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I Don’t Drink

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Taehyung doesn’t drink for a number of reasons.

The first is that he just isn’t fond of the way most alcohol tastes. He doesn’t like the bitter aftertaste or the burning feeling as it rolls down his throat to his stomach.

The second reason is that he thinks he’s, well, allergic. He and Jimin have ran countless experiments, trying wine and whiskey and soju and vodka. Taehyung eventually gave up when he threw up every time, no matter what kind of alcohol or how much of it he drank. It simply isn’t worth it.

The third reason is just that drunk people do stupid stuff. Because he’s the youngest of his friends, he’s been the designated driver more times than he can count. He’s seen Seokjin drunkenly hooking up with two guys simultaneously in a bathroom (a scarring experience). He’s seen Jimin drunk-dial way too many exes (it’s really a problem). He’s seen Taemin drunkenly pole dance (with surprisingly good coordination). He’s seen Mark shaving only his left leg (in the middle of the club). He’s seen Baekhyun stealing someone’s bike (and having to put signs up around the city to find out who and where he’d stolen it from). 

Taehyung’s seen it all. And, he’d really rather avoid that kind of embarrassing scenario.

And, what could be more embarrassing than throwing up in the middle of the club? So, Taehyung’s happy as designated driver.

He plops down at the bar and orders a Coke making sure to sit more than four seats away from Seokjin because, “Guys won’t buy me drinks if I sit next to you! They’ll think you’re my boyfriend!”

Jimin is still out on the dancefloor with Taemin and Baekhyun, and Taehyung doesn’t know where Mark is, but, to be fair, they usually lose track of him as soon as he takes a shot or two.

Even though Taehyung enjoys dancing, it’s reached the part of the night where the throngs of sweaty drunk people grinding on each other, dressed in mesh and leather and covered in glitter from head to toe, lose all dancing skills and the dance floor is reduced to something akin to a sea of spazmatic twitches.

“Hi, can I buy you a drink?” Taehyung hears a voice ask.

He looks up, and a man is sitting next to him, a small smile on his lips.

His hair is wavy and dark brown, and Taehyung can’t tell if he styled it that way, or if it’s naturally curly. He has an almost boy-ish look to him, with a face that doesn’t seem to match his muscular build with its soft features and big doe eyes.

Taehyung quickly looks around him, making sure that the hot guy wasn’t actually talking to someone else, and before he can respond and accept the offer, the man seems to have noticed the sweating glass of coke still in Taehyung’s hand.

“Oh. You already have a drink. That’s awkward… Sorry.” The man winces, scratching at the back of his neck in embarrassment, cheeks flushing ever so slightly. Cute!

The man’s eyes flit around, seemingly looking for an escape from the uncomfortable situation.

“You know, when I finish this drink…” Taehyung says, “I’d be happy to let you buy me another one.” The words roll off his tongue smoothly, and he thanks the universe that his voice doesn’t crack or betray him in some equally mortifying way.

The man visibly relaxes, his shoulders and jaw losing tension. He lets out a sigh of relief. “Yeah. Yeah, sure. I’m Jungkook by the way. Jeon Jungkook. What’re you drinking?” Jungkook fidgets slightly. “Rum and Coke?”

Oh. Taehyung’s stomach drops to his toes. This man — Jungkook — offered to buy him a drink. An alcoholic drink. And Jungkook is, by the looks of it, drinking some fancy looking cocktail.

And now Taehyung is going to have to look him in the eyes and tell him that the drink in his hands is actually just a glass of Coke because he’s super lame and can’t hold his liquor.

Yes, he may be slightly allergic to alcohol. Yes, he may find every sip of it disgusting. But, Jungkook is really really hot, and Taehyung wants to impress him, logic aside.

He smiles back. “Uhm, yeah, I am.” 

Taehyung’s stomach drops further at the lie. He is going to regret that later. “I’m Kim Taehyung. Are you here with anyone?” he asks, deciding the best route is to make small talk and delay finishing his drink for as long as possible. Maybe the whole night. Or at least until he can come up with a plan on how to get out of drinking an actually alcoholic drink, but still getting this guy’s number, because he’s a dumbass.

“Yeah, a couple friends. But I doubt they’ve even noticed I’m gone.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah. One of them’s out dancing, I think. Another one’s further down the bar. I have no idea where Namjoon-hyung went…” Jungkook trails off as he glances around the club, sudden worry seeping into his expression as he scans the area for this “Namjoon-hyung.”

“If it makes you feel any better, it appears I have lost track of a member of my party as well.” What the fuck , Taehyung? That sounded so fancy… “ But, what brings you down to my end of the bar when you have a friend to drink with you?”

“Well, uh, he’s really quite drunk right now. Like, so drunk that he started rambling to me and the bartender about his ex-girlfriend.”

“Oh, that’s not good,” Taehyung chuckles. He’s seen Jimin like that more frequently than he would like to admit.

“Yeah. I got so bored of hearing about Eunkyung this, and Eunkyung that, so I started just people watching, and then I saw you. Really, it's your hair that caught my eye. Why’d you decide to dye it red? It looks super hot like that. You’d be hot with any hair color though. But anyway, I wanted to get out of there so I ditched him, after having the bartender switch him to water, of course, and, well, now we’re here.”

“You could have stopped at the part about me being hot,” Taehyung jokes, taking a sip of his Coke.

Jungkook blushes again, hanging his head low and looking at the cocktail in his hands. “Sorry, I ramble sometimes. When I’m nervous. Actually, that’s a lie. Usually, I get really quiet when I’m nervous. I don’t really know why I’m rambling. I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have come over here.”

Taehyung giggles. “Don’t worry about it. It’s cute.”

“Cute?”

“Yeah. You’re cute.”

They continue chatting, and with every sip Taehyung takes of his Coke, the deeper he digs himself into a hole it will be hard to get himself out of.

This late in the game, it wouldn’t be embarrassing to admit he’s just drinking soda. It would be mortifying . And it’s such a stupid thing to lie about, too! Now, he’ll have no choice but to drink that goddamn drink Jungkook is going to buy him and maybe if the man doesn’t think Taehyung’s puke is a total turn off, he still has a chance at getting the other man’s number. Maybe. Probably not. Fuck .

“Do you, uh, want me to order that drink now?” Jungkook asks, breaking the momentary silence that follows Taehyung finishing his Coke. For some reason, Jungkook seems just as on edge as Taehyung. He has started fidgeting restlessly with the holes in his ripped jeans and he’s taken to chewing on his bottom lip. Or maybe Taehyung is just projecting his state of total petrifying anxiety onto Jungkook.

“Sure,” Taehyung manages to squeak out, resigning himself to his inevitable fate. It will all be worth it if he can get this guy’s phone number. And, even if he doesn’t, he’ll have a story to entertain hungover Jimin the next morning. 

Damn Jeon Jungkook for being too hot and damn himself for lying in the first place. 

Jungkook looks around for the bartender, making an attempt at flagging him down. When he catches the bartender’s eye, the man nods before holding a finger up and mouthing the words “one moment”.

Now, Jungkook is wringing his hands together and his leg is jiggling uncontrollably. What is wrong with him?

Meanwhile, Taehyung’s stomach churns violently. He feels like throwing up, and he hasn’t even had a sip of alcohol yet. 

“Look, I-“ they both say at the same time.

They stare at each other, surprised faces mirror images of each other. “Uh, you go first,” Taehyung says.

“Look, I-I need to admit something. I didn’t really think things through when I came over here. This is so dumb… I-well… I offered to do something I can’t do.”

“You… what?”

“I can’t buy you a drink. I’m nineteen,” Jungkook pulls down his sleeve to show the blue stamp on his wrist, identifying him as under the drinking age. “I don’t really know what I was thinking, asking to buy you a drink. I guess I’ve seen too many movies or something-“

“Thank God!” Taehyung exclaims. “I was trying to figure out how to tell you I didn’t want you to buy me a drink!”

Jungkook’s face falls. “What?”

“No, no, not like that! I’m totally interested in you! I just meant that I don’t like to drink alcohol, and therefore do not want an alcoholic drink from anyone. This was just completely non-alcoholic Coke.” Taehyung wiggles the empty glass in his hand. “I don’t really drink, but when you asked I didn't want to seem lame and you were intimidating with that expensive looking cocktail— wait. What are you drinking?”

Jungkook smiles sheepishly. “It’s a non-alcoholic cosmo. Just a mocktail.”

“Oh my gosh. I’m an idiot.”

“You’re not an idiot! I’m the idiot here!” Jungkook laughs. “So, why don’t you drink?”

“Oh, well, I don’t really like the taste of alcohol in the first place… but also, I’m, like, allergic to some extent.”

“Allergic?!” Taehyung watched Jungkook’s eyes widen into the same shocked expression he gets every time he tells someone that.

“Yeah… I throw up every time I drink it, no matter how little the amount or what kind of alcohol it is,” Taehyung explains. “So, I’m not technically allergic, but that’s the easiest way to explain it.

“What would you have done if I’d been able to order you a Rum and Coke like I said I would?”

“I was planning on drinking it…”

“You were going to drink something you’re allergic to just to seem cooler?”

“Yeah. It’s a pretty bad idea when you say it out loud like that,” Taehyung mumbled. “Did you say you’re nineteen?”

Jungkook nods.

“I’m twenty-one, so I’m your hyung.”

“Oh, so you’re like that, then, huh?” Jungkook laughs. “Well, now that we both know that there will be no alcohol tonight, hyung , can I order you a second Coke? Or maybe a Fanta for some variety? And maybe exchange numbers as well?”

Taehyung‘s boxy grin spreads across his face. “That would be great.”