Minghao takes a sip of the weird, neon green concoction that Jungkook had trusted in his hand, immediately grimacing at the taste of the drink. The colour had screamed regret in bold letters from the beginning and he should have listened to it, Minghao concludes after coughing a little at the burn.
The bitter taste settles heavily on his tongue. He can't decide if he likes the taste or not; when it's sloshing in his mouth, he doesn't like it but the sweet and sour aftertaste of it is something has him craving another sip, and that's the only thing that has Minghao sipping away at his drink without a single complain. It's addicting, the subtle taste of cranberries. But he's still on fence regarding his dislike towards the drink. Whatever, it's addicting indeed as he finds himself leaning in for another sip.
"What even is this?"
Carefully maneuvering himself in the seat next to Minghao, Jungkook clinks their glasses together, throwing his head back and downing the shot. "Seok ordered, said something about Kermit's colour," he rasps, face twisting at the burn from the vodka.
Minghao shakes his head fondly, what was he expecting when Seokmin had taken it up to himself to choose a drink for our sweet, little haohao. Yeah, definitely not some logical reasoning behind the criteria for choosing the drink.
Sitting back comfortably, he sips the hideously green concoction. He has never tasted anything like this before, but then again, he has never been to a club for the sole reason of getting drunk. All he ever had was wine with his members, or even cheap beers or soju sometimes when all the thirteen members were in a mood for it. Now that he thinks, he can't exactly recall ever coming to a club with all his members. It's just mostly with his 97liner friends or with other Chinese idols.
Gotta change that soon.
"This club is definitely my favourite. I don't think I'll ever step foot in any other clubs, Knight Crawlers for the win, y'all!" Jaehyun announces, plopping on the other side of Minghao, jostling Minghao's drink and making it spill a little on his pants, the drops sliding off the leather material without a hitch. Nobody seems to notice, so Minghao let's it go. Not like he's in a mood to ruffle Jaehyun's feathers tonight.
Seokmin hums, immediately putting his glass down to show his agreement with wide hand gesture. "Right? It's soo much better - the drinks, the cost, the ambiance, the booths! I'm with Jaehyun here." He picks the glass back up, obnoxiously aah-ing after a big gulp.
Minghao catches Mingyu's eyes, both holding their laughter in at their friend's antics. Seokmin had blabbered the same exact thing about two other previous clubs as well and yet here they are, listening to their main vocal make the same claim in regards to the third new club. How many more clubs Seokmin is going to claim as the one? Who knows.
Just know that Minghao is here for it. Like always.
Minghao's initial plan for the night had not only been something that suited his today's cozy mood, but also something that suited his crush's personality. Jihoon had asked earlier in the day if he had some plans, to which Minghao has asked if they could have some dinner at that hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Jihoon had agreed easily, "I'd quite like that as well," he had said with an approving nod.
To say Minghao was looking forward to that dinner, was an understatement. He had been buzzing with uncontained energy, the excitement surging through his veins for the entire day. He's sure at some point Jeonghan was convinced Minghao was on a sugar rush.
Photoshoot had passed by in a blur, Minghao breezing through his solo shots without much struggle and the shower of compliments, as a result, only aided to his excitement. Group pics had been even better, Mingyu had been standing by him and that made the time enjoyable and easy - cracking of jokes and pointers from Mingyu on what pose he should try next, had really helped his nerves that usually acted up during such times.
After photoshoot, they had booked it to their dorms, all deciding on just ordering something rather than cooking or going out. He had lingered around Jihoon, sitting across him and chatting loudly with Junhui, but the man was either busy catching naps or listening to Wonwoo and Soonyoung bicker about Soonyoung's choice of facial expression during his solo shoot. It didn't seem like Jihoon was half as much excited as Minghao was and that had dampened his mood. But he shrugged it off, moving to open the door and paying for the delivery.
After a whole cuddle session with Seokmin is when Jihoon had finally acknowledged Minghao's presence, asking if their plan was still on and had said something about him coming to pick Minghao up at 9. And then the producer had left for his own dorm, waving and leaving with Joshua and Mingyu trailing behind. Other members decided to continue on with their video games, challenging each other quite aggressively.
After ten rounds of Mario Kart, two rounds of Animal Crossing, when Seungkwan finally snapped and almost stomped over to Chan, his fists waving wildly in the air, that's when Minghao slowly began to forget about his dampened mood, too busy holding Chan back and laughing loudly when Soonyoung, in his haste to stop the vocalist from killing his dancer, toppled over from the couch.
It had been better from then, maybe he wasn't quite as excited and happy, but a lot content, even letting Hansol win against him without much fight. Hansol didn't seem much bothered, too happy to question the dancer's laid back attitude that day.
Everything was going extremely fine, to say the least; Minghao took a nap, read a few pages of the book Wonwoo recommended, let Chan annoy him happily, then took nice shower, applied his favourite bodywash, dressed in a nice, loose white t-shirt and washed jeans. Nothing too extravagant, nothing too less. Something that would make Jihoon take a notice of him, something that wouldn't make Jihoon question his motives for dressing up.
Everything was going fine, until Jihoon called him up, voice dripping with guilt and regret. "I'm working on a song with Bumju hyung and Dongho hyung and I'd probably have dinner with them later," he had said, whispering a promise about making it up to him. As soon as the older male had apologised again, Minghao had laughed over the phone, told him it was fine and hung up before Jihoon had a chance to say anything else.
Things hadn't gone as planned for Minghao, so he decided it was a good enough a time to get on with that sad Chinese drama his mom had recently been watching, and feast on popcorn - ice cream was out of the question even though it sounded tempting at that moment.
But, of course, things didn't go as Minghao planned. And next thing he knows, Mingyu and Seokmin have him pushed into his most fitted leather pants and one of Mingyu's own navy blue button-up against his own will. And then he was dragged out for a fun night at some high-end club, Jungkook and Jaehyun decidedly meeting them at the said club.
It was an hour later that Minghao really began to feel the effect of the three glasses of weird concoction he had gulped down. The cola he had ordered in fear of completely losing his sanity and doing something stupid - like calling Jihoon and telling him about his one-sided crush, or calling his mom and telling her the sob story that is his love life - didn't seem to prevent the alcohol in his system from finally kicking in.
So the sad and drunk Minghao indulges Jaehyun in an arm wrestling, lasting for exact ten seconds before his arm gives out. As Jaehyun challenges Mingyu for the next round, he feels Jungkook pat his back, "Hey, you broke your record of eight seconds!" He cheers, giggling when he accidently hiccups.
Minghao laughs, letting his friend pull him in for a clumsy choke hold. "We both know that was only because he is drunk right now, Kook." He yelps, squirming in Jungkook's hold when the Korean pinches his waist. Jungkook chuckles, wiggling cutely in his seat to let Minghao lean on to him without hurting his back.
The night carries on, so does the people around them. Minghao finds himself getting lost in the haze of gray, vision blurring slightly as the alcohol begins to spread through his bloodstream like poison, numbing the sad and almost depressing thoughts, and the homesickness that's been nagging him for quite sometime now. Alcohol is amazing like that, he decides, when all he can feel and think is nothing, just like what he wanted. The songs soon begin to mesh into one another, the ending chords of a song and beginning of another sounding the same. The songs don't make sense any longer, seeing as his Korean comprehending ability is reducing with every tick of clock's hand, the songs sounding more and more absurd to Minghao's drunk brain as the time crawls by. And he comes to a sudden realisation that he has crossed that line of being tipsy.
No wonder his head is spinning just a tiny bit.
Minghao watches in mild amusement as Seokmin, frustrated, begins to bang his fists on the table when Mingyu and Jaehyun both don't seem to give up, their power on par with each other's.
"Come one, Mingyu! Do this for Seventeen! And carats!" He hollers, doing some fancy and quite complicated jazz hand movements.
Jaehyun looks up in mild offence, almost losing when Mingyu surprises him by attacking with sudden force. "This isn't fair! I don't have Sicheng with me!" he cries, snarling when Mingyu tells him to 'cry us a river, boohoo.'
Sober Minghao would have sat back and watched it all go down, even egged the two on and would've managed to get Jungkook and Seokmin to go against each other. But drunk Minghao decides he needs to fix this, if Seokmin is going to support Mingyu then Minghao is going to support Jaehyun.
So he leaps forward, pulling Jungkook's almost passed out body along too. He feels Jungkook slump on his back, the weight settling down uncomfortably. But he has better things to do, like support his poor friend.
"Come on, Jaehyun!" he hollers too, his voice lacking the power and loudness that comes with being a part of BooSeokSoon. "Do it for the time I dressed up as NCT's lightstick!"
Immediately Seokmin and Mingyu cackle in surprise, making it easy for Jaehyun to just slam Mingyu's arm onto the table, harshly. And Mingyu yelps in pain, cradling his hand to his chest and pouting at Seokmin, who coos at him, patting his hair.
Jaehyun stands up, stumbling for a second and plopping back in the seat when his head spins. But he seems happy, beaming brightly at Minghao.
"Man, you're my lucky charm," he concludes, eyes sparkling and in awe of his friend.
It's been two hours, give or take, since they had walked into the club, the crowd seemed to be wilding up now, the songs more raunchy and dance moves more seductive. The thumping of the bass that vibrates in his chest is also getting borderline uncomfortable. The lights have become more flashy - the blues, purples, reds and greens making Minghao's head spin and stomach lurch a little every time. The throbbing behind his eyes is also getting very evident and suddenly he's determined to get out of here before the headache is back in full swing.
He glances around their table; Jungkook is snoring on his shoulder, Seokmin has his head in Minghao's lap, drifting on and off. Mingyu and Jaehyun are both clearly drunk, their conversation ranging from use of plastic to aliens, slurring so hard it's mostly just bunch of incoherent words mashed together to form equally incoherent sentences, and Minghao wonders how they're able to understand each other.
Also, on a side note, Minghao hopes Mingyu forgets about this whole alien conversation because if not, then it's all Seventeen is going to hear about for another month or two. And God forbid, if Soonyoung got interested, Minghao swears, he'll beg for a unit change.
Yeah, imagine Soonyoung (and, in association, SVT) coming for Katy Perry's E.T wig.
With a particular hard roll of his eyes and huff, he decides everyone is more or less ready to leave. A nice and solid kick at Jungkook's shin earns him a huff of breath and a slurred 'Rude, Hao.' And he decides that Jungkook is good to go, too.
"We should be leaving. Cheol hyung wouldn't be too happy if we came late," he slurs, wondering if he sounds any less incoherent than the two in front of him. To his surprise, Mingyu and Jaehyun understand him clearly, which sort of is shocking seeing as Minghao himself couldn't make out what he said. But he's glad they did.
Running his hand through Seokmin's hair, he brings the singer to a state of awareness. He smiles when the older male wakes up, sitting up and proceeding to stretch himself. Jaehyun and Mingyu have begin to shrug their coats on, still mumbling about some UFO sighting.
Just as he's about pull his own coat on, his phone vibrates, the feeling sending a tingle down his thigh. He fishes the phone out, the brightness surely causing some serious damage to his retina. He stumbles in surprise, not from the brightness though, but from surprise of seeing Jihoon's name flashing on his screen. And he hopes no one notices him falling on his ass, plopping unceremoniously on the sofa. He does a quick work of swiping it and declining the call, and then shrugs his coat on, before silencing his phone and pocketing the device.
Jihoon has ruined his mood enough, he rather not be in pain while still drunk. That and God knows what Minghao will tell him in this state. He rather not just answer his calls and deal with a moody Jihoon next day.
"Who was that?" Mingyu asks, offering his arm for Minghao to cling on to.
"Was that Cheol hyung?" Seokmin asks, stumbling towards them and then clinging onto Mingyu's other arm. Minghao shrugs instead, nodding and then shaking his head, confused as to why he had nodded in the first place. Welp, looks like the last of his sober braincell has taken its leave.
Seokmin and Mingyu seem least bothered with the answer anyways, both singing off key to the remixed version of Bang Bang Bang, making Minghao tug them to exit the club faster. When outside, Jungkook hurriedly finds a corner to empty his stomach, Seokmin stumbles towards him to help the younger Korean. Mingyu leans against the wall, still singing to the song, adding a few instrumental noises here and there. Minghao and Jaehyun, for the time being, help each other to stay upright, swaying on their feet in place. The dancer clings a little closer to the taller to keep himself warm. Minghao knew he should've worn the beige coat instead, damn sober Minghao. Guess, Jaehyun will have to do for now.
Nothing to keep his brain occupied, and feeling satisfied and happy from all the alcohol in his system, his thoughts, like the biggest traitors they're, get drawn towards their handsome producer, someone Minghao had actively avoided thinking about the entire night.
Did Jihoon not want to have dinner with him? But he was the one who asked Minghao about his plans, so technically Minghao wasn't imposing anything on the older male. Or was he just casually striking up a conversation and Minghao read a little too deep? Yup, Minghao is just reading a little too deep and being a little delusional. Just because he has a very pathetic (but not a very regretful, at least not yet) crush on Jihoon, it's making his small rejections hurts Minghao tons, feels like a personal attack on his very humanly flaw of being not good enough for everyone. But what if Minghao just was too blinded to actually see if Jihoon was dropping any sort of clues.
He gasps loudly, snapping Jaehyun from where he had been dozing off. He looks up, eyes dazed, staring at Minghao as if he forgot who he even was. But then he blinks and smiles. Both wince when Jungkook empties his stomach loudly in the background. Mingyu continues to Super Clap unperturbed.
What if Jihoon had caught on to his crush that he had worked so hard to keep under the covers, oh lord, he trained himself to not stare at the other male for too long, made sure to avoid him as much as possible without it looking suspiciously like as if he was avoiding the producer on purpose, he even made sure to keep this infatuation off the oldest trio's radar even! God, he worked too damn hard to keep this from anyone finding and for Jihoon, of all the people, to find it is such an embarrassment and someone have mercy on Minghao's poor soul, why does this alway happen with Minghao, Minghao deserves soo much better than this shit, God, fuck—
Okay, calm down, Minghao. We're going off track. He blinks rapidly, stopping himself from spiraling down into the vicious cycle of anxious thoughts and scenarios. He idly watches Seokmin help Jungkook sit down, producing a bottle of water from thin fucking air. God, Minghao is too drunk for this.
What if Jihoon caught on to the fact that Minghao was unabashedly crushing on him and dropped a few hints to let Minghao know Jihoon saw him as a band member and a brother - hints like keeping his distance from the Chinese, avoid getting in any sort of skinship, telling Minghao insistently that he was like a brother to him, talking about his ideal type being a girl who wasn't a male — wait, what?!
What if despite Jihoon's constant effort of letting Minghao take a hint, Minghao had failed and that's why the vocalist wanted to speak to him, a one-on-one, and let Minghao verbally know what he failed to pick up from all the hints? What if Jihoon, at the last minute and for some reason, decided he didn't want to confront Minghao?
Or worse, what if everyone knows about his crush, the one he worked so hard to hide away, making sure to avoid crossing paths with the object of affection? Lord, someone please pull him out of this miserable stump thanks —
Minghao feels the exact second his brain loses the last string of sanity it was hanging on to. And immediately he feels his mouth opening, words spilling before his brain can re-establish the connection to his mouth, stop it from doing things sober Minghao will berate himself for doing.
"Guys," he calls out, immediately garnering the attention of the four other boys; one busy nursing his sickness, one helping him, one singing Hip in most unflattering way possible and one hanging off him. "How to know if your crush likes you back?"
Jungkook chokes on the water he was drinking, the sound loud in the quiet night, and Mingyu's highnote cuts off abruptly.
And that was the start of the chaos.