Just took a look at A Disturbing Lack of Children too.
First, Bill. He’s a jerk, which is fine, because jerks exist, but he’s not really anything but a jerk. In his first three lines he calls Francis by the wrong name and tries to talk him into having a kid. And he’s been hiding hormone pills, but…it still feels like his death is really gratuitous. Especially because it’s followed by Francis thinking about the guy he’s got a crush on and dreaming about being cuddled. It’s intense tonal whiplash and made me think that Francis is incredibly callous. Even if Bill is a jerk, Francis just killed him, and then the very next paragraph talks about buff hunks.
There’s a number of ways you could try to fix that whiplash. First thing that came to my mind (and I’m not saying this is the only way to do it or anything, just an option that would keep me from losing sympathy for Francis): Francis doesn’t kill Bill, he makes him walk off into the wastes and says if he comes back, he’ll treat him like one of the marauders, and then instead of seeming eager and horny when he sees Bruce, he’s emotionally drained and Bruce comforts him.
Some smaller stuff stuck out at me too. ‘My big, buff hunk’ definitely sounds more like the way you’d talk about a boyfriend than someone you like. That whole chunk feels a little bit too cutesy for someone who was just doing the gritty post-apocalyptic protagonist thing at the beginning of the story. You can totally do someone who’s outwardly tough but emotionally shy, but it feels like two entirely different characters, not someone with a tough exterior and a sensitive heart. Also, it’s hard to tell who’s talking in those long dialogue chunks without dialogue attribution.
The last paragraph’s tone is weird, because at one point he’s saying it’s not so bad, and near the end of the sentence it mentions killing marauders again and like…is constant killing really ‘not so bad’? That phrase makes it seem like he’s fine with the world the way it is, but it seems more like ‘best of a bad situation’ than ‘not so bad’.
On the whole, the conflict felt pretty loose and free of consequence for the protagonist, and once the conflict ends there’s a whole flirting and date scene still to go that doesn’t really reflect or add to it. A good story’s going to have a conflict, the protagonist is going to struggle to overcome that conflict, and then by beating it (or failing) they come away changed.
Anyway I’ve stayed up way too late but hopefully some of that will be helpful for you (and maybe others too???)