I noticed the sad, sad lack of fictions about this movie, so I decided to do my part to change that. This is a fantastic movie, no matter what the critics say. This is a Bug/Brandon fic, and it is slash, although not at all explicit. Read and Review please.


Bug Hellerman woke up from a particularly unsettling night terror and looked at the clock on his nightstand. He could not see the time, because his sister had put a sticky note over it, which read, Don't oversleep, insect. Happy Monday. He tore the note off the clock's face and cursed under his breath. It was almost 9:00 am, and he was an hour late for school. His mom had been picking up extra shifts at the hospital, so she had gone in around 4:00 am. But, of course, Fang knew that all too well.

Bug quickly got dressed, brushed his teeth, and began walking to school. He took his phone out to text his mom, letting her know why she would probably be getting a call from the school later, when he noticed he had a text from Alex:


Bug sighed as he finished reading the message. He walked into the main office, got a tardy slip, and went to his locker. He walked into his English class and took the only available seat. It was to the far right, under an air vent on the already chilly fall day, and directly in front of Brandon O'Neal.

"Hey, Hellerman." Brandon whispered harshly, making Bug jump. "You missed your punitive this morning. Fang has made alternative plans. During lunch, in the quad. Be there." Brandon chuckled quietly and clapped Bug on both his shoulders.

Bug could think of nothing but his impending doom as lunch drew nearer and nearer. When the fifth period bell rang, signaling his lunch hour, he walked slowly to the quad, where Alex, Jay, and Jerome were waiting for him beside their usual table. There was no sign of Fang or Brandon anywhere.

"Hey, guys." Bug said, shaking visibly as he shrugged his backpack off his shoulders and turned to wait for whatever he had coming.

"Hey, man." Jay said, the first one of the group to speak up, "Maybe it won't be as bad as you think. Once you're down, stay down. You'll be fine."

Alex and Jerome muttered halfhearted agreements but were silenced when Fang entered the quad, followed by Brandon, Brittany, and several of their friends.

"Hello, Insect." Fang sneered icily to Bug.

"Fang." Bug replied quietly, avoiding eye contact with his sister.

"Let's get down to business, shall we?" Fang said, now addressing not only Bug, but also the small crowd that had begun to form. "You, Bug Hellerman, failed to collect your punitive this morning. Which was, in case you were wondering, a mere 4 on the scale."

Bug and his comrades breathed a small sigh of relief at hearing this but lost all air from their lungs when Fang sent them her signature homicidal look.

She cleared her throat and continued, "So, I have decided to make an example of you. From now on, anyone who fails to appear for his or her morning punitive on time will be subjected to a punishment of twice the intensity. For example, because Bug apparently thought he was above the system this morning, he will now receive a level 8 punitive, for your viewing pleasure."

There was a collective gasp at the harshness of the penalty, even from Brandon himself, who would be called on to deal out the violence. However, no one dared to defy Fang, and everyone remained silent.

Bug gulped and began to sweat as Fang cleared her throat and began to speak again, "Brandon," she said, gesturing to the football player, who immediately stepped forward. "Give Bug here an 8, and be quick about it. I have things to do." Fang finished with a dismissive flourish of her hand.

Brandon stepped in front of Bug and sucked in a breath. He sounded almost apologetic as when he muttered, " Hellerman. This is an 8." Then, he balled up his fist, placed his hand on the back of Bug's neck to keep him still, and punched Bug in the gut with such force that Bug was momentarily lifted into the air before falling into a heap on the asphalt.

Brandon flexed his hand, watching Bug's friends rush to his aid. He looked down at the scene, wishing things could be different, but realizing that they never would be.

Fang tossed a satisfied smile in Brandon's direction and gestured to Brittany and Chantelle that it was time to leave.

The crowd of students dispersed, now that the show was over. In the shuffle, no one saw Brandon rush into the nearest hallway and lean against a wall, running his hands through his dark hair.

"Are you gonna' be alright, Bug?" His friends questioned, once they were all seated at their lunch table.

"Yeah. I'm fine. I'm gonna' go to the bathroom. I think I need to puke or something." Bug said, struggling not to show how severe the pain in his abdomen really was. Alex, the only other one of them who had ever had the misfortune of receiving an 8, shot him a knowing look as Bug struggled to lift his backpack.

"Leave the bag, man. We have next class together. I'll bring it for you." Jay offered, grabbing the bag from Bug's shoulder.

"Thanks, Jay. I'll see you guys later." Bug said, smiling weakly and making a beeline for the bathroom.

Bug collapsed onto the floor of the larger, handicap stall just in time to empty the contents of his stomach into the toilet bowl. He retched until nothing was left. By then, a steady stream of sweat and some stray tears covered his face and neck. He leaned against the wall and took a few deep breaths, attempting to calm himself.

"Are you okay, dude?" Bug was startled by a voice coming from behind him.

"What do you want, Brandon?" Bug sighed, exhausted, his head still resting against the bathroom wall.

"I heard you getting sick. Just making sure you weren't dying or anything." Brandon said, shuffling his feet awkwardly. He paused before asking timidly, "Did I do that?"

"Do what?" Bug replied, finally lifting himself off the floor and walking passed Brandon, over to the sinks to splash cold water on his face.

"Make you puke like that?" Brandon said, his reflection making eye contact with Bug's in the mirror over the sink.

"Yeah. It happens with 8's a lot. I'm pretty lucky though. When you gave Alex one a few weeks ago, he coughed up blood." Bug said, shrugging his shoulders.

Brandon was silent, thinking about Bug's comment. Bug then lifted his long sleeved t-shirt to survey the damage. A large hemotoma was already beginning to form on the lower right side of his stomach.

Bug hissed in pain when he grazed a finger over the sensitive skin, causing Brandon to wince and look away. Bug noticed this strange reaction and said, "What? You've never seen the damage you cause this up-close and personal?"

"No. I guess I never thought it was that bad." Brandon said quietly, finding himself ashamed. Bug simply nodded and continued to poke gingerly at his side. Suddenly, he pressed slightly on the spot between two of his ribs, and he cried out and bent over in agony.

Brandon, feeling guilty, said, "You may have a fractured rib. Let me see." He took a step towards Bug with his hand outstretched, and the smaller teen automatically took a step back.

"I'm not gonna' hurt you, Bug." Brandon said in a sincere voice that Bug had never heard from him before. But something about that tone caused Bug to let his guard down long enough to allow the jock to examine his wounds.

Brandon pressed down on the same spot Bug had pressed moments ago, and Bug gave a small groan and instinctively grabbed Brandon's shoulder for support. Brandon felt a jolt go through him at the sudden contact. His heart began to pound a bit, making him feel like an idiot, while he kneaded gently along the other boy's flat stomach.

"This has happened to me a few times over the years. There's not much a doctor can do other than wrap it up for you. I could do it with stuff from the athletic department, if you want." Brandon offered, not daring to meet Bug's eyes while waiting for his response.

"Sure. Why not?" Bug said, suddenly becoming aware of how close he had just been to the school bully.

"Okay." Brandon began, clearing his throat and awkwardly pulling away from Bug. "Follow me."

The two boys walked down several hallways towards the athletic offices, neither daring to break the silence.

"Go wait in the locker room while I find the stuff I need." Brandon said, gesturing towards the door.

Bug nodded and did as he was told. He straddled a bench in the locker room and waited. Brandon returned in a few minutes with his hands full of medical supplies.

"Um… You should probably… take your shirt off, so I can wrap your stomach." Brandon said after facing Bug on the bench and placing the supplies between them.

Bug nodded and peeled the shirt off, placing it over his thigh and awaiting further instruction.

Brandon let out a breath he hadn't known he was holding and got busy preparing the wrap, an ice pack, and some Tylenol. Out of his peripheral vision, he could have sworn he saw a steady blush creeping over Bug's face.

"Alright. Keep your posture straight and hold as still as possible. I'm gonna' have to constrict your ribs a little, so it'll hurt." Brandon said carefully, looking directly into Bug's eyes for the first time.

"Alright." Bug said, drawing a breath and bracing himself.

Brandon hesitated for a moment before once again placing his hands on Bug's body. He found the exact spot where the fracture had occurred, being careful not to press down, for fear of hurting Bug even further. Then, he encircled Bug's torso with one end of the cloth in each hand and began wrapping him up. When he reached the end of the wrap and moved to secure it, his hand accidentally bumped Bug's battered ribs, and the blonde boy clutched Brandon's shoulder again.

"Shit! That kills, man. Watch it." Bug said, still holding on to the jock across from him.

"Sorry about that." Brandon mumbled securing the wrap quickly, extremely aware of Bug's hand clutching his bicep. "You okay?"

Bug exhaled and winced once more before saying, "Yeah. I'm fine. Thanks."

"No problem." Brandon said quietly, brushing his rough hands over the dressing on Bug's side one more time before standing abruptly and beginning to pack up the supplies he hadn't needed. "You should alternate between heating pads and ice packs for now. Take Tylenol before you go to bed, because it'll be at its worst tomorrow morning. Once the wrap can come off, in a few weeks, Icy-Hot patches work really well for during school." Brandon said, repeating everything he could remember that had helped him when he had the same injury.

"Okay. Will do. And, again, thanks." Bug said, standing up and grabbing his shirt.

"Stop thanking me. The least I could do is help you out. After all, I'm the one who did it to you." Brandon said guiltily.

"It's fine. I know you're just doing whatever Fang says." Bug remarked dejectedly.

"Yeah. I guess so." Brandon said.

Bug began putting his shirt on, but winced when his bruised abs struggled with the motion. Brandon immediately felt guilty all over again and rushed to his side.

"Here. Let me." Brandon said, holding the shirt for Bug as he put it on.

"Thanks." Bug said, a hint of a smile playing around in his blue-gray eyes.

Brandon realized after a few moments that he hadn't said anything, but he couldn't form words. So, instead, he settled for staring at Bug, memorizing his strong, yet boyish features. He couldn't make sense of the strange moment. All he knew was that he would hate when it was over.

Bug drew a sharp breath when he saw a flicker of desire on Brandon's face. Suddenly, he felt rough fingertips trailing along the fabric covering his lower abdomen. He looked down at Brandon's hand, then dared to look into his deep, brown eyes.

"Brandon. What's happening here?" Bug asked, barely whispering.

"I don't even know." Brandon said, being pulled halfway back to reality. "I'll stop if you want."

Bug was shocked by the gentleness in Brandon's voice and simply shook his head before giving his mind a chance to change.

That small head- shake was all Brandon needed. He grasped the back of Bug's neck and captured his lips in a mind- numbing kiss. All conscious thought was lost to both of them as the kiss deepened. Bug was startled when Brandon's hand moved to hold his down by their sides. Frankly, he had expected the egotistical jock to be all hands and tongue and teeth. However, he was pleasantly surprised by the gentle yet firm way Brandon leaned into him ever so slightly, while still keeping their bodies a safe distance apart.

The shrill bell signaling the end of lunch pierced their private moment like a knife, and both boys pulled away at the same time, ever so slightly out of breath.

Brandon leaned his forehead against Bug's, their lips hovering teasingly close together. Bug smirked and stole a short kiss. Brandon grinned widely and sighed before severing contact between him and Bug.

"Give me your phone." Brandon said simply.

Bug dug the small device out of his back pocket and handed it over.

Brandon spent a few moments pushing buttons before pulling Bug flush against him and putting the phone back where it was before.

"Text me or something, okay?" Brandon said.

"Yeah. Okay." Bug replied with a knowing smile.

Brandon leaned in and gave Bug one last kiss before heading out into the hallway.

Bug shook himself out of the daze caused by the last half- hour's bizarre events and headed to his next class, momentarily forgetting about the searing pain in his side.