"Um," Junhong says, shifting nervously on the carpet. "Hyung, I really think...you should do it first."
"Didn't you watch the video?" Himchan says, flapping a hand in Junhong's direction. He's currently melting into the couch and taking Yongguk with him at every possible opportunity. Yongguk is a giggly drunk, so he isn't even putting up a fight, like usual.
This whole thing is weird. Junhong obviously needs to be more drunk.
"I watched the video," Junhong says, carefully pouring himself another shot from the large, fancy bottle of tequila in the middle of the floor. He's still not sure why his 19th birthday requires tequila. He's still not sure he even likes tequila, but the more he drinks it the more he likes it, so maybe he does.
Junhong licks the thin skin between his thumb and his forefinger, sprinkles the salt on, and then steels himself before throwing back the next shot. He has to admit there's something fun about the whole thing; it's more interesting that just drinking beer, at least. Maybe that's why Yongguk hyung and Himchan hyung had been so adamant about the tequila.
"See, it's just like that," Youngjae says, stretching his arms over his head, flashing a pale strip of skin between his T-shirt and his jeans. "Only you're like. You're doing it on someone else."
"I think I need a visual," Junhong says.
"We gave you a visual--" Himchan begins, laughing, but Youngjae just flaps a hand at Himchan and looks up over his shoulder. Daehyun is dozing sideways over their giant armchair, his legs hanging off one side. "Daehyun will do it," Youngjae says, giving the rest of the room a wide, devious grin. "Won't you, Dae?"
"Mmm?" Daehyun says? "What?"
"Junhong can't figure out how to do body shots."
"Oh," Daehyun says, yawning. "It's not that hard."
"He needs a visual." Youngjae reaches up, skimming his fingers over Daehyun's stomach until Dae is twitching and laughing. "I figured you probably wouldn't mind."
"Oh my god," Daehyun says, trying to shove Youngjae's hand away. "Jae, that was one time. One single time…"
"You got all blushy!"
"You'd get all blushy too if you were drunk and some guy just came over and--"
"Shots," Himchan says impatiently, frowning at both of them. "Yah, hurry up, we don't have all night. This is an important part of Junhong's learned--learner--learning experience," Himchan manages. "Or...something." Yongguk giggles. Jongup is seated next to Junhong on the floor, watching everything with a vaguely interested expression.
"Fiiiiine," Daehyun sighs, throwing himself off the chair and flopping down on their new, soft carpeting. "But only because it's you. And because I'm drunk. And don't lick me anywhere weird, okay?"
Youngjae cackles. "What counts as weird?"
"His dick," Yongguk interjects, from across the room. Jongup snickers even as Himchan rolls his eyes and slaps somewhere in the direction of Yongguk's face.
"Yeah," Daehyun says, yawning and stretching out on the floor. "That. What hyung said. Was our carpet always this comfortable?"
"Nope," Junhong and Jongup say, in unison. They've both spent a fair amount of time sitting on the floor over the years when they've all had to crowd into the living room. This new carpet is definitely an upgrade from their own one.
"Seriously, relax," Youngjae says, maneuvering himself gracefully over Daehyun, so he's facing the rest of them. He sets the shot down carefully on the floor. "I'm just going to do your stomach."
Daehyun blinks up at him. "My stomach? Why can't you do my neck?"
Youngjae laughs. "Do you want me to lick your neck?"
The rest of the room dissolves into laughter as Daehyun tries to save himself. "No," Daehyun whines, flopping back down. "I just meant, like--there's that hollow part thing. In your throat. You know, when you lie down."
"Yeah, but your can do that with your stomach too, because you're weird," Youngjae says. He shoves Daehyun's T-shirt farther up his chest, and then licks a broad stripe over the tanned skin. Daehyun sucks in air between his teeth, swallowing visibly.
"Wow," Junhong says, even as Himchan and Yongguk begin cat-calling and clapping and cheering them on. Youngjae looks up and winks at them, and then goes back down, licking another section of skin before picking up the salt and shaking it over Daehyun's chest.
"I feel like a piece of meat," Daehyun says, throwing a hand over his eyes.
"You love it," Youngjae says, entirely unconcerned. "Do that thing with your stomach---yeah, like that." He waits until Daehyun sucks his stomach in, and then carefully pours the clear liquid into the small hollow. It pools in his belly button. Some spills over his side, dripping onto the carpet below.
"Okay now--don't--move," Youngjae says, carefully drawing his hand away. "Oh, and hold this." He grabs another slice of lime, sticking it in Daehyun's mouth before he has time to protest. "Thanks."
"Mmmph!" Daehyun replies, but his cheeks are flushed and his eyes are bright with laughter and something else that Junhong can't quite name.
"Ready?" Youngjae says, looking Junhong expectantly. Junhong remembers to nod, and not stare creepily at the way Daehyun is just barely keeping his stomach from moving. "Okay, one, two--"
Youngjae darts down, both hands on Daehyun's hips as he licks and sucks the tequila off Daehyun's skin. Himchan lets out a whoop, laughing and cheering. Yongguk hides his face behind Himchan's shoulder, his whole body shaking with laughter. Jongup tilts his head, as though a new perspective will give him a better point of view on this strange human ritual.
Youngjae leans back, gasping in a breath before dragging his tongue over the salt and then neatly leaning down to pluck the lime from between Daehyun's teeth. He closes his eyes and sucks out the juice, and then sets it down with a flourish.
"And that, ladies and gentlemen," Youngjae says, to a round of applause that's mostly Himchan and Jongup, "That is how you do a tequila shot."
"I think I'm scarred for life," Daehyun mumbles, brushing the extra salt off his chest and making a face. "I'm all sticky." None of them, Junhong notes, mention the conspicuous bulge in Daehyun's sweatpants, or the fact that Youngjae's cheeks are now flushed and pink.
"Now it's Junhong's turn," Youngjae says, with an evil sort of glee. "You have to pick one of us to practice."
"Noooo, no, wait wait," Himchan says, holding up a hand. "Wait, there's something else, I forgot about this one."
"Do I have to watch another video?" Junhong says. He shifts his legs, making sure that his erection isn't visible. He's tipsy and that was weird and hot and now everything feels like soft lightning is rushing through his veins.
"No, Bbang and I are going to show you," Himchan says, motioning for the tequila and reaching down for another shot glass. "Yong Caiiii, give me the bottle."
Youngjae hands it over, reaching for the salt and the lime as well, but Himchan waves them away. "You're not really supposed to do this with tequila," Himchan explains. "We'll just have to do it straight."
"Oh no," Yongguk says, a bright flush beginning to stain his cheeks. "Wait--you mean--"
"Mmmmhmmmm," Himchan hums, smiling to himself. "What, you're not going to chicken out on me, are you?"
"Ugh, I'm--okay, the last time this happened, it was not with Himchan," Yongguk says, hiding his face in his hands for a moment. He's slowly turning a bright, scarlet red.
"It's for the maknae," Himchan says. "We're educating him. This is education. You like education!"
"This is a really broad definition of education," Yongguk says.
"Oh, just shut up and take the shot with me, are you going to do it or not?"
"Then stop whining about it," Himchan says. He's sitting up now, leaning against one arm of the couch while Yongguk tries to untangle their limbs. "I'm going to take it, are you ready?"
"I don't think I'll ever be---" Yongguk cuts himself off in mid-sentence as Himchan rolls his eyes, tipping his head back and downing the whole shot in one go.
Junhong isn't sure what he was expecting, but he knows it wasn't Yongguk leaning forward and pulling Himchan's face towards him with both hands. Their mouths meet easily and Junhong hears himself make a small, astonished noise as they start...kissing?
"Whoa," Youngjae says.
"Dude," Daehyun says.
"Ohhhhhh," Jongup says, nodding as though he's suddenly figured something out. "Look. Yongguk's drinking the shot. You can see him swallowing."
"Uh," Daehyun says. "He's drinking the shot out of Himchan's mouth?"
"Yes," Himchan says, suddenly breaking away as they both pull back for air. "Exactly. Jeez, did you have to bite me?" Himchan rubs his bottom lip with an injured look.
"I didn't mean to," Yongguk mumbles, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. "You startled me."
"I hope you don't bite people when you do that with girls," Himchan says.
"Some girls like that sort of thing," Yongguk says, quirking an eyebrow. Himchan snickers and suddenly the air in the room is clear again, as though the past three minutes never happened.
"So," Himchan says, turning to Junhong. "Bbang and I think you should practice that one, too."
"Hey! Leave me out of this." Yongguk sighs, kicking Himchan in the leg.
"Quiet, I'm speaking for both of us," Himchan says, digging his fingers into Yongguk's hip until Yongguk yelps and starts giggling again. Junhong will never get used to Yongguk hyung when he's drunk.
It's not that he doesn't want to do it, or that he's not curious. It's just that for some reason right now he feels more exposed than he ever has before. There's no stage or makeup or costumes to hide behind, and no persona that he can slip into to protect him from all of his fears.
"Do I get to pick or are you all just going to kiss me?" He says eventually, to a general round of amused laughter. He smiles. His stomach is still twisting itself into knots, but maybe they're the good kind. Maybe this will be fine.
"It's not kissing," Himchan says, trying for dignity and failing miserably. "It's drinking. With other people's body parts."
"Right," Junhong says. "Of course." Youngjae snorts in amusement.
"Do the body shot one first," Daehyun says, still lying on the floor. "That way if you pick me, I don't have to go anywhere."
"Don't listen to this lazy asshole," Youngjae says, nudging Daehyun in the thigh with his toes. "Do whatever you want first."
"No, um, I think that's a good idea," Junhong says, instead of, I've never kissed anyone before. Licking someone's skin, even if it's in a weird place, sounds a lot less intimidating than licking a shot out of someone's mouth.
"I think I need to forfeit this one," Yongguk says, holding up his hands. "I mean...it would really be…"
"Super weird," Junhong agrees immediately, suddenly grateful. "Yeah. No. I'm not licking Yongguk hyung."
"That's okay," Himchan says. "I've got that part covered." He leans over, licking Yongguk's cheek and then laughing when Yongguk makes a horrified noise and wipes his face clean.
"Piiiiickkkkk," Daehyun says, drawing out the word and poking Junhong in the thigh. "We don't have all night."
Junhong looks around the room. Himchan hyung would be fine, but Junhong doesn't think either of them could get through it without laughing. Daehyun hyung is already kind of salty and covered in tequila, but Junhong isn't quite sure he's ready to put up with that much empty protesting.
"Jongup," Junhong decides suddenly. "For the body shots. And, um. Since Youngjae hyung always tries to kiss me anyway…"
"On the cheek!" Youngjae says, grinning as he leans over and begins handing the necessary supplies to Junhong. Neither he or Jongup seem upset, which bolsters Junhong's courage even more.
Himchan sighs. "You just picked Jonguppie because he has nice abs," he accuses, letting his head roll back on the armrest of the couch.
"Yes," Junhong agrees. "I did. I figured they'd...probably be good at holding liquid?"
"This is so against the spirit of body shots," Youngjae says, shaking his head. "Promise me that if you ever do this at a club, you won't pick someone just based on that."
"I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be doing this to anyone, ever," Junhong admits, as he settles himself on his knees and Jongup peels his shirt off and lays down with his hands behind his head. He seems entirely unruffled about the whole situation.
"Hi," Junhong says, looking down.
"Hi," Jongup says, smiling up at Junhong, toothy and amused.
"Right," Junhong says, mostly to himself. He picks up the salt shaker with one hand. "Should I just...um…"
"Lick anywhere that you're sure you're not going to put the tequila," Youngjae says sagely.
"How did you get so good at this?" Himchan asks, giving Youngjae a curious once-over.
"Long story," Youngjae says, waving his hand. "Um, like I said, that night that Dae and I went out in Berlin and there was this bar and I think it was near a university and...anyway. You! We're focused on you right now. Not me."
Junhong bites his lip and then leans down, licking a neat stripe in-between Jongup's pectoral muscles.
"Ooooh," Dae says, rolling over on his side to watch. "If Jongguppie was a girl, that would be hot. That's like. Prime tit action."
"Sorry I don't have breasts," Jongup says, looking up at Junhong.
"It's okay," Junhong says. "I think that would make this even weirder than it already is."
"Uh, no," Daehyun says. "It would make it hotter. There would be boobs!"
Youngjae reaches over and covers Daehyun's mouth with one hand. "Continue," he says sunnily. Dae tries to bite his fingers.
"Can you like...flex?" Junhong says dubiously. Now that he's staring down at Jongup's stomach, he's not so certain this is going to work. Jongup's stomach doesn't suck in even when he takes a deep breath; it just kind of sits there, muscular and firm and extremely impressive.
"You have to use those V-lines," Himchan interjects, crawling out from under Yongguk's dozing form and joining them on the floor. "Those like. These muscles, right here." He taps the muscles that form a sharp line underneath Jongup's hips, forming a triangle that disappears into the top of his underwear.
"That's kind of…" Youngjae raises an eyebrow.
"Whatever, just don't miss and end up with his dick in your mouth, it will be fine," Himchan says dismissively. Daehyun starts snickering, giving up on his quest to gnaw Youngjae's fingers off.
Junhong tilts his head. He can kind of see what Himchan is saying; if he pours the liquid there, then it will end up in Jongup's belly button and in that slight concavity formed by the indentations of Jongup's pelvic muscles.
"Okay," Junhong says, shrugging. He holds a lime out over Jongup's mouth, and Jongup laughs and leans up to grab it with his teeth. "Here...goes nothing."
"Hwaiting!" The rest of the room starts clapping as Junhong quickly pours the liquid and then leans down to lick it up. It's messier than he expected; he ends up basically slurping all over Jongup's lower abdomen, trying to catch droplets of tequila before they end up on the floor or down Jongup's pants. When it's done he doesn't feel particularly sexy, but he licks the line of salt off anyway, and then tugs the lime out of Jongup's mouth. Jongup laughs, seemingly entertaining by the whole process.
"That's fun," Jongup says, grinning. "It was kind of like having a giant puppy licking my stomach."
"Only you would say that," Daehyun intones. "Literally. Only you."
"Good job," Himchan says, nodding approvingly at Junhong. Junhong takes the lime out of his mouth and sets it aside. His whole face is on fire. "Nice tongue action. Hyung approves."
"You're so lucky I'm not recording this," Youngjae says, laughing at Himchan. "Nice tongue action?"
"Skills!" Himchan protests, waving his hand and pouring himself another shot. "I just meant. You know. Natural skills! With his tongue!"
"Well, we'll find out in about two seconds," Youngjae says, winking at Junhong as he steals Himchan's shot. Himchan pouts at him until Youngjae rolls his eyes and pours out another round for Himchan, Jongup, and Daehyun.
"You good?" Youngjae says, holding his shot glass up. "You need a minute to recover from accomplishing what every fangirl would kill for?"
"I don't think they really understand how...salty it is," Junhong says. He blinks as the whole room bursts into laughter. "What? What did I say?"
"Nothing," Youngjae says, shaking his head. "Nothing. We'll tell you when you're older."
"Trust me, you'll figure it out eventually," Youngjae says. He tips his head back, drinking his shot carefully, and then motions to Junhong with one finger.
Junhong takes a deep breath. He crawls across the floor, closing the small gap between them. He puts his hands along both sides of Youngjae's jawline, like he'd seen Himchan do to Yongguk. Then he leans down, pressing his lips against Youngjae's mouth and hoping he's doing this right.
It seems as though everything happens in slow motion. Youngjae tilts his head slightly, so their noses don't knock together, at the same time as he nudges at Junhong's mouth and slips his tongue in between Junhong's lips. Junhong almost gasps, but he doesn't get a chance; there's a sudden rush of liquid, strong and overwhelming, and all he can do is hold on and swallow. Heat flares in his stomach and then sinks lower.
Junhong holds on until he feels like he's two seconds away from passing out, and then he and Youngjae pull apart at the same time, both gasping for air.
"Wow," Youngjae says, wiping his mouth. He licks his lips. "That's--whoa."
"Uh-huh," Junhong manages.
"I'm surrounded by children," Himchan says, sadly shaking his head at where Yongguk is snoring on the couch. "But congratulations. Now you all know how to shotgun."
"I feel extremely educated," Jongup says, nodding serenely as he tosses back another shot.
"And sticky," Daehyun adds, from his place on the floor.
"Mmm," Jongup says, sucking on his lime. "That too."
Two hours later, Junhong has apparently achieved what Himchan refers to as "the holy grail of drunk."
"It's when you're so drunk that everything is great, but not drunk enough that you're going to be throwing up the next day," Himchan explains, from his place on the floor. None of them have made it up off the carpet in a while. At least, Junhong thinks it's been a while. He's not really sure.
"I can't feel my legs," Junhong says. He snickers. It's funny for some unknown reason. Like, he has legs. And he can't feel them.
"What's 10 times 10?" Youngjae says.
"Ummmmmm," Junhong says. He squints at the ceiling. "One….hundred?"
"What's Yongguk's brother's name?" Himchan asks.
"Yongnam," Junhong says. "Why are you guys being so...questiony?"
Daehyun giggles. "Questiony," he repeats, snuggling his head into Jongup's thigh. Jongup pets his hair distractedly.
"We're checking your drunk level," Himchan says. "Your...level of drunkenness. Of the drunk in your blood. I mean, the alcohol."
"You're officially the holy grail of drunk," Youngjae informs him solemnly. "Sober enough to do math, drunk enough that you're making up words."
"Oh," Junhong says. "Good. Am I supposed to have legs, though?"
"You'll find them," Daehyun mumbles. "I always do."
"Okay," Junhong says. Daehyun hyung almost never lies, so if Daehyun says that Junhong's legs are around here somewhere, then he's probably right.
"I should find my own legs and go to bed," Daehyun says. Jongup pats him consolingly. "It's like...late o'clock."
"It's 4:23 am," Youngjae says, sitting up so he can read the clock on their cable box.
"Yeah," Daehyun says. "Late."
"Mmmph," Himchan agrees. He rolls over onto his back, poking at Jongup's side. "Jonguppie. Jongguppie, help me get up."
"Why?" Jongup says, as Daehyun slowly sits up and yawns.
"Because I'm old," Himchan says. "And I'm your hyung and I'm lazy and you're strong."
"But you always tell me not to call you old," Jongup says, standing up slowly and then reaching down to pull Himchan up.
"That's because I'm not old when I'm sober," Himchan says. "Only when I'm drunk, or when I need you dongsaengs to do shit for me."
"Ah," Jongup says, smiling to himself as Himchan leans on him, snuggling into his neck. They make their way slowly down the hallway, with Daehyun following close behind.
"Come on," Youngjae says, holding his hands out to Junhong. "Up, it's bed time."
"My legs," Junhong says. He frowns.
"Trust me," Youngjae says. "If you stand up, you'll find them."
"Oh," Junhong says. He lets Youngjae pull him up and then suddenly he's standing and whoa, hey. There they are. It's like magic.
"You're magic," Junhong tells Youngjae, very seriously.
"I like to think so," Youngjae says. They stumble down the hallway, following the others, but when they reach the turn-off for Youngjae's room, Youngjae suddenly stops and gently pulls Junhong closer.
"What's 12 times 18?" Youngjae says quietly, leaning close enough that Junhong can smell the sharp scent of limes on his breath.
"I can't do that even when I'm sober," Junhong frowns.
Youngjae snickers. "Fine. What's 100 times 100?"
Junhong bites his lip, counting zeros in his head. "Ten thousand? Yeah. Four zeros. Ten thousand. Right?"
"Got it in one," Youngjae says, pulling Junhong into his room. "Sorry. The other questions were a little too easy. I just had to make sure."
"Make sure of what?" Junhong says.
"That you're not too drunk for this," Youngjae murmurs, leaning in close. Junhong looks down to see a flash of eyelashes and pale skin and then they're kissing, somehow, even though Junhong doesn't quite remember getting there. They're kissing and Youngjae's mouth is hot and slick and that heat is back in Junhong's stomach, pulsing with a heavy throb that makes Junhong feel warm all over.
"Oh," Junhong breathes, pulling away. He rests his forehead against Youngjae's hairline.
"Yeah?" Youngjae's mouth curves up at the corners, a private smile just for the two of them.
"I don't know what I'm doing," Junhong admits, as Youngjae leans in again. His arms seem to slide around Youngjae's waist of their own volition.
"Doing pretty good so far," Youngjae hums, nipping lightly at Junhong's bottom lip. Junhong swallows, shivering at the sensation. "Just say something if you want to stop."
"Don't stop," Junhong blurts out, which in turn makes Youngjae start giggling.
"We need to close the door," Youngjae says, pushing it all the way shut with his foot. Junhong leans up against it, silently thanking it for being a good door that's all sturdy and made of wood and stuff. His knees are feeling weak. He's concerned he might lose his legs again if Youngjae keeps kissing him like that.
"But..." Junhong murmurs, keeping a firm grip on Youngjae's hips so Youngjae doesn't try and go anywhere. "Why are we...I mean..."
"Why now?" Youngjae says, leaning back so he can make eye contact. Junhong blushes. Youngjae's hair is messy and his gaze is lazy and sweet and it feels like the air in Junhong's chest has been sucked out of his lungs.
"Yeah," Junhong whispers.
"Hmmm," Youngjae says, humming to himself as he leans in and presses a kiss to Junhong's neck. Junhong arches, biting down on his lower lip and turning his head to give Youngjae as much space as possible. He like, 100% percent okay with Youngjae's mouth on his neck, oh god. Maybe a thousand percent okay. Maybe a million.
"Well, now you're legal," Youngjae says, his breath whispering along the soft skin of Junhong's neck. "And it's your birthday. I figured everyone should have someone to kiss on their birthday, if they want to."
"That's--a good thing," Junhong manages. "Agreed."
"And also you're hot and I'm pretty hot and I like you," Youngjae says. "Are those enough reasons?"
Junhong nods, leaning down to catch Youngjae's mouth again, moaning softly when he feels the slick heat of Youngjae's tongue beside his own. Youngjae's arms are draped around his shoulders, with Youngjae himself leaning upwards into the kiss.
"You know," Youngjae says, when they pause for air. "I have a bed. We don't have to do this against the door."
"A bed?" Junhong looks over and yes, of course Youngjae has a bed. They're in Youngjae's room, away from all the others, and the sudden torrent of possibilities that crosses his mind is both exciting and terrifying.
Youngjae must feel the way Junhong stiffens, because he brushes his mouth over Junhong's cheek. "Just kissing," Youngjae says, tracing his thumb in mysterious patterns behind Junhong's ear. "Nothing else. I'm just...you know. A little drunk." He laughs, suddenly, bright and happy, and Junhong feels the world shrink around them until all he can see is Youngjae's smile.
"Okay," Junhong says, ducking his head. He knows he's blushing as they stumble backwards across Youngjae's messy room to his small mattress, but maybe that doesn't matter. Maybe it's okay for Youngjae to see him blush, seeing as how they keep kissing and all.
Youngjae grins up at him when they both fall back onto the mattress, with Junhong landing on top, their legs messily intertwined.
"Happy birthday," Youngjae says, smiling up at him. "How does being one year older feel?"
Junhong smiles back. "Thanks," he says, daring to lean down and peck Youngjae on the lips, to carefully settle his weight on top of Youngjae and find a place to put all of his limbs. He smiles back. "It's going pretty well so far."