Taking the first sip of alcohol was more nerve racking for Shuhua than she’d expected. She felt like such a baby. She didn’t know if she’d even like the taste of alcohol, but she did want to try it for the experience. She truly lives by the saying ‘you wouldn’t know until you try.’
And so Shuhua will try.
“You’ll take care of me right?” Shuhua asks Soojin for the nth time that night. It’s like she was postponing the actual getting drunk part of the night.
She held the red cup to her lips, eyes peering up at Soojin who watched her expression carefully.
The older woman breaks out into a knowing smile. “I’ll tell you what,” Soojin pulls Shuhua closer, lowering the red cup from her lips, “I promise to take care of you for as long as you let me, till you tell me otherwise, okay? Maybe even then, I probably won’t even listen to you.”
Shuhua looks at her in awe, clutching Soojin’s collar and pulling her in for a chaste kiss. “So… forever then?”
“Forever?” Soojin feigns surprise, “that’s quite a long time. You’re kind of a pain in my , stray girl.” She grins teasingly, and Shuhua knocks their forehead together softly.
“Well, too bad. You’ve already promised.”
Soojin’s grin softens into an adoring smile, “darn.” It comes out totally lovestruck and not regretting at all, and Shuhua kisses her again.
“Okay, stop stalling. Soojin can simp over you later.” Jeno pushes them apart, taking Shuhua’s red cup away from her and replacing it with a shot glass filled with tequila. “Here, I’ll take a shot with you, bestie.”
Shuhua lets Jeno maneuver her around. He puts a slice of lime in her other hand, proceeding to put a pinch of salt onto the skin between her thumb and pointer finger.
“Salt, drink, lime.” Jeno tells Shuhua.
“Salt, drink, lime.” Shuhua repeats it back like a mantra.
“Karina, take a shot with us.” Jeno raises a shot glass towards Karina who watches them fondly.
“I’ve got an early dance class to teach tomorrow, so no drinking for me tonight.” Karina smiles apologetically. Her eyes catch Soojin’s stare for a quick second upon the mention of their shared dance class, before the latter looks away as if Karina’s stare burned her.
Ah, so they were still sticking to the enemy dynamic.
Karina’s lips thin into a line, lowering her head in despondency.
“How ‘bout I take a shot in her stead?” The woman that was clung to Karina’s side pipes up, raising her hand excitedly.
“Winter, you have early rehearsals tomorrow.” Karina reminds her. The short haired girl shrugs, “oh, relax, babe. I won’t go that far.”
Karina sighs when Winter only places a reassuring kiss on her cheek. It’s not like she could change her mind. Despite Winter being an introvert, she was a very spontaneous and free personality as well. Especially on alcohol.
“Wow, goodie two shoes has finally found her baddie. What a classic trope.” Jeno jokingly says, handing Winter the shot glass, “nice to meet you, Winter. How long has Karina been hiding you from us?”
“Jeno!” Shuhua scolds.
“I wasn’t hiding her, you idiot. We’ve only been on a couple of dates, and she’s been out of town since then.” Karina explains, huffing in annoyance at Jeno’s antics.
Winter chuckles, “yeah, I’ve actually just transferred to Julliard this term from Berklee College of Music in Boston, so I’m still in the process of moving.”
“It’s nice to meet you,” Shuhua cuts in, swatting Jeno in the process, “ignore him. He says a bunch of nonsense all the time.”
Jeno scoffs, “rude.”
Winter chuckles, “nice to meet you too, birthday girl. Cheers!” They clink their shot glasses, the salt off the back of their hand, and downing the liquid to burn the back of their throats.
Soojin sees Shuhua’s expression curl, as she hurries to bite onto the piece of lime in her other hand. Soojin lets out a chuckle, grinning widely when Shuhua lets out an ‘ah’ from the sourness of the lime.
“ yeah!” Jeno grunts, flexing his muscles.
“One more, one more!”
Jeno was already pouring another shot for the three of them.
“How are you feeling?” Soojin was already at her side, hand resting at the small of Shuhua’s back in comfort. Shuhua turns to her with a giddy smile, before leaning in for an abrupt kiss.
“I feel…” Shuhua mumbles, “…like I need another shot!”
Soojin laughs in amusement. Shuhua was definitely a lightweight when it comes to alcohol, so the night was going to go by quite quickly in Soojin’s opinion.
“Have at it, birthday girl.” Soojin whispers, placing a kiss onto Shuhua’s temple.
She steps to the side, leaning against the kitchen counter as the people around them start to chant.
Shuhua reaches for a blue bottle she spots after her fifth shot of tequila, twisting and turning it in her hands to inspect it. “What is this?” Her voice grows pitchy, as she almost pushes the bottle into Jeno’s face.
“Yo, that’s…” Jeno chuckles, eyes dazed, as he leans against Shuhua, “vod—,” a hiccup erupts from his throat, “vodka.”
Shuhua attempts to twist the bottle open, “it won’t open!” She grunts, and proceeds to ram the cap against the edge of the kitchen island.
“Dumb bottle.” She whines, and when she raises the bottle again, attempting to slam the bottle open against the granite, it’s snatched away from her.
“Hey!” It was slurred and whiny. The effect of the alcohol overtaking her tiny little body. Lightweight indeed.
“Baby, it won’t—,” Shuhua tries to reach for the blue bottle from Soojin’s grasp, “—it won’t open. It’s being sooo mean to me.” She leans against Soojin, her weight swaying against the older woman as Shuhua tries to find her balance.
“It’s my birthday, but it’s being meaaan!”
Soojin giggles, “already feeling it, huh?” She shakes her head, and she rounds her arms around Shuhua’s frame, so that she’s able to open the vodka bottle for the birthday girl.
“Feeling what?” Shuhua pouts.
Soojin attempts to place the vodka bottle onto the kitchen island, but it almost falls from her hands when swift, yet clumsy hands take it away from her.
“Mine.” Winter slurs, bringing the vodka bottle to her lips, and tipping her head back to take a big gulp.
“Winter!” Karina rushes to her side, immediately confiscating the bottle away. “Okay, that’s enough, Win. We don’t want you too hungover in the morning when you’ve got early rehearsals.”
Winter frowns, but wraps her arms around Karina’s shoulders anyway. She pouts up at the older woman, puppy dog eyes on full display. Karina mirrors her expression, “you’ll be thanking me later, I know it. How about we get you home? It’s getting late.”
“You take such good care of me,” Winter mumbles, standing up straight against Karina to wrap her arms around her neck to be able to pull her closer. “Do you wanna be my girlfriend or something?”
Karina chuckles, “I do, Win, but ask me again when you’re sober, okay?”
Winter firmly nods, eyes drooping sluggishly. “Okay, but you have to remind me. Tell me first thing in the morning.” She holds up her pointer finger, “first thing, got it?”
“Got it.” Karina whispers with a smile.
“Waaaiitt,” Shuhua pushes herself off of Soojin, holding a hand out towards Winter and Karina, “don’t leave. It’s my birthdaayyyy.”
Karina snorts, “I’ll come back after I take her home, Shu.”
“But I want to be friends first. Can we be friends first?” Shuhua directs the question towards Winter who was already completely too buzzed, but the latter tries to turn around in Karina’s arms anyway, proceeding to reply with slurred enthusiasm.
“Frieennds? We’re fr