Product Placement

Chapter 21 - Cute

Though he thought himself as more mature than most of his peers, Francis fell victim to certain teenage missteps. Eating too many sweets before bed, procrastinating on school work, staying up late and subsequently oversleeping, and his latest vice: teasing the hell out of his friends. Granted, he only had one friend (that wasn't also a business partner who he couldn't really insult without running the risk of losing a crucial contact), but he made up for the lack of friends by relentlessly torturing the one he had.

Which explained his constant use of a single word: Cute.

It was, quite honestly, the perfect word. Short, sweet, simple, and it annoyed Butch to no end. All he had to do was smile the slightest bit and Butch would instantly be seething. The second the word fell from his lips he would start ranting, getting far more pissed off than he could ever make the hustler with his myriad of pet names.

What bothered Francis about it was that the more he thought and the more he used it, the more the word and Butch seemed to attach to each other. After a while, he found himself thinking it casually, mentioning it without wanting to set Butch off on a tangent (he always did, but sometimes he didn't mean for it to happen). The fact of the matter was that Butch was now cute to Francis, and he couldn't for the life of him understand why. Of course he blamed it on his teasing, but if that were the case he should have been able to be rid of it by now – he'd found other words to use on Butch that made him just as angry (mostly throwing the pet names right back at him). But he couldn't shake 'cute.'

The more he thought about it, the more perfect the word seemed to fit him. Butch was smaller than him, and small things were generally cute. He had big brown eyes and a thinner body and longer hair, so Francis figured that made him seem girly in comparison to himself, and therefore cute (somehow – girls were usually cute, right? At least the ones he was attracted to). Butch had hyperactive mannerisms and mood swings and a huge imagination that he often felt necessary to share with whoever would listen, so that made him somewhat childish, which made him cute (though HK had never really cared for kids all that much). He tried to act tougher than he was and would put up or pick fights with him, and that was cute because it was absurd and he would lose. His laugh was cute, his inflections were cute, his tone and face and smile were all cute. Butch was just fucking cute and Francis couldn't explain it to anyone, not even himself, without sounding really gay or totally smitten.

Which was something of an issue.

They were not an item. It was a convenient arrangement, and he was pretty sure he didn't feel anything special toward the storyteller other than occasionally (okay - often) horny enough to fuck him. Everything else he filed under purely visual, sexual interest (they were fucking, after all) and friendship. He wondered if he was wrong, but he never dwelled that often. It didn't seem important to start hyper analyzing a finite relationship. It was bound to end – he said so himself.

Problem was Butch was so damned cute sometimes he almost felt like he didn't want it to.

Like now, for example. Butch had come over to work on their project, but mid way through Butch had gotten distracted, and while that wasn't unusual, he seemed hell bent on distracting Francis too. The hustler didn't fall for it, leafing through textbooks and shoving Butch off his side when he attempted to lie there and do nothing. In a fit of not-quite rage he'd started calling the other male names. It wouldn't have bothered him, but he just kept talking and talking and talking. When Francis finally looked up Butch threw a pillow at his face, then made a lewd gesture and called him a pillow biter.

Francis had then, understandably, tackled him.

They wrestled for a few minutes, not really fighting so much as childishly prodding at weak spots and flipping each other over. Eventually HK had stopped fooling around, flipped Butch onto his back, and kept him pinned there with relative ease despite his frantic struggles. To still him, Francis lowered his head, nuzzling his neck and nipping the pale skin. Almost instantly Butch calmed down, tilting his head back so Francis could get at it better. The larger male readily abused this, kissing his way to Butch's mouth, turning this roughhousing to something different entirely and not all that upset about forgetting schoolwork for now.

"You're cute." He said suddenly against Butch's mouth. He didn't even mean to get a rise out of him. It just fell out.
"Shut up."
"You are." He insisted (for some reason), "If you'll just accept it the world will be a better place."
"I am going to punch you in the face"
"Try it. Cutie" Okay, now he was trying to pester him.
"You're a dead man when you get off of me."
"So I'll just lie here, then."
"See, you're screwed both ways 'cause I like that outcome too."
"What makes you think I don't?"
"Weren't you just bitching at me about getting this done."
"Fuck it."
"Don't you mean 'fuck me'?"
"No. You have to admit you're cute first."
"You little bastard- it's not… shut the fuck up."
"Aw, you're red. How adorable."
"Fuck you, you son of a bitch!"

Butch went quiet, instead trying to find a way out of the hustler's hold, squirming and twisting. He wound up on his side, but was still trapped beneath the larger body. Francis lowered his head to kiss his neck again; figuring that line of conversation was over. Butch barely reacted, though, too lost in thought. A moment later he squirmed in Francis' hold, twisting his upper half to look up at the hustler.

"You mean it?" Butch asked
"Mean what?" Francis murmured, busying himself with Butch's collarbone.
"I'm – never mind."
"Do I think you're cute?"
"Just drop it an lemme up-"
"Yes I think you're cute. You are. Is that an issue?"
"I can't stop what you're thinking, even if it's-"
"Oh cut the self depreciation crap. You're cute. Girls like that."
"They like manly men."
"I have six boxes of shoujo manga that are ready to sell out in twenty minutes to prove you wrong."
"Six boxes of what?"
"Comics featuring mostly cute guys. Girls love that shit. They've even come up with a fucking term for it."
"Other than cute"
"What about you?"
"You have a thing for cute guys now?"
"Suits my purpose." He cupped Butch's ass and grinned "Cutiepie."
"You are seriously dead."

Francis ignored him, lowering himself onto Butch, compressing him into the carpet. Butch put up a token struggle and gave in, putting his arms around Fran's neck. For a while they laid like that, ignoring their homework and instead paying attention to each other. Their earlier animosity, however playful, seemed to be forgotten. But then Francis made the mistake of forgetting Butch's earlier threats. He heard his phone go off in the next room, and got off of Butch to go get his phone.

It took him five minutes to finish the call, and another two to pry the enraged storyteller off of his back and fling him into the wall.

The impact made him wince. He hadn't meant to throw that hard, but then again Francis would not fucking tolerate being ambushed. He scooted towards the slumped male. He looked alright, if not a bit dazed from knocking against the wall. Figuring Butch as a threat was neutralized, Francis hovered over and then finally knelt down beside him, pressing a few fingers under his chin and tilting his face up.

"Ow." Butch said, blinking. "You're a prick."
"You snuck up on me."
"You threw me into the wall!"
"It's a standard retaliation technique."
"For some overblown muscle-bound psychopath!"
"I resent that." He helped Butch to his feet, holding him by the lower back "Did I really hurt you?"
"No, not too bad. Didn't even hit my head."
"What was that thump then?"
"My ass."
"So I'm assuming that it doesn't need more pounding tonight. Great. We can finish that project."

Butch made a frustrated noise that morphed into a groan of pain. Though the thought shouldn't have struck him, it did. Francis thought it was cute. Not butch being in pain, but the scrunched up face and frustrated, sex starved whine that came before the injury. The idea rang and rang in his head to the point where it actually forced a physical smile. Butch asked him about it (even after Francis tried to avoid the question by kissing him) going so far as punching him in the arm and threatening to choke it out of him.

This time, however strong the word rang in his head at Butch's pout, Francis wisely kept his mouth shut.



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