Product Placement

Chapter 1 - First One's on Me

Butch was…confused. He stared at the small card. Who in the hell had business cards in the tenth grade? Seriously. He didn't even know who this guy was. He had to ask around. People thought he was crazy… or maybe they were just shocked they were asking him things when he was the one that usually knew stuff. Turns out the guy was pretty well known. A hustler, somebody who could get you stuff through questionable means as long as you were able to pay for them. Pay being the operative word.

It was a little strange to be approached by someone who supposedly had such a good handle on the school as a unit (apparently this guy had been around and hustling since, like, second grade). It was weird that someone like that needed someone like him to help 'move merch,' as he put it. It was all suddenly out of the blue, too. No warning at all this guy pops out of the ground and asks him to do some stuff (he really wasn't paying that much attention) and then shoves a card in his hand and walks off like nothing happened. Talk about weird.

So, Butch sat in his basement room, twirling the card over and over in his hand. The guy said to give him a call after school. It was after school. But it was also kinda late. He was probably eating dinner with his family right about now. Butch grinned. Well, if he was going to pop up outta nowhere and bother him, then so was he.


He really wasn't expecting him to pick up and answer like that. He wasn't expecting it. So he hung up. Twice. The hustler finally got him to stay on the phone for more than ten seconds and arranged a meeting date. Butch thought it made him sound like an asshole, so he cut him off and told him to stop by when he was done eating dinner or whatever he did at this time.

He showed up at his door about ten minutes later.

Though rather confused about it ("Dude, don't you have a fucking family or something?"), Butch let him in and showed him downstairs. His parents were out, which would have made this ridiculously convenient if Hustler was some really banging chick, but for now it was just easier to get him down the stairs without any interruptions. He loved his mom, but seriously, not everyone needed cookies when they stepped through the threshold.

Hustler eyed the basement skeptically, stepping over a pile of what he assumed was clothing.

"You… operate from the basement?" He ventured, trying not to sound weirded out. True, the boy was known for lurking in shadows like a regular phantom, but this was a little much.

"Hell yeah." Butch drawled, plopping down on the couch "Fought tooth and nail for this place once my big brother Joey went off to college."

"Ah, the infamous Joey. The man who gave you your… deformity." He gestured to his hair and Butch grinned smugly.

"Mmyep. Take off your coat and stay a while." He offered, stretching out a bit.

Hustler did no such thing. Rather, he sat at the unused edge of the couch and glanced around. Nothing inherently… dangerous. It looked like a teenaged boys room; messy and unkempt and horrifically normal. A far cry from his own house. He was bored most of the time. What else was there to do but sell things and keep it obsessively neat? He glanced around again, and his gaze settled on a large container toward the edge of the room. His mind, for some strange reason, instantly thought terrible, horrible things abut what was being kept in there. He shook back that thought. Why would anything like that be there? Butch and his crazy stories… All lies. He cleared his throat and turned to Butch, bent on starting his business proposal.

"What's in the cooler?" flew out of is mouth instead.

Butch sat up and tilted his head, peering past the salesman to where he was gesturing. Yep. There was a cooler He didn't remember that being here before.

"Dunno." He said, getting up "Lemme check."

"Don't get bitten."

"I'll try my very hardest."

Butch kicked open the cooler unceremoniously and to his delight, found it stuffed with ice and beer. He laughed, picking up to bottled and clinking them together.

"Ha! Lookie what we got here. Looks like Joey left me a little present."

"Is that beer?"

"Why yes. Yes it is. Would you like one?"

"No… thank you. I'm not a very big drinker."

"But I fished it out for you and everything. See? The top's still on, and it's roofie free. Scout's honor."

"Again, I'm not a big drinker-"

"It's a beer Hustler. Not a Jaeger bomb." He waggled the bottle within his reach "Lighten up, wouldja?"

The hustler looked at the dripping bottle and blinked. He shouldn't. He really shouldn't. He was a terrible, terrible lightweight, and last time he tried he passed out after doing God knows what with God knows who for- well, he actually didn't want to think about it that much. Based on that, he probably shouldn't have even looked up at Butch's half-smiling face to search for any ill meaning. There wasn't any. He just wiggled the bottle and waited for him to take it. Hustler stared a little longer, then, weighing the options. He shouldn't, but he needed to forge some sort of camaraderie. Well, not so much need as really, really want. Based on that, he really didn't have a choice. Besides, it had been a year or two since that blackout incident; maybe he built up more of a tolerance. The fact he wasn't exactly having the best day ever might have helped his decision, too.

"So? You gonna take it or not?"


What was the worst that could happen?


Three beers later, the two teens were dissolved in a fit of giggles over something Butch had said that neither could really remember. It was funny, though, so they laughed. A lot.

That being said, Francis was totally smashed. Butch was very nearly there. He hadn't mean to drink as much as he had, but he got so caught up watching the hustler slip into a giggly mess that he lost track and got drunk too. Not that he minded. Butch was a mellow drunk, if not a little louder and more… touchy.

Currently, the both of them were right up next to each other, a far cry from the opposite ends of the couch they each claimed upon the hustler's arrival. They swayed a bit, especially Butch, and bumped shoulders more often than not. Eventually the storyteller just settled for leaning on him and babbling through a story that Hustler, for some reason, thought was the most hysterical thing in the world. All his laughing was making Butch laugh, and before long they were laughing so hard they were gripping their sides and fell over on each other.

Neither noticed anything that could have possibly been misconstrued about their position. They were just laughing. Butch was between Francis' legs, half-curled on his chest and hugging his sides, and Francis was arching his back and gripping at the couch. But they were just laughing. Two pals, laughing away at something. They couldn't remember exactly what, but it was funny, so they laughed. Eventually, they calmed down. Butch though Francis was comfy (he had said-repeatedly- to call him Francis after the first beer) so he stayed curled up on his chest, trying to catch his breath. Francis thought both Butch and Butch's couch were comfy and inviting, so he put up no fight.

After a few minutes of quiet, Butch uncurled and looked up at the hustler, who was staring over the armrest at some particularly interesting thing that Butch couldn't see.

"Hey…" Butch started, catching his attention after a little bit of poking "'Ey…"

"…Yeah?" the other answered after a few moments of thinking just how to answer. He was usually so good with words…

"Yah.. yah know? You're kindah cute…" He slurred, poking his nose "Yer eyes are… real pretty. Like… whoa. Naww… don' bliiink. Lookitme. Here I'll… I'll lookit 'em."

Butch crawled up the hustler's chest (which ne noted somewhere in his memory that was actually broad and strong under his fingers…) and attempted to force his gaze. The other teen started to snicker and Butch whined for him to stop and 'lookit' him. He did, after a fit of giggles, and stayed put while Butch inspected his eyes. To his credit, they were a pretty gray-blue color, almost like ice. It was awesome. He tried to get closer (sometimes people had these weird flecks in their eyes and they could change color and that was equally as awesome), and looked in deeper.

Butch slipped and broke his fall on the hustler's lips.

He slipped. He actually, legitimately slipped while trying to balance his weight equally on Francis' chest and his couch. He didn't factor in the fact that coats move easier than shirts, and the flap of coat he was resting his hand on slipped out from under him. He fell, his face dropping suddenly onto Francis', hitting with more force than most people would have liked in their awkward, drunken kisses.

The idea was almost absurd enough to make them both start laughing as hard as they were before, but the sudden-ness of the situation (and the slight pain it caused), stunned both boys into silence. Butch blinked a little, staring at the grey-blue eyes he found really rather fascinating. He hadn't found it in him to move quite yet. Besides, Francis was looking right back at him. He hadn't shoved him off yet, or started asking what the hell he was thinking. All the same, this was weird, even if he was kinda tipsy, and he started to lift himself up.

Francis stopped him.

"No…" he whispered, "Dun… don' stop…"

"Buh… uhm…"

Francis stopped any further attempts for explanation or excuses by leaning up. They brushed mouths again, and Butch figured if he was going to be homophobic or overreact, he would have done it by now. So he went with it. Was it the best decision? Nope. But it felt good. Feeling good was the main goal of every drunk, and Butch was no exception. Neither was Francis, apparently, and he had some idea of what he was doing. Butch followed his lead, mimicking to the best of his drunken ability.

This felt… nice. Very nice. Very, very nice. Francis liked this. Butch felt good above him like this. He didn't know what he was doing, but he was learning rather quickly. He was making quite a bit of noise, but it didn't matter. Francis was a good teacher. He smiled a little at Butch's attempt to improvise (a little nip- a good touch but it was a bit too hard for his liking), and guided him until he remembered breathing was a necessary function.

"Good?" The hustler rasped, half-smiling when he broke for air.

"Uhn…" Butch grunted, pulling his mouth up again.

Francis smirked, drawing him in. Time to introduce hands. He tried his back first, and Butch made a small noise he wasn't able to identify. The hustler explored a few more spots, like his side (he laughed there) and his neck (touching his scars made him actually break the kiss to moan and then promptly kiss him in a much harder, sloppier fashion). He made a few notes he knew he wouldn't remember, but enjoyed it all the same. The only real problem he came across was trying to slip his hands up under the shirt. Butch didn't take that well (he bit him), and he stopped. Butch let him do anything else. He even got away with a liberal groping of his ass, though Butch made a weird enough noise that he decided not to try it again. The other male copied him, or at least tried to. The storyteller mostly settled on cradling his head in his hands and gripping the short brown hair in his fingers.

Thankfully, no one was home to bother either of them during their slightly awkward makeout session. No one bothered them afterward either. Francis was first to slip off, passing out with a soft sigh and his grip still wrapped around Butch's shoulders. Butch followed suit not long after, watching the hustler's head lull back with a sleepy sigh. He was a little disappointed that he stopped. Whatever he was doing, it had felt good, and now it stopped. He whined a little, but ultimately remembered booze made him very tired. So he rested his head on the chest under him and listened for a heartbeat. It was still there, and it was very, very constant and warm-sounding and it put him to sleep easier and a lot better than he could ever really remember sleeping.

But that was probably just the booze.


Joey facepalmed.

Half his beer was gone!

Oh, and his little brother was passed out on top of some strange dude he'd never seen before. But, eh, that wasn't a huge surprise. He always suspected Butch was… not completely straight. Oh sure, he tried chicks a few times and always seemed to charm the hell out of his girlfriends. But come on! Who the hell gets so traumatized by a boy and a girl kissing that it turns their hair white? Joey shook his head and frowned. Now, how to humiliate and them most while simultaneously getting revenge for drinking his beer?

He had a few options.

He could snap a few photos and then hide them in strategically placed areas to cause maximum discomfort and probably cause Butch to be his slave forever. Or he could turn on all the lights really fast and then laugh while the hangovers make them scream. He could have the same effect and not blind himself by cranking the stereo. He could even do all of the above and blackmail them into getting is room back and having TWO personal slaves.

He could do all manner of nasty, evil things to them… but it turns out he thought too long. Butch and the other guy began to stir, so all he could do was cross his arms and stand there with a smug, all knowing I-am-SO-telling look on his face. He just waited, and eventually Butch opened his bleary eyes and got up, confused. He didn't seem to realize he was using another living body for support, or care too much. He looked around, barely noticing the groaning support he was using. Finally, his squinty, unfocused eyes settled on the Joeys in front of him.

He shot up a little suddenly, slipping on the chest of the guy he had been laying on. He didn't face plant, and actually managed to get to his feet. That was a big feat. He staggered forward, looking him right in the eye and slurred something akin to 'what the hell are you doing here?' The ensuing silence was deafening. For a drunken guy, Butch could sure glare and still seem intimidating.

"You drank my beer." Joey growled, staring him down.

"Finders keepers!" Butch snarled

What followed was the stereotypical older versus younger sibling shouting match. Butch may have been at a disadvantage because of his headache, but he covered it well using creative and frankly hair-brained arguments. The playing field was about even. So, naturally he diverted into humiliation territory, as was per the code of big brothers, when he noticed the other dude wake up and sit up and look like he was about to throw up.

"Oh yeah? I can see you dinking my beer, but shacking up with some random dude? That ain't normal." That stunned them both into silence, which Joey promptly took advantage of to ask: "So… did you guys fuck or what?"

Butch would have screamed and tackled him down if his head wasn't spinning and he any full-impact motion would cause him to spew. Joey snickered. Butch shook his head violently and sputtered excuses and negations. The guy on the couch just looked pale and kind of detached. He must have a hell of a headache.

Joey eventually waved off all of Butch babbling and caught him in a headlock, laying out a few demands. Butch was to pay off his lost booze wages, let him have reign of the basement for two days, and a standard twenty bucks cover charge for keeping his mouth shut. Butch agreed, and Joey dropped him. His big brother duties accomplished for the day, he left the room and the two hung over teens alone in the dark.


Butch trudged over to the couch and plopped down, rubbing his temples. It took him a few minutes to get up, but the blissful darkness made it easier. The hustler groaned, his eyes still shut. For a while they sat in an awkward and yet oddly comfortable silence, trying to quell their respective headaches and various other symptoms of hangovers.

"You remember anything?" Hustler whispered cautiously after a few moments.


"…Probably better that way."

"Probably." A pause. "Asprin?"

"Sure. You have a spare case?"

"I got some."

A glass of water and a few tablets later, the sprawled out over the couch. Their knees were touching, but even though they both felt it and knew it was happening, neither one found it in them to move. It wasn't like they were on top of each other. And that time before was just an accident. They got drunk. It didn't mean anything.

Some time later they played rock-paper-scissors to see who would get up and try turning on the light. Butch lost and accused the hustler of cheating. HK kicked him off the couch in response. Butch crawled over to his lowest watt lamp and flicked it on, hissing violently when the light half-flooded the room. Hustler had his eyes covered. Butch sneered at him and called him an asshole before rejoining him on the couch.

"You look like hell." The hustler muttered, peeking out from under a heavy sleeve.

"Better than death warmed over."

"That's what I look like, then?"


"…you have a hickey."

"You too."



"That blows."

"At least you have a collar."

"Good point. Want some makeup?"

"Want I should smack you?" Butch snapped.

Another awkward-but-okay silence followed when Francis couldn't think of something in response to that. The two contemplated their 'injuries' and how to explain them. Butch was already thinking of a story and Hustler was fixing his coat. Again their legs were touching, but neither really cared. Their headaches were beginning to subside, but neither wanted t risk talking or moving. As a result, they lay there for quite a long time, half-enjoying each other's company. The other half was trying to quell any dizziness or bouts of nausea that was still there.

"I should go…" Hustler muttered, looking over at Butch.

"No one is stopping you."

"I'm stopping me."

"Still woozy?"

"A little…"

"I'm not kicking you out, either. Take your time."


"… You think we fucked?" Butch asked randomly, finally facing him. The other was quiet for a moment, but then he ended up shaking his head in the negative. It didn't hurt anywhere, and they were both fully clothed. No blood, either. Eh. Highly unlikely, anyway. If they did, then neither could remember, then how good could it have been?

The hustler left a few rounds of banter later, his head hurting a little but otherwise fine. He decided not to let Butch know he might have had some odd recollection of a slip and a fall and an accidental… No, that was crazy. Butch and his crazy vibes, messing with his head. He kind of hoped he'd remember the business proposal he was pretty sure he laid out.

He'd talk to him on Monday. Life could wait until then.


                    ~~~~~~~~ Back to Recess ~~~~~~~~ Chapter 2

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