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I'm not worthy for a minute of your time

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There was something that enchanted him when he saw her smiling over by her friends. A strong feeling of calmness engulfed his other senses as he heard her laugh– he was lucky that the sound of her laughter graced his ears. He didn’t know how to work up the nerve to ask her out, did he even have the words? Would she even say yes? She looked so delicate, with her twin tails and bright blue eyes, his rough hands could break her within an inch of her life. Now, he knew that that wasn't actually true– she’s just as strong as him, if not more– but her kindness and innocence made him feel impure and dirty, usually feelings he reveled in. 

With his gawking, he didn’t notice the blue puff approaching him, a sort of weightlessness to her step that often goes unnoticed. She’s just as poised as the leader of the trio, but no one noticed her grace. She definitely uses that to her advantage. He  had a good couple of inches on her height wise, but that didn’t stop her from standing tall, looking up at him, waiting for him to snap out of it. 

Butch blinked as soon as he smelled her perfume waft upwards. How did she get here so fast?! His cheeks were heating up, so he did the most edgy thing he could do, stick his hands into his pockets awkwardly, looking away. “Do you need something?” He said, voice a little more angry than usual. 

She cocked an eyebrow, as if she could see through his charades. “Not really, you’ve just been staring at me for the last few minutes. Is there something on my face?” Her tone was innocent, but there was definitely some heat behind her words, almost egging him on. 

Your full lips, your beautiful eyes, the way your dimples show up when you smile brightly, your adorable nose… What the fuck is wrong with him? He doesn’t think shit is adorable, or beautiful! “Nothin’s wrong with your face.” He grumbled, eyes darting between her face and the concrete column a couple of feet away. 

“Okay then.” She was about to turn away, and Butch let go of the breath he was unaware that he was holding. And then she stayed. “Mind telling me what’s on your mind, you seem a little… occupied?” He couldn’t tell if she was actually concerned, or was enjoying him squirming under her attention. 

Fuck! Why won’t she leave?! “I’m fine. Don’t worry about it. I’ll deal with it later.” His voice was harsh, trying to shoo her away. Mostly so he could have peace of mind because he cannot THINK right now, but also slightly because he wants to see her walk away. He’s still himself, after all. 

“Later? Okay!” Something in the sound of Bubble’s voice made him a little… uneasy. “I’m free at 7pm tonight, pick me up then?” 

This caused him to stare directly at her, shock briefly on his features until he furrowed his brows once more. He had two ways of playing this, but… “Sure. Okay. Seen you at 7pm.”

“It’s a date then!” She giggled, and heel-turned back to her group of friends, as if nothing happened. Well, it’s Bubbles, she’s used to doing this. But him on the other hand? His palms were sweaty, and somehow he felt like everything was just 5 degrees hotter than it needed to be. 

He just set a date with her, then. 

He checked his appearance in the mirror one last time. It was nothing out of the usual for what he wears, a black tshirt, black jeans, and a jean jacket. The only thing he really did different was gel his hair, so now it stood up even more on end. His brothers weren’t in yet, thank god. Boomer mentioned something about having to go to tutoring til late, and Butch couldn’t bothered to care where Brick was. Besides, he didn’t want to have to explain he was going on a date with Bubbles, of all people. They’d accuse him of going soft. 

Oh god. 

He hoped that Bubbles didn’t tell her sisters, next thing he knows he’s rolling up to the house in his shitty old car and they decide to kick the shit out of him. What if the whole thing was a prank? What if Bubbles asked him out only as a way to trap him in the Puff household so they can torture him and beat up on him like a regenerative punching bag? 

His phone beeped, meaning it was time to go before he was late. There was no time to think about the possibilities, if they try to jump him, so be it. He wasn’t going to go down without a fight. 

When Butch saw her descend from the second floor of her house, he was awestruck. She looked like an angel surrounded by blue light, he wasn’t even trying to look up her skirt. Something about being around her made him feel like he has to be a better person, and he wasn’t trying to stop that. 

She gave him a little wave, which made his heart skip a beat, and entered his car. He was now VERY aware of everything wrong with his car, how it smelled like cigarettes and weed, how ripped up and distressed his seats were, how it was covered in old jerky wrappers and sweaty gym clothes. However, even among the mess, she was able to make it look like a photoshoot.

“Hi!” She smiled directly at him, and he almost died on the spot. 

“Hey.” He put on a cool smile as he tried not to panic. “How were you able to sneak away? Did you finally pull the stick out of your sisters’ asses?”

“I lied!” Her voice was cheery. His eyes widened, she does that? “Don’t look at me like that! I told my sisters one of the soccer players asked me out on a date. I didn’t want to risk any kerfuffle with you being in Puff territory.” 

“Your sisters would probably love an excuse to pummel me just like you guys did when we were young.” He shrugged, although he was secretly relieved that he didn’t have to go out with broken ribs and a black eye.

“I wouldn’t let them.” She said matter-of-factly. He opened his mouth to retort, could she really stop them both– but she began to talk again. “So where are we going?”

Everywhere he thought of seemed too below her, now that he is with her in person and she is Aphrodite incarnate. She only deserved the best from this night and nothing he thought of met his self-imposed standards. “Uh… Is there anywhere you’d really like to go?” Way to go, lame ass. 

She thought for a minute, and then her face lit up. “Can we go to the new karaoke place? Today is emo/pop punk night and I’ve been DYING to go!” 

Him? Singing? Fuck no. But the look on her face was enough to change his demeanor. “Sure, but I didn’t take you to be one into that kind of music.” At least it was a genre he likes. Putting the stick into gear, he started the car. Nothing changes too much in this town, so he knew the general area of the new place. Also driving gives him an excuse to focus on something that wasn’t her. 

“I listen to all kinds of music! I think every genre tells its own story, and I like hearing it.” She went to pull the seatbelt down, but it was stuck. After a few more seconds of her pulling on it, she looked at him, unsure of what to do. “Uhm, Butch? I think the seatbelt is jammed.”

Ooooffff course it is. Just his luck. Without taking his eyes off the road, he answered. “Just pull on it really hard, it’ll unstick.” He mentally crossed his fingers that it would solve itself.

She pulled on it again, but it didn’t budge. “I know I have super strength, but I don’t want to break your car on the first date. Do you mind?” She looked at him with those giant blue eyes, and he couldn’t say no. 

He clenched his jaw and put the car in park, he couldn’t risk her life, his own was debatable. “I don’t. I appreciate you looking out for ol’ Bessi here.”  She pressed herself up against the seat, trying to make it less awkward for him. He tried not to think of how close she was, or how good she smelled, and brought it down. He clicked her in, might as well since he was there. 

“I’m not a child you know, I can buckle myself.” There was a bit of annoyance, something that she rarely let out. 

“Annoyed?” He grinned at her, now fully back in the driver’s seat. He put the car back in gear and continued. Good thing it wasn’t too far. 

She crossed her arms over her chest. “Maybe. I don’t know. I just don’t like being treated like a child. I can take care of myself! I’m as capable of my sisters, I don’t know why people don’t think that.” 

He snorted. “It’s because you’re nice. And kind. And a little naive.” But he could relate, not to the niceness, but he always felt like his brothers were there to clean up after him, to make sure he would do something because they thought he was incompetent. They literally have the same chemical running through their veins, why would he be any less than either of them?

“Oh.” Her voice lacked the usual force behind it, and he stole a glance at her. She looked so small in his seat now. God DAMMIT. Of course he FUCKED IT UP. He has no goddamn filter, and he just says whatever comes to mind. Maybe he is incompetent. 

“I mean. It’s not a bad thing. And you’re not naive… You just see the good in people. Even when others can’t. And that’s something not everyone can do. Hell, I can’t.” Or won’t. He liked beating people up too much. “I admire that about you.” He *admires* that about her? What is he, her father?

He couldn’t see it, but she was blushing, looking out his car window. “And I admire your confidence. You always go in without hesitation, I can’t do that.” She sounded frustrated with herself, and he felt a frown pull at the corners of his mouth. She has no reason to be mad at herself, she’s too good for that. 

“The way you approached me took confidence.” He teased, pulling into the parking lot of the place. 

“That’s different, you’re not a big monster.” She unbuckled her seatbelt, it finally behaving. 

He unbuckled and leaned it, his face was gnarled. “Aren’t I?” 

She looked up at him and held back a laugh. Leaning in, so that they were only centimeters apart, she smiled wickedly. “If you are, I am too.” 

Their eyes met, and briefly he thought about closing the gap, but she jumped out of the car instead. He felt dejected, weirdly enough, but made the effort to get out as well. 

“Let’s go! I hope they haven’t done any of my favorite songs yet.” Impatient, she grabbed his hand and dragged him in, his heart fluttering. This was going to be a hell of a night for him and his emotions. 

“We should go up next!” They’ve been at the place for a good thirty minutes now, discussing random things while Bubbles was trying to pick a song. 

“We?” He gave her a death stare. 

She was unphased. “Yes we! It’s a date, so we have to do this together.” 

“I don’t sing.” His voice was firm, arms crossed in front of his chest. 

“You may not sing at the moment, but you should try it! Plus I’ll be on stage with you! Please?” She pouted, looking up at him through her thick lashes. 

Fuck. “Fine. One song, and it can’t be a weird duet. I want raw, real anger, got it?”

“Understood!” She flipped through the catalogue while the person on stage was singing very passionately to I write sins. 

He couldn’t believe he was here, with her, doing something he admittedly refuses to do. What has he gotten himself into? She was like a honeypot, sweet, but sucks in anything on the surface. 

“I picked it! C’mon!” Grabbing his hand again– the cardigan was acting as a barrier, but he didn’t care– she dragged him on stage and handed him a mic. 

“What are we singing?” He was suspicious, and he had every right. 

“You’ll see!” She winked– his heart– and the guitar set in.

He didn’t expect this, but he wasn’t angry. He was going to let her lead, but she held the mic by her side, signaling him that he was singing. Oh fuck. 

If I'm a bad person, you don't like me

Well, I guess I'll make my own way ” 

Bubbles looked at him, impressed. That look only boosted his ego and will to perform, the validation something new for him– not that he minded. 

Well, you treat me just like another stranger

Well, it's nice to meet you, sir

Together their voices weren’t bad, although Bubbles did make him sound a lot better than he actually was. He smiled at her, catching the twinkle in her eye.

It's not a war, no, it's not a rapture

I'm just a person, but you can't take it

Her voice sounded like an angel. Now, he knew she could sing, but this was something on another level. Every nerve in his body seemed to call out to her voice, and as she kept on, he was able to sing more without a care. He watched as she jumped energetically around on the stage, getting everyone pumped up. 

When they finished, the people around the stage asked for an encore. She looked at him pleadingly, but he was beat. He waved for her to continue on without him, so she picked her next song (Wake Me Up Inside) while he got two waters. 

Leaning on the table, watching her perform, he overheard some guys making lewd comments by the table in front of him. He strolled over and inserted himself into the conversation, curious as to who they were talking about. 

“Who are we talking about, lads?” He took a sip of his water, looking at them cooly. 

“The blonde on stage. Isn’t she hot?” The shorter of the trio replied. 

“Extremely.” Another one piped in. 

“I just wish her skirt was a little higher.” The last one said, which made everyone laugh except for Butch. 

Instead, he clenched both plastic cups too hard, breaking them and having water spilled everywhere. At that moment, the song finished, and Bubbles easily spotted him in the crowd. 

“Dude what the fuck?” All of them started freaking out over how their clothes were going to be ruined, but easily regained composure once they saw who was joining them at the table. 

Before Butch could say a word, they started in. 

“Hey Baby, that was pretty good. Do you sing here often?” The short one started again, and Bubbles rolled her eyes. 

“No, but it was so much fun!” She ignored him, standing a bit closer to Butch.

“Oh, what a shame. I have a place in town if you wanna come by and sing more often.” His tone of voice was lecherous, which made Butch tense up. Bubbles placed her hand on his back. 

“I’d rather not, I prefer guys who aren’t straight up creeps.”  Her voice was still kind and light, throwing off the skeevy trio. 

“Well, it doesn’t matter. You’re fat and ugly, and by the looks of it, stupid. You’re blonde, I bet you can’t put two and two together.” This made the trio snicker, and Butch felt her arm drop to her side. 

“Listen here bud. That girl is the fucking cutest and smartest thing in this damn world. If you make her cry again, I WILL throw you into the sun with NO hesitation.” Butch said, a wide grin on his face while he cracked his knuckles. “Now, if you'll excuse us, we have better things to do on our date.” He placed his hands on Bubble’s shoulders and walked them out of there, managing to glare at the trio the entire time. 

Once they got out of there, Butch dropped his hands from her shoulders. “Hey, you okay?” He looked at her, actually worried. 

“Yeah, I’m fine.” She smiled at him, eyes a little red. “Thanks for that back there. I appreciate it.” 

“No problem. They were being Grade A dickweeds, and even though I know you can take care of yourself, it doesn’t hurt to have back up.” He grinned. “Also, I wouldn’t want you to be banned from here for throwing a punch or two.”

She playfully slapped his side, which did sting. “You wouldn’t have!” 

He gave her a deadpan look. “I will fight a squirrel for looking at me sideways, so I would’ve fought those asswads without a moment’s hesitation. Easy.” He blinked, and leaned in a bit.

“Is there something on my face?” She said, eyebrow quirked.

“Actually, yeah.” Placing his hands on her cheeks, he used his thumbs to softly wipe the tears off. “There.” He whispered, but didn’t move away, aware that he could memorize the shape of her lips with how close he was.

Bubbles blushed, causing his heart to skip a beat once more. She met his gaze, and then closed the gap, kissing him softly. He welcomed the sensation, enjoying how soft and light it was in comparison to how rough and dark he was. It didn’t last long, she pulled away, cherry red. He brought his fingers to his lips, feeling the ghost of hers. 

“See, that was brave.” He said, smiling at her. 

“I guess it was.” She replied, sticking her tongue at him as she waited for him to open the car door. 

“You sure you want to associate yourself with all of this?” He said, opening her door and then going around to his side. 

“What’s wrong with all of you?” She said, staring at him confused. 

“Well, I’m Butch. I’m not exactly a catch for a girl like you.” He said, sliding into his seat. 

“You’re definitely a catch for a girl like me.” She smiled softly, looking at him expectantly. 

His heartbeat quickened, and then he realized he had to help her with the seatbelt again. He leaned over and buckled her in, and she caught his face in her hands. They looked at each other for a split second, until he went in for another kiss. This time it was harder, rougher, rawer. Bubbles deepened the kiss, wrapping her hands around his neck. By the time they broke apart, both of them were breathing hard. 

He sat back up straight, buckling himself in, setting his shoulders back. Then he remembered. “Do you need he-” he was interrupted by a click sound. He eyed her suspiciously. 

“What?” She said, the innocent tone back in her voice. 

“Was it ever broken?” He said, mildly impressed. 

“A lady never reveals her secrets.” She replied, and before he could ask her again, she turned on his radio. 

“In the car I just can't wait

To pick you up on our very first date”

“You’re going to give me a run for my money and reputation, you know that?” He said, starting up the car. His heart was racing, and for once it wasn’t because he did something remotely life threatening. 

“I know.” Her voice was full of triumph, and she grinned at him cheekily.

“When you smile, I melt inside

I'm not worthy for a minute of your time”