Product Placement

Chapter 29 - Running Ahead, Running Late


It was gym day. One of those days that no one really wanted to have (except for the jocks) but it was state mandated so you had to do it unless you were badly injured or could forge really well – and even then the alternate lecture class was about the same level of shittyness. To add to the general disgusting of the day, it was a lovely seventy degrees and, most importantly, it was the day of the Mile Run. It wasn't a statewide mandatory requirement, but Principal Prickly (always on the cutting edge of new, even more so since he'd been promoted to High School after the old principle had been caught in something of a scandal) decided it was about time his school shaped up (so to speak). His students suffered, as they often did when Prickly decided to do something new – a habit he had yet to outgrow from Grade School.

As it turned out, it was the boy's day to run. In the locker room, there was a general murmur of discontent and a fair amount of bitching. Everyone knew Vince LaSalle would place first and probably break his old record. Skeens would probably be right behind him, if he decided to run at all, just to keep the coach off his back for the rest of the day, provided he didn't just ditch and sit with Sleeps up in the bleachers. Lawson would be right behind LaSalle as per usual, cursing under his breath and dealing death glares. The rest of them would trickle in, mostly in a large line or ball of panting kids who were still bitching and were trying to figure out how to get out of doing it again.

Between the grumbles and locker slams, Coach Miller poked his pig nose into the locker room and barked orders for them to get out on the track and prepare for the first eleventh grade run. They shuffled their feet out, passing the girls who laughed at their soon-to-be pain, and waited at the starting line.

"Okay boys!" Miller barked, holding up the stopwatch "You all know what to do. Do your best, try not to keel over and die. I'm not dragging your asses off the track. Remember, if you get more than minute added on your second time, I'm taking the longer time, so don't run what you can't repeat! Get ready!"

The class groaned, but got ready regardless, making a token attempt to ignore the girls, who were still laughing at their expense while they picked teams for some yet-to-be decided activity. Vince limbered up and wished TJ luck, and laughed when he got a good-hearted punch to the arm. Mikey sighed and centered himself (finding peace with his slightly longer than everyone else's running time) while Sleeps trotted past him and ambled up a few flights of bleachers and promptly fell asleep (lucky bastard had a medical excuse). Gus stretched a bit and situated himself four lanes over from Gelman (lest they bump into each other). Lawson sneered and shoved his way to the front, creating an imaginary starting line between him and Vince. Skeens tried to sneak away, but was promptly collared and forced into the mass of boys. Hustler and Fingers shifted a bit uncomfortably, oddly out of place and kind of ordinary looking without their giant coats. Butch filtered his way in among the masses, hiding in plain sight. The larger chunk of the class groaned collectively and made various plans to torture Prickly for this - or at least egg his car.

The whistle sounded and they were off.

Unsurprisingly Vince, Skeens, and Lawson pulled out in front. Immediately it became a competition for Vince and Lawson, the two boys glancing at each other, grimacing, and then running harder. Skeens was trotting behind them, trying to get this over with. Mikey and Gelman and a few of the more lazy students fell behind, already pissed off and fed up with the heat and effort (though Mikey was ahead of that pack – being the only one putting in a token effort). The rest of the kids filtered into a haphazard, blotchy line of jogging, panting boys that glared at the coach as they passed.

Somewhere along the line, Butch's mind started to wander. It meandered off the white lines of the track and into some thoughts he'd been saving for free period. Some story ideas he'd been toying with involving a ball of string an old woman and a gouged-out eye. It strayed from that to night, and from night to last night specifically. He'd meet up with Hustler and they had hung out and made out and watched some weird move on his big ass TV.

Butch could hardly remember the movie. He was too busy taking up as much space as possible and ruining it for the hustler. Not that the other minded. He laughed and smiled and cracked a few jokes of his own. It was that smile Butch remembered and focused on. That smile. Not just any smile, or his merchant smile, but the actual smile that he barely ever used unless they were alone. Butch smiled a little himself. That smile, he figured, was the smile just for him. He kind of liked the sound of that. A smile just for-

"Kirwain!" Butch came to a halt, lifting his head "Kirwain! You're done!"
"You're done Kirwain! Yah don't get extra props for running an extra lap! Kudos, though. You finished up with LaSalle and Skeens."

Butch blinked, looking back at the kids behind him. Vince was staring. Skeens was already scaling the cheap metal stairs to his sleeping friend. Lawson looked more pissed off than usual. The other kids were trying to make it to the finish line while staring at the few who had gotten there before they had.

"Hey man, since when can you run?" Vince asked. "I mean, no one ties me. That's gotta be… I dunno."
"Look, it's nothing. Really." Butch snorted and turned away from Vince, trying to make a clean getaway. "Why don't you go challenge Skeens? He's, like, at the same level. I just got lucky."
"Naw man." Vince started. "Skeens' don't count"
"Lawson then?"
"He's not-"
"What was that, LaSTUPID?" Lawson interjected, stomping right over.
"Butt out Lawson this ain't about you!"

The storyteller escaped Vince's rampant need for an explanation (or, God forbid, a rematch) by weaving his way through the now-large crowd of kids. The argument between LaSalle and Lawson turned into a shouting match which their friends and the coach trundled over to break up immediately. Butch slipped out and away, off the track and out of sight. He heard some more shouting, whistle blowing, and the two teens on the bleachers shifting around. Otherwise, Butch had the moment to himself.

Butch rubbed his head and leaned the cool side of the metal bleachers. Normally… normally he kept himself under control. Held back. He didn't want to show anyone up or get noticed. That was not part of the plan. His mind didn't normally take over like this in school. It usually stayed out until four in the morning. Butch let his head thud on the metal and he groaned, rubbing his eyes. A sudden weight on his shoulder forced an embarrassing twitch, his eyes flying open.

"Hey Butchy boy." Hustler murmured, squeezing his shoulder "You okay?"
"Yeah. I'm good."
"What the hell happened out there, Speedy?"
"I spaced. Don't cal me Speedy, Francine."
"I should slap you." The hustler snickered and moved his hand from his shoulder to pat his cheek "But I won't."

He stepped back, looked around, and stepped forward again, kissing the corner of his mouth for a split second. He pedaled backwards and jogged over to the mass of kids, who had begun to migrate over to the fields. Butch was left speechless, and he tried his best to rub the blush off his face before he ran over to join the rest of the class


Francis leaned against the wall of the building, looking out into the night. He should have known better than to take this shift. But then again, he owed Kink a favor, and if he was willing to let him off for one late night shift then he would take it. Glancing back into the empty shop, then out into the night, Francis let his eyes shut for a second. He was glad, for once, that business was slow.

His eyes opened a moment later, looking out into the dark. He was sure he heard footsteps, which meant he had to look a little bit more awake than he did previous for the upcoming customer. Hopefully he wouldn't have to put up with any weird song and dance or any personal questions. He'd evaded them so far, and he wanted to keep his lucky streak going. So he scanned the street, finally picking out a form that seemed to be coming closer and at a good clip toward him. Strange – joggers usually cropped up at dawn. He checked his watch and determined that whoever this weirdo was he had another three hours before the sun even though about coming up (and he had only an hour left of his shift, which he was personally thrilled about). Still, though, he kept his eyes on the figure that was coming closer, wondering why someone was running, who this person was, what they could want, why they had a white stripe in the middle of their head-

"Butch?" he wondered aloud, then louder "Butch!"

Butch, plagued by dreams, had taken to running again. He was more conscious of his running tonight, so he plotted an actual, mostly barren course for himself. He planned on not sleeping, so lumped together a few routes and pushed himself. His mind went blank when he overexerted himself. But, now jarred from that, the blank collapsed and buckled in on itself, crashing and making him look sort of dim and wide-eyed. A moment or two he registered Francis looking at him curiously, and he raised his hand in hello.

"Oh hi!"
"Butch, what the hell are you doing?"
"Overthrowing world currency markets. What does it look like?"
"I can see you're running, jackass." Francis snapped, motioning him over "Didn't know this was a thing with you."
"It's not… okay. It is." He looked sheepish "Gonna tell on me?"
"No. Why would I?"
"It's a joke. Lighten up."

Butch took Francis up on his beckoning and ambled over, crossing the road and leaning against the outside wall. The hustler was careful to block the entrance to the shop without being too obvious about it. He had a hunch Butch wouldn't take too kindly to the type of things Kink sold – and if he wasn't put off by that then Francis was pretty sure that he'd never live it down. Butch didn't seem to notice, taking deep, even breaths (why the hell wasn't he wheezing – he smoked like a damned chimney how could he run in the first place?) and looking up at the sky.

"What are you doing all they way out here?" Francis asked idly, eyeing him out the corner of his eye.
"I thought we went over this already."
"I meant why aren't you sleeping?"
"I was bored. Restless. Nothing was on."
"So you run."
"Why aren't you in Cross Country or Track or something?"
"It's just something I do. Not really a sport to me, you know? Besides, those Track and Field guys are waaay to into it for me. And those shorts are, like, only down to here." Butch pointed to his upper thigh for emphasis. Francis let a small smile spread across his face, and Butch smacked him for it. "Bad Fran. Mind out of gutter."
"You brought it on yourself."

Butch frowned and punched him in the arm. Then he took it back, pulling the man down by his collar and kissing him quickly. Francis was a bit too distracted by the thought of Butch in purple short-shorts and a tight white shirt to properly respond to Butch's sudden kiss or his curiosity with the inside of the stall. He remained blissfully ignorant until Butch made a low whistling noise and vanished from his side. He whirled around to find Butch holding up a dildo, wagging it back and forth, a bizarre smile on his face. Francis felt his neck heat up – this was one of those things that he was never going to live down.

"So." Butch said, breaking the silence "Something you're not telling me?"
"It's not what you think-"
"So this isn't a big black dildo?"
"No- no that is what it looks like. But this whole thing-"
"Isn't yours?"
"-isn't mine." Hustler finished lamely. His mouth twitched and he tried again. "I'm watching it for someone."
"Ha! Oh that's new." Butch's eyes were lit up by now and his mouth split his face in half. Francis felt angrier than he had been in a while.
"Shut the fuck up."
"Okay. Okay – I'll be quiet." He snickered, but covered it well "Go on."
"I owed another hustler a few favors. He said he'd let me off the hook if I watched his shop for a night."
"Fair enough." Butch admitted, putting the toy down. His voice was still tight "Just one thing – what was this guy's name?"

That was is. Butch doubled over and howled with laughter, collapsing onto the floor. The hustler glowered at him, wanting to hit and kick, but refrained. Instead he crossed his arms over his chest and watched Butch roll around laughing, clutching his stomach and gasping for air. Francis didn't see what was so funny. He hoped Butch choked. That would teach him.

Eventually Butch regained his ability to breathe and think. Still agitated, Francis had turned and started packing up, ignoring Butch when he complained about pains in his sides and stomach. He kept an eye on the little monster, though – wary of him getting up and starting to touch things again. He slapped Butch's hand the second he tried to pick through a box and promptly ignored the hurt look on his face. They passed the rest of the hustler's shift in a relatively amicable silence, punctuated by Butch's immature giggling and Francis' bored sighs.

Being denied the ability to touch any of the merchandise, Butch finally gave up trying to look at and decipher what everything was by vision alone and turned to the half awake hustler, who was still taking inventory. Without warning he wandered over to the other and flopped against his side, wrapping his arms around his shoulders.

"I can't believe you're just working."
"What else would I be doing?"
"No – I mean… this doesn't, you know, get to you?"
"Not really, no." He paused "I can see it gets to you, however."
"What makes you so sure?"
"I can feel it, you little pervert." Francis deadpanned, watching the red flare up on Butch's face "I'm just used to it. I've been around Kink since I was a preteen. None of this bothers me. Not anymore, anyhow."

Butch squirmed uncomfortably for a few moments after being found out, but eventually he grinned at him from his place on Francis side, hanging off of him like a mutant squirrel and looking quite content to be there. The hustler fixed him with a stare, but it wasn't nearly as menacing or bored looking as he hoped. He was too tired to put his heart into it, and Butch was warm and felt nice up against his arm if he ignored the semi-hardness pressing up against his thigh (which he did, and very well). However the imitation hug was detached and Butch deposited on a counter before too long so Francis could go about locking up and getting home.

Unhappy with the turn of events, Butch watched. He frowned, squirmed a bit, and kept his eyes on Fran's ass when he bent over to secure some boxes. The storyteller whined and caught him up as he walked past to get the sheet of inventory, catching him between his legs and keeping him in place while he read over receipts. With Butch desperately trying to be annoying (and Francis trying just as hard to ignore him), he barely registered the numbers before giving up and turning in Butch's hold, kissing him hard enough to force him back onto the flat surface, and the getting up and walking away.

When Butch scrambled into a sitting position, Francis was waiting for him, lingering in the doorway with his keys in his hand.

"I sure hope so." Butch mumbled dazedly.
"If you don't get up in a minute I'm leaving without you."
"It won't take me that long." He slid off the counter and slipped his way past the waiting hustler (but not without sliding his hands over Fran's chest teasingly) "Race ya?"

Francis watched Butch jog over to his car and tug on the handle. He shook his head, mumbling quietly to himself. He knew he wasn't going to get any sleep tonight, and he didn't really care. He was mostly glad for this chance to blow off some steam after a long shift. Tomorrow morning and further thought be damned. All he had to focus on now was trying to keep Butch from crawling over into his seat and distracting his driving.


"I'm really rather glad I found you – I kind of fucking need this."

Butch had made that sentiment abundantly clear over the brief car ride to Francis' house, leaning over the console repeatedly to rub his thigh and breath hotly into his ear. The hustler rebuffed his advances with some degree of difficulty, ultimately choosing not driving off the road over pleasure for the time being. He made up for it by pressing Butch right up against the garage door and making out with him until his knees felt weak.

"Bed. Now." Francis rasped, his hands already in Butch's loose pants.
"Gonna make it?"
"Not if you keep moving your hand like that."

He rolled his hips obnoxiously and grinned, arching further into the other man. Having none of that, Francis tried to pull off of him and get up the stairs, only to have Butch attach even more closely, going so far as to wrap his legs around Francis hips and rock against him. Francis leaned back against the door, his balance compromised, and reconsidered his options. Having sex in the foyer was looking to be a better and better option, but it also came with cold skin and bad backs and discomfort. After all day and all night standing, lifting shit, and dealing with assholes Francis was not willing to put up with all of that and risk the possibility of mediocre sex. Not tonight, anyway.

It was a miracle that they got up the stairs without falling back down being so tangled up in each other and shedding articles of clothing as they went. Butch was, as per usual, being impossibly difficult, but Francis got them up the stairs and into a room with a bed. It wasn't his room (because then they'd have to walk another ten feet and they wanted this to be happening ten minutes ago), but it had a bed and a door with a lock on it so it worked for their purposes. By the time Butch pushed Francis onto the bed the hustler was missing everything save his already dangerously low pants whereas Butch was lagging a bit, in the process of pulling his shirt off before crawling on top of the other man.

Butch went directly for Francis' open belt while the hustler's larger hands found their place down the back of Butch's sleep pants. His generous groping of the storyteller's ass left him moaning, fumbling with the heavy denim and silk ("Silk Fran? Seriously?" "Shut up and keep moving your hands.") boxers. Once his pants were halfway down his legs he stopped, curled up, and pulled the tube of lube from his pocket before Butch could wrestle the denim from his grip and toss it off the bed. He grabbed Butch up and treated him to the same eager disrobing, flipping them around so Butch was flat on his back on the bed. Butch chuckled and Francis bit his stomach for it, sliding up against him and turning his hiss into a moan.

Within moments Francis had uncapped the lube and pressed two fingers inside the squirming body, kissing along the straining throat and jaw and finally capturing the slacked and moaning mouth. Butch made himself partially usefully by pawing at the body above him, his one hand eventually finding his cock and stroking it. The hustler moaned into his mouth to show his appreciation, wiggling his fingers and adding a third. Butch broke the kiss to curse at him, punch his chest, and demand he fuck him now. Francis hooked his fingers and jabbed upwards instead, reducing any and all complaint to babble. He did take pity on him afterwards, amused by the garbled noises and whipped-back head.

The second Francis withdrew his fingers, Butch forced them over, Francis squarely on his back and Butch straddling his hips red in the face but looking determined. Francis choked, momentarily stunned by the sudden strength in Butch and the teasing roll of his hips. His dumbfounded gaze was fixed with a look and a smirk, only deepening once he got his wits about him. The hustler watched Butch raises his hips and shift, putting one hand on his chest to brace himself and reaching the other behind him. It clicked only when Butch stroked his cock a few times and shifted backwards.

"Oh fuck Butch-"
"You're gonna Franny, you're gonna."

Given that assurance, the hustler could only watch dumbfounded as Butch adjusted himself and eased onto the waiting prick. They both made some sort of noise that was supposed to be words. It took a bit for Butch to get used to the rhythm of things at the new angle, but he caught on quick, determined take over for once. It was great to see Fran at his mercy, and a hell of a lot better seeing and feeling the hustler's eyes all over him. He slapped Fran's hands away when he tried to assist by grabbing his hips and lifting him, mildly annoyed at having to fight to maintain control. Butch had to lean forward and bite Francis to get the message across, but he left his hands there anyway, just without the active lifting and pulling.

Francis, for his part, gathered himself rather quickly, looking between them and up at Butch, bracing himself on his elbows. Watching the lithe body move up and down and his face grow redder and his chest heave was turning out to be as much of a thrill as the actual act. Thrill might have been something of an understatement- this was actually really fucking hot and watching Butch work for him for a change just made it that much better, if not slightly maddening. He moaned, trying to sit up and take a firm hold of Butch again to force the pace to a quicker one, but his hands were batted away and all he could do was throw his head back and moan as Butch ground his hips against him. The hustler grit his teeth and hissed when Butch bowed his head and bit him again, fisting his hands in the sheets, watching him move in a blurry haze.

But after a while of that lovely torture Butch had begun to lose his rhythm. The pace became erratic and stunted, broken and upset, delaying them both for longer than they were willing to tolerate. Francis took over, forcing Butch onto his back, half off the bed (but securely in his hold) and rammed into him with the force he was denied before. Butch shouted and grunted, bucking back into the thrusts, only quieting when Francis crushed their mouths together. He started sputtering anew when the hustler wrapped his hand around his cock, stroking quick and rough. Butch was closer than he realized and came suddenly with a choked cry, stiffing up and throwing his head back. Francis followed shortly after, finishing a few strokes after with a grunt and a sigh, gripping Butch hard before collapsing.

Spent and feeling a good measure more relaxed, they panted and breathed each other in for a few moments. Francis pulled out and rolled onto his back, shuddering a bit from the slightly cooler surrounding air until Butch took up residence on top of them. For some reason the hustler chuckled and moved his arm, his fingers playing over the mark on Butch's neck. He wondered how Butch was going to hide them and how he was going to hide his own. But he figured he'd sleep on it and worry in the morning. Butch was perfectly content to lie there in silence, reflecting over what just happened, and deciding he was just fine with it (if not a little more tha fine) despite it being like one of the dreams he'd had recently. He tilted his head into the randomly wandering touches and looked up at Francis until he looked back. Butch grinned at him.

"So am I better than the stuff you were pedaling?"
"Much." Francis murmured, his fingers threading lazily through the sweat-damp hair.
"Damn right I am."
"Now Butch, don't be jealous." He chastised gently, kissing his forehead "You're the only sexy toy I need."
"Not your best line, Franny, but thanks." Butch yawned, curling up on his chest, feeling content and warm and sleepy "Wanna go again?"
"You're not tired?"
"No. High on sex and running."
"But you yawned, and you're curled up."
"I just need a minute get off my ass." Butch grumbled, burying his head into Fran's chest, then shifting back onto Fran's hips, a slow smirk spreading across his face, which was promptly mirrored.

"Ready princess?"
"Fuck me."



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