Product Placement

Chapter 5 - My Mouth Feels Naked

A blissful few uneventful months had passed since the whole Christine debacle. For a while it had been rough, neither boy speaking to the other, HK being especially gruff about transactions and Butch smoking like he was breathing the stuff. Eventually they came around, started talking again, making deals with each other. There was no talk of flavored cigarettes or red hair. Butch took it as a huge step back to square one when Francis was finally able to shake his hand and look him in the eye for more than three seconds.

Be that as it may, they were still cautious around each other.

Butch was afraid of getting hit more than anything. He'd heard the horror stories about Francis cashing in on outstanding balances- and he believed them. The guy was built like a friggin' building and known for having a temper. Butch knew he was already on thin ice – he didn't want to anger the killer whale circling below him. Besides, Butch knew when he fucked up, and he didn't exactly have all that many friends so he figured the best thing to do was hang onto the one he had.

Francis, on the other hand, just couldn't shake the image. It was bewitching. It had taken a while for him to not see Christine every time he looked at Butch. It was those eyes – those damned eyes! He never looked at them before, not for so long. That was what killed him, but he persisted. It took a while but he got over it. He mended his uneasy friendship and tried to usher it into a new direction. He wanted Butch to still do product placement, yes, but the more he thought about it the more he wanted to try this friend thing. At the very least it would stop him from thinking of Butch in a red wig and pencil skirt. So far, it seemed to be working.

They were out near the lake tonight, aimlessly wandering. It was after Hustler closed shop and before Butch's self-induced insomnia that they figured was the best time to meet up. Sometimes they sat in the parking lot of a 24-hour store, other times they just kept walking. More often than not, though, the found themselves near the lake – Muddy Bottom Pond, to be exact. There was a half-finished wall that ran along the southern side, pressed right into the fleshy side of a hill, low and perfect for sitting. Butch hopped up on it, gripping the edge while he chattered away, cigarette in his teeth, running his newest story past the Hustler while he leaned against the wall. Some part of him faltered a bit when he noticed they were now the same height, but he kept on, finishing the story with his usual flourish.

"…And they never saw him again." Butch stated, his voice down to the low, creepy octave that he always ended his stories in.
"How come all your stories end with some kid disappearing forever?" HK asked.
"That's the best ending I can come up with, I guess." Butch admitted, puffing his cigarette as he thought "But, but hey, it's not like it's a bad ending, right? Hell, like you could come up with anything better."
"You could try the truth." Hustler pointed out blandly "That'll throw 'em for a loop."
"The truth ain't that interesting." Butch wrinkled his nose and just laughed, stubbing the cig out on the bricks.
"Truth is stranger than fiction."

Hustler leaned against the same wall, happy for the momentary lapse in smoked choked air. It had been a constant damn stream of that smog since they'd met at Kelso's. For all the mysteries about Butch Francis was having a hard time deciphering this one without help. Why was he so addicted, who gave him his first, how did he not smell like smoke all the time though theoretically he should stink like he rolled around in the stuff? Despite all these questions the hustler knew better than to blurt them out. The thoughts rattled around in his brain, things he could never think about asking Butch outright 'cause it would be too weird. He had been thinking a lot about Butch, actually… or was it Christine? They had both fallen silent for now, the rustling of fabric as Butch pawed around for his cig the only real noise.

Butch saw to it that was broken soon enough.

"Fucking hell." He hissed, turning out his pockets for the third time.
"What is it now? Loose your train of thought?" Hustler asked, his eyes closed, uninterested for the most part.
"Mm. just a sec." Butch cursed again, then huffed and rubbed his face. It fell quiet.
"What did you lose?" Hustler asked, opening one of his eyes and seeing a very distraught looking Butch in his field of vision.
"Didn't loose anything." He said. "Just… I'm outta cigs."
"Good. You'll live longer."
"Cut it out with that." He hissed. "I get enough of that from mom. Don't go makin' me feel bad here too."
"So you're out. Go buy more." Hustler tried, both his eyes open now, quietly realizing that Butch didn't even really look like Butch anymore without a cancer stick in his teeth.
"Outta cash too. Don't get paid til Friday." He huffed and rubbed his face, squirming around.

HK grunted and shifted away, Butch's squirming making him uncomfortable. What the hell was his problem? Didn't he have toothpicks or something else to chomp on? And who the hell still got an allowance at sixteen? Couldn't he go get a job or something – oh he sure as hell better not start asking for wages.

"It's just…" Butch said suddenly "Its like… my mouth feels naked without 'em, yah know? I mean, I dunno. It's like some sort of fixation. Remember Mrs. Donald's lecture of the Freudian things? Oral fixation. I think that's what I got. Damn…" He sucked in a breath, turning to face Hustler who was, much to his surprise, listening with rapt attention. "Nevamind. It's nothing, really."
"Is that all?" He asked, "Well, lets see if that can't be fixed."

With that, the Hustler leaned in and kissed the other boy thoroughly, his chin trapped between his thumb and forefinger.

To say that Butch was surprised would have been such a grand lie that even Butch wouldn't have believed it. For a moment he didn't even breathe – everything seemed to grind to a sudden halt. But oddly enough it wasn't a bad halt. It was just a sudden one. Whatever Franny was doing (kissing him – Butch realized a little bit later), it didn't feel all that bad. Not that he had anything to compare it to. He was pretty sure this was familiar in some weird way, but at the same time this was entirely new and he was kinda curious as to where it was gonna go. So he waited, belatedly shutting his eyes and leaning forward into it.

It took a few minutes for it to sink into HK's consciousness, but when it got there, it seized him up like an old car engine. What was he doing? What the hell was he thinking? He just kissed- was kissing- his friend! Butch! He was kissing Butch! What the fuck! This had to be a mistake – hormones or something. He had to blame this on something that wasn't him. There was no way he would have ever done this at any other time – not before Christine. That was it. He was replacing Butch for that red haired beauty that didn't actually exist. That was it, that had to be it. He wouldn't have done it otherwise.


However, staying true to his ability to keep the inside separate form the outside, he didn't quite pull away. If anything, he leaned in a bit more and let go of Butch's chin, sliding that hand up into his hair and pulling a soft sound from the shorter male. He could protest and shout and fume inside his head as much as he wanted but that didn't stop him from enjoying this sensation. He couldn't remember the last time he'd kissed someone, let alone kissed someone like this. It was, well, wonderful. Amazing. Almost perfect. It couldn't get any better-

And then mouths were open and hands were moving and there were shy fingers and tongues carefully moving about and up and down and in and out and Butch tasted kind of sweet behind the smoke and Francis tasted pretty good too and now they were flush together and this was feeling way too good and breath was running low and so they pulled back.

But that turned out to be a mistake. The both of them turned bright red and let go, detangling themselves from each other and shifting a fair bit of distance away. If Butch ever really, really needed a smoke that time would be right fucking now. Francis, on the other hand, was trying to put the whole situation together, but his mind seemed to be a in a bit of a fuzz and didn't want to cooperate. They stole nervous glances at each other, biting lips and shifting weight, trying to find words to say to maybe hopefully diffuse the tension -sexual, awkward, or otherwise.

A few painfully quiet minutes passed and Butch gathered up enough courage to look directly at the other. He noticed, even in the dark, he was bright red. Then again, his face was kind of burning a bit too. He chewed his lip and kicked his feet, looking down again, then back up to the side of Francis' still-reddened face. Butch, being Butch, thought the easiest way to break the silence would be to crack a joke.

"Hey… looks like you can express yourself, after all."
"W-What?" Francis asked quietly.
"Ah… you-your face. It's red as a cherry." Butch gulped a little and kicked his legs. There was no answer. Maybe that wasn't the way to open up.

Another silence followed, tearing at them. Unable to take much more, they both slipped away from the wall, not quite looking at each other, not quite talking to each other, but casting careful glances and muttering softly. Neither wanted to admit how much they had actually really liked it. I mean, if they other had liked it as much, they'd say so, right? Right. Or so they figured.

They were just about to go their separate ways when Butch (because there was something about what happened just minutes before that made him feel a bit funny but in a good way) thought of one last ditch effort to keep him there.

"My mouth still feels naked." He murmured almost too quietly, touching is lips and studying HK from the corner of his eye.

The hustler stiffened, immediately turning to regard the white-streaked boy. The quiet was different now, not tense but questioning. Butch finally brought his eyes up to Francis' level and it seemed they really didn't need to talk anymore. Hustler didn't turn to leave. Rather, he approached Butch with a few careful steps and, in a remarkably familiar gesture, tipped his head up once more searching his face. Butch stared right back and Francis seemed to find what he was looking for in those dark eyes because only a moment later he was kissing Butch again, deeper and more urgently than before.

It got heated quickly, to the point where the dealer shoved Butch against the short wall, if only to rest his weight comfortably against his companion while his fingers gripped gently at his short hair. Butch didn't seem to mind. In fact, he seemed to enjoy it, moaning and sliding his leg around Francis' for good measure. The normally composed salesman shuddered, his whole body twitching as he groaned in return.

They broke apart for breath again… but this time the red faces and stuttering apologies were absent. It was replaced with a careful caress on HK's part, feeling the heat rise in Butch's face. Rather than say anything, the smaller male swallowed thickly and reached up, pulling those lips back down to his, skipping right past the soft stuff Francis thought was supposed to come in favor of a few gentle laps at the seams of his lips, begging to be let in and taste again. Hustler happily obliged.

Fingers probed and stroked and caressed through fabric that was rapidly becoming a bit too warm. Mouths opened and shut and pressed and teeth nipped and nibbled and tongues met and twirled and rubbed together in a dance that neither of them really knew but were improvising pretty damn well. The moaned and whined and made soft noises breathing through their nose and trying as best as they could not to break for air unless absolutely necessary. Backs arched, torsos pressed into each other and hips pressed flush. There were careful, subtle touches and breaths and deft moves away from the lips to seek out more spots to kiss but those never lasted long enough to prove fruitful. Lips always returned to lips and there they happily stayed.

A sudden vibration between them made them both spasm and lurch. Francis cursed, panting softly while he pawed around for the damn phone, fully intent on tossing it into the sky and getting back to Butch. The teller had other plans, however, and looked at him curiously.

"Who?" Butch asked, his voice more quiet and raspy than he thought.
"It's… ah. My… my…?" He blinked in confusion, trying to squint in the dark to know whom to hate.
"It's okay. No big." Butch shrugged a little and somehow slipped out of the small pocket between the larger male and the shorter wall.

Stretching his muscles, Butch found himself grinning like the cat that got the canary. Francis was still a little red, from what he could see and he seemed to be out of breath while he fumbled with his phone and turned away to chatter quietly into it, hanging up a short few moments later.

Butch busied himself by patting himself down again, stopping at his inside pocket and pulled out a thin cigarette, lighting it up with a flick of his lighter. He didn't react to Hustler's shocked expression, taking a few long drags. Butch eyed him a few moments, trying to figure out why Fran looked at him like that. He puffed, grinning at the dealer before turning a bit and making his way off to his neck of the woods.

"I'll catch ya later, Franny." He said, waving causally over his shoulder.

He heard Francis choke behind him, but he didn't turn. He didn't want to snap Francis' last nerve, and he sure as hell didn't want to get beat up this late. Instead he picked up the pace, jogging off to his basement room and TV, hoping to not think about this too long and instead rot his brain with a bit of late night TV or a possible movie marathon.

What Butch didn't realize was Francis wouldn't have dreamed of killing him just that moment. There were too many thoughts in his head to concentrate on hitting him or even yelling at him. In fact, he kind of felt like running after the storyteller, keeping him around for a little while. But Butch was gone before he could act upon it. It was a little disheartening, but he'd see Butch again. Maybe he'd have this all figured out by tomorrow morning.




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