei, he cut to the chase.

"How did you know where I lived?" If Wufei could locate him, why not the serial killer?

"I traded an interview with a reporter for your address."


"Why don't you try being honest with me, Wu. Why the hell are you here? And don't try the 'I'm your friend' line because I don't believe it for a second."

He watched as the Chinese man scanned his body from head to toe and then back up again. Duo felt as if he was being tried, judged and sentenced by those dark, calculating eyes. With all pretense of friendliness gone Wufei didn't bother to smile as he said, "I understand that you and Heero have become rather close."

"I don't think that's any of your business," Duo huffed. Moving past the other man to unlock his front door. After hearing the click of the bolt pulling back, he then glanced over his shoulder. Wufei stood no less the three feet away, a regular black cloud hanging in the hallway.

Narrowing his eyes, Wufei continued, his tone less than friendly. "Don't think I didn't see you running away from us at the club the other night. You're up to your same old tricks, aren't you? Take my advice, Duo, you don't stand a chance with Heero, so you might as well throw in the towel now and save yourself a lot of embarrassment."

Unable to believe what he was hearing, or that Wufei had the balls to talk to him like this, he rounded on the man. "Are you actually warning me away from Heero?"

"He's out of your league. I know what your problems are, Duo, and believe me, I know first hand that Heero is a very sexual person. You don't have what it takes to hold onto a guy like him for more than a couple of weeks, or until he tires of your cock-teasing act."

Flabbergasted and becoming angrier with each passing moment, Duo looked the sloe-eyed man, wondering what he ever saw in him. "You have never been more of a jack ass than you are right now, Wufei. Again, my relationship with Heero is none of your damn business. Now go shit in somebody else's hallway and leave me the hell alone."

He was stopped from opening his door when Wufei grabbed his wrist and held it tightly. "I'm warning you, Maxwell, break things off with Yuy now and I won't tell him about your not-so-little problem. Heero and I are good together, and I'm not about to lose him, even temporarily, to someone like you."

Moving both from instinct and anger, Duo closed his free hand into a fist. He wasn't much of a fighter, but the DVD Charise had given him on defense tactics was definitely going to be tested tonight. Leaning into the motion, he flung his arm low and forward, catching Wufei in an unguarded moment, hitting the source of his pride and nasty attitude dead on. His restrained wrist was immediately freed as Wufei bent over, making a wheezing sound as if he'd been hit in the lungs instead of his cock and balls. Duo quickly pushed his door open and stepped inside. Feeling not even one speck of pity for the other man he turned back to him and said, "Be a man, Wufei. Talk to Heero about this obsession you have with him. I'll leave it up to him to decide which one of us he'd rather have."

A flushed face, grimacing with pain, lifted slowly, and angry eyes met his own. Through gritted teeth, Wufei hissed out, "The point, you bastard, is that Heero can "have" me any time or place that he wants. You, on the other hand," he wheezed, "can't put out. He'll find that out sooner or later, and then you'll be left out in the cold."

"Ancient history, Wu. I'd get your facts straight before you start a pissing contest. Now get the hell out of here before I call the police." With that said, Duo slammed the door on the man still gripping his aching crotch.

Through the closed door he heard, "You'll rue the day you crossed me, Maxwell. Heero will come running back to me once his infatuation with you wanes."

"Once an ass, always an ass," the braided man mumbled, shrugging off the idle threat and feeling strangely satisfied that he'd come out on top in the unexpected encounter. He debated only a moment whether or not to tell Heero about the altercation with Wufei and decided not to. He'd let Wufei approach Heero and broach the subject of him being a cock-tease. He smiled just thinking about Heero's response, and then Wufei's reaction to the news that they were having sex. Oh to be a fly on the wall during that conversation.

By Friday afternoon the media's attention had turned to another story more newsworthy. A famous Hollywood actor had been involved in a hit and run accident on Sunset Boulevard the night before. It was a story that would fill the headlines for days, much to Duo's relief.

His phone rang two minutes after he walked through the door of his apartment at the end of the day. Grinning with the anticipation of speaking with Heero, he didn't bother checking the caller I.D. on the screen before answering.


It took a moment for him to recognize the voice on the other side of the line and then to hide his disappointment that it wasn't Heero. "Hi, Uncle Hank."

"I hope it's all right that I called you at home. "

"Ah, sure. It's okay," he replied while taking the phone with him to the sofa. Sitting down he asked, "So what's up?"

"I was wondering if you would like to join Jason and I for dinner tomorrow evening. It would give us a chance to catch up."

"Sounds good, but I'm not sure what my boyfriend had planned for the weekend. He's supposed to call any moment now, so maybe I could get back to you after we have a chance to talk."

"Boyfriend, huh?" An amused chuckle sounded from the other end of the line. "Somehow I knew that you were gay."

Duo was about to ask when he'd come to the conclusion that he was gay, but his uncle continued before he could form the question.

"You're certainly welcome to bring him along. I'd like to meet the guy who makes my favorite nephew happy."

The beep in his ear indicated that a call was coming in. "There's my call waiting. I'll bet that's Heero on the other line. Let me get back to you in a little while."

"No rush," Hank said with a chuckle. "Enjoy your conversation and ring back anytime tonight. Jason is out bowling this evening so I'm on my own. Think I'll stay in and watch a movie."

"Bye, Uncle Hank."

"Talk to you later," the older man said before his end of the line clicked off.

Duo immediately hit the button that would take him to the other line. "Heero?"

"I can't tell you how nice it is to hear your voice," Heero said, sounding tired.

"Long week?" He knew Heero had worked every evening on a case involving the CFO from a major airline company, charged with fraud and embezzlement. His job was to prove not only the man's innocence, but that he was set up by one of the board of directors to take the fall for some bad decisions.

"The longest, but I think I've made some headway. The private detective I hired came up with some very compelling information."

"So does that mean you're going to be able to come over tonight?"

"I think I can break away from here in about an hour, but I have to warn you I'm wiped out. I might not be the best company this evening."

"I don't care, I just want to see you. How soon can you get here?"

"If I pick up dinner along the way, I can be there in about an hour and a half."

"I could have something delivered and save you the trip," Duo suggested.

"Sounds good, but nothing too spicy. My stomach's been in knots all week."

"The case you're working on is that demanding?"

"It's not just the case I'm anxious about. I've been worried about you all week. I need to see you, Duo, to be with you."

"I need you, too," Duo said with a sigh. "So get your handsome self over here as fast as you can. I'll be waiting."

"I'll hurry."

It took Duo ten minutes to make up his mind about what to order for dinner. After some deliberation, he chose the closest restaurant with a delivery service and went from there. Chinese food with lots of vegetables, some stir-fry beef and chicken. He stayed away from the spicier items, per Heero's request. With that task accomplished, he spent the rest of the hour freshening up, including a quick shower, a shave and brushing his teeth. Even though Heero said he was tired, he was sure they'd be getting up close and personal in one way or another.

The phone rang fifteen minutes before Heero was due to arrive. Duo fully expected it to be the doorman announcing that dinner had been delivered. Much to his surprise, it was Heero on the line, saying he was on his way up.

Duo met him at the elevator and dragged the weary, rumpled but gorgeous man down the hall and into his apartment. The moment the door closed he was in Heero's arms, reacquainting himself with his lips, caressing his back with one hand while the other was messing up the dark brown locks. Heero fell back against the front door, happily letting Duo have his way with him, grateful for the enthusiastic welcome after a long and tiring week.

When the braided man finally pulled back, his eyes were shining with happiness. "I missed you."

"I can tell," Heero replied with a tired grin, leaning forward to taste that tempting mouth briefly before asking, "Is dinner here? I'm starved."

"Any minute now." Taking Heero's hand, he led him to the sofa and urged the man to sit. Heero slumped down wearily but quickly adjusted himself as Duo sat on his lap and threw his arms around his neck.

"Did I tell you just how much I've missed you?" Duo purred as he closed the distance between them and began to nibble on his boyfriend's ear.

"Yes, I think you did," Heero mumbled, his eyes closing as his senses became overwhelmed by the scent of the other man and the lips teasing his ear. "But you can tell me again."

"Better yet, let me show you," Duo said just before he captured Heero's lips and kissed the lawyer with all the passion he could muster. Once he had the other man thoroughly engaged, he released his mouth to slowly move south, kissing, sucking and nibbling on his neck while loosening the designer tie and unbuttoning the front of his white shirt. He pushed the cotton material away and was disappointed to find a T-shirt barring his way to the wonderful chest. Disappointed, but not wanting to waste precious time, he recaptured Heero's mouth while feeling his way down to his belt and unfastening it, giving himself better access to the button and zipper of the dress pants.

Slowly easing himself off of Heero's lap, he had to release those wonderful lips that were becoming an essential part of his happiness, and parted the relaxed man's knees to slide down between them.

"God, Duo," Heero sighed, his head falling back to rest on the high part of the sofa.

The braided man tugged at the waist of Heero's pants, and to his immense pleasure, his lover lifted his hips so that he could slide both garments down and over his thighs. It took only a moment more before they were tossed over Duo's shoulder. With a grin of anticipation, Duo leaned forward, determined to draw every sexy sound imaginable out of Heero before he was done.


The delivery boy was several minutes late in delivering the Chinese meal to one of his favorite customers. Mr. Maxwell was a pretty cool guy, the seventeen year old boy thought as he approached the familiar. He was also a regular customer and a great tipper. He stopped in front of the designated door and just as he was about to knock, the sound of a man moaning loudly was heard. The tall and lanky teen pressed his ear to the door, wondering if Mr. Maxwell was in pain, and if so, whether or not he might need some kind of help.

"Oh, hell yeah, Duo," the voice moaned. Then rising in volume the man exclaimed, "Oh.. Ah. I... I'm... almost. That's it. Ahh!"

The teenager backed away from the door, a shocked expression on his burning face. That was definitely not Mr. Maxwell, and it sure didn't sound like the man was in pain. He looked down at the two white bags in his left hand and then up at the door again. What the hell was he going to do? He looked at his watch and counted off two minutes before he approached the door again. Taking in a deep breath and squaring his shoulder with resolve, he raised his hand and knocked soundly on the flat surface. "Delivery," he called out.

There were sounds of fumbling on the other side of the door, and after a brief delay it was flung open and the face of his favorite customer was smiling at him.

"Hi, Jim. Running a bit late tonight?" Though he sounded at ease, the delivery boy couldn't help but notice the slight flush on the long-haired man's cheeks.

"Ah... yeah. There's a lot of deliveries on Fridays," the young man said, realizing his face was heating up once more.

A look of concern crossed his customer's face. "Are you okay? You look kind of flushed?"

"Ah... Like I said, I've been running all over the place tonight." Then holding out the two bags he stated, "That will be twenty three, ninety-five."

"Let me get my wallet."


Jim looked over the braided man's shoulder to see a dark haired, good looking guy with his shirt open and tie hanging like a noose around his neck hand a couple of bills over. The delivery boy's face felt like a burning torch after realizing this was the person he'd heard through the door, obviously having sex with Mr. Maxwell.

With a grin, the braided man accepted the bills and handed them to the delivery boy. "There you go, and a nice tip included."

Jim handed over the bags of food. "Thanks, Mr. Maxwell."

"Thanks for delivering. See you in a week or two."

"Yeah, sure," Jim mumbled as he turned on his heel and dashed back towards the elevator.

"Slow down, buddy," his customer called after him. "Life's short enough without running through it."

With a wave of his hand, Jim bid his customer a final farewell. Still feeling embarrassed, he could hardly wait to tell the guys back at the restaurant about what he'd overheard and seen at Mr. Maxwell's door. He'd definitely won the long-standing bet that the long haired man was gay.


Moments after finishing their meal, Heero was ushered towards Duo's bedroom. He made a quick detour to the bathroom to refresh himself while Duo turned down the covers. The moment he stepped into the bedroom, he was promptly undressed by his long-haired lover. He was bone weary after the week he'd been through and honestly didn't think he was up to making love to his eager boyfriend. After being tucked under the covers, Duo excused himself to use the bathroom and came out five minutes later wearing only his boxers and button-down shirt, which was open, offering a teasing glimpse of his lovely chest and flat stomach.

Moving to stand at the end of the bed, Duo had his full attention. With a teasing smile on his lips he slowly peeled his shirt off his shoulders and let it drop to the floor. Unwilling to miss even a second of the show being put on for his benefit, Heero hesitated to so much as blink as those hands that had proven to be more than talented slipped under the waistband of the boxer briefs and began the erotic removal of the garment. Once they had joined the shirt on the floor, Duo straightened, his trim and lovely body on full display. Pulling his braid over his shoulder, Duo ran his hand down the length of it before reaching the tip, where he deftly removed the elastic that bound the thick weave together.

Heero didn't know if he'd ever seen anything as erotic as Duo, unabashedly naked and combing his fingers through his long tresses. He continued with the task until the three foot length of hair covered him like a male version of Lady Godiva. All thoughts of sleep and being tired had evaporated, especially when his lover began crawling on the mattress, on hands and knees, from the bottom of the bed, wearing nothing but a seductive grin. When at last they were face to face, Duo lowered his head and captured his lips completely. From that moment on Heero was like putty in the other man's hands, willing to do whatever was necessary to please his lover.

Half an hour later the two men lay entwined on the mattress, the blankets pulled over their cooling bodies. With his eyes closed and a contented yet weary smile on his face, Heero held the long-haired man against his chest. "Damn, that was nothing short of a dream come true. You, my lover, have beguiled me." He chuckled, feeling relaxed and well loved. This was definitely a perfect end to a very hectic week.

"What's so funny?" Duo asked in a sleepy voice.

"Nothing, love. Go to sleep."

"No. Tell me. I want to know all your deep thoughts."

Heero smiled. "It's been years since I believed that there might be someone in the world who was meant just for me. Like I told you before, I was a bit of a wild teenager, looking for love but mistaking sex for that elusive emotion. My search for the perfect mate led me through countless boys and then men, and each failed relationship chipped away at my belief of a soul mate until I turned cynical. To tell the truth, I've never felt the need to apologize for all the men I've had sex with, but with you here, lying in my arms and never having been with another man, makes me wish I had a cleaner slate."

"None of it matters, now that we're together," Duo replied quietly.

After several moments passed in quiet contentedness, the need for sleep quickly overcame him. With a yawn, he whispered in a sleepy voice, "I'm sorry. I really have to go to sleep. Goodnight, love."

Duo leaned up to kiss his cheek. "Sleep well," he replied, a smile on his face as he settled himself at Heero's side.

Heero let his mind relax along with his body, and within moments he was sound asleep. Duo quickly followed.

Unfortunately, the worries of the week carried themselves into Heero's normal sleeping pattern. Despite his weariness, he woke promptly at 5 a.m. Try as he might, he couldn't go back to sleep despite being comfortable and warm with Duo's naked body pressed up against him. He contemplated waking the other man to a repeat performance of the night before, but he thought Duo would probably appreciate an extra hour or two of sleep. He eased himself out of his lover's embrace and padded silently to the bathroom, where he closed the door as quietly as possible before turning on the light and starting the shower.

Duo woke slowly, gently urged to wakefulness by the hand gently stroking his head. "Hey, sleepyhead." Heero's voice, soft as it was, cut through the fog of lingering sleep, bringing a smile to his face.


The smell of coffee and bacon caught his interest and both eyes blinked open. Sure enough, Heero was sitting on the bed and a tray of food was on the bedside table. Duo's smile faded slightly when he realized that Heero was dressed in his work clothes, minus the tie and jacket. "How long have you been up?"

"Two hours."

"And you didn't wake me?" Duo pulled himself into a sitting position with something close to a pout on his face.

Heero, unable to resist, leaned forward to brush his lips across Duo's. Sleep mussed was definitely a great look on the other man. "I didn't want to disturb your sleep, especially since I need to head back to the office."

Duo put his hand behind his head, keeping him from pulling back. "You can't stay a while longer?"

It was a tempting offer, but with a defeated sigh Heero shook his head and explained, "I'm swamped at the office. I really do have to go, but I wanted to at least have breakfast with you."

It was hard not to be disappointed, but Duo managed a pleased expression as he looked at the tray. "So what have you got?"

They fed each other off the tray, teasing and flirting, yet when the tray was empty, Heero reluctantly looked at his watch, then stood to take the tray back to the kitchen. "Leave it. I'll take care of the dishes later," Duo said, moving to climb out of the bed. "I'll see you to the door."

After slipping on a clean pair of boxers, the long-haired man took Heero's hand into his own and led him to the front of his apartment. "I almost forgot," Duo said as they approached the door. "My uncle invited me to dinner tonight and you're invited. Would you like to come?"

"I don't know," he hedged, thinking about everything he needed to do that day. "What time?"

"He didn't say," Duo replied, tugging on the front of Heero's shirt. With a grin he looked up from beneath the fringe of hair over his forehead and added, "I was supposed to call him back last night, but I guess I was a bit too distracted."

Heero put his fingertips under Duo's chin, raising it up to capture his smiling lips in a satisfying kiss. When he pulled back he said, "Text me the time and place and I'll let you know if I can make it."

They parted reluctantly, each man hoping for a chance to see each other again before the weekend was over.

on to chapter 18

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