“Hyung. Jiminie-hyung,” Jungkook hisses, jabbing his sharp elbow into Jimin’s side.
When Jimin doesn’t respond, Jungkook does it again.
“Jungkook. We’re the only ones in this aisle. I don’t know why you’re whispering.”
Jungkook looks at him wide-eyed and jerkily twists his head around like he’s trying to catch a shadow in his peripheral and Jimin checks down the aisles too. Nothing there. Content, Jungkook turns back to the bag of chips in his hands, stares at the monkey swinging from the top of the bag and still refusing to look Jimin in the eye. He clears his throat and scrunches his nose a little and Jimin hates how cute he thinks it is. Jimin, we’ve been over this, kick your stupid crush to the curb.
His voice is still a whisper. “Hyung, what do you think of Hoseok-hyung? And Yoongi-hyung?”
There’s a sickening lurch in Jimin’s chest and he clutches the grocery basket closer, forearm pressing the handles into his stomach. Jungkook couldn’t possibly mean…?
“What do I think of them as… people?” Jimin asks, words slow, forced out of his mouth.
“I mean, what do you think of them together?”
“Together?” As though Jimin hasn’t thought of this before, hasn’t seen the way Yoongi looks at Hoseok like he hung the moon, like every breath that comes out of him breathes life into the stars. Yoongi looks at Hoseok like he builds galaxies with every word and Jimin wants someone to look at him like that too.
“Yeah,” Jungkook says. He plays piano with the chip bag, crinkles them with every press, and Jimin peeks up at him, sees the way Jungkook’s cheek is pulled in as though he’s gnawing on it. “You don’t think there’s anything between them?”
Jimin struggles to answer, throat stuffed up. He wishes he can wash it down with a gulp of water, the way he does when he swallows an oversized piece of pork belly from pure gluttony, too impatient to cut it up. There’s something between them, he definitely thinks so, but he doesn’t know if Jungkook wants to hear it, if he’s okay with that sort of thing. He’s panned out these different scenarios in his head, clicked through all the scenes on the reel—in one of them, Jungkook tells Jimin that he’s gay too, confesses that he’s always had a crush on Jimin (impossible) . In some of them, Jungkook’s expression is blank. In the rest, his lips are turned down in a grimace. Jimin’s scared of seeing that grimace in person.
Jimin shifts the grocery basket to the other arm.
“So what if there is?”
Jimin wants to add would that be a problem? but it might be too telling.
Jungkook’s nose wrinkles and it’s like the air is being squeezed out of Jimin’s lungs. That was it. That was the grimace he was waiting for.
“I mean, I just—” Jimin holds his breath and the only sound that passes between both of them is the crumple of the chip bag that Jungkook’s still pressing on. “I just think they’d be good together. Is that weird? I just—sorry, I guess that sounds crazy.”
Jimin’s muscles turn to liquid; he’s so high on the relief that he laughs. Jungkook just stares at him, bewildered.
“I think so too,” Jimin confesses. His hands are trembling when he brings it up to his fringe, brushes it back. But Jungkook doesn’t notice the nervous tremor. Instead, he breaks into a grin and Jimin whips his head back to the shelves, mindlessly tosses some bags into his basket in order to ignore the way his pulse flutters.
“So you’ll help me?” Jungkook asks, voice still hushed.
“Help you what?”
“Get them together.”
Jimin turns to him in surprise but Jungkook’s unfazed, determination set in his jaw. His gaze is unflinching, like he’s at ISAC, looking through the sight window of his bow, seconds away from hitting the target.
“You’re kidding me,” Jimin deadpans.
“Hyung, you know they’re good together but they’re too stupid to figure it out themselves. They just need a little… push.”
“And how’re we supposed to do that?”
“I’ll figure it out.”
The chip bag Jungkook is holding onto is mushed beyond repair but he still stuffs it into Jimin’s basket, already teeming with other snacks for the party.
“So, you in?”
Jungkook’s eyes are wide and eager and any fight that Jimin had in him drains like rain into a channel. He’s way too damn soft for Jungkook, always have been, always will be.
“Fine. I’m in.”
Jungkook seems to think that one holiday party could solve five years of sexual tension—like he’s the missing piece, the catalyst that would finally get Yoongi and Hoseok together. Nothing against him, but life isn’t a romantic comedy and Jungkook isn’t a witch doctor who can magically get them to profess their love for each other. But Jimin doesn’t have the heart to tell him because Jungkook is practically bouncing around the dorm, unable to contain his excitement even though the party’s still two hours away. When it’s an hour till, there’s a knock on Jimin’s door.
Jimin opens it, only to get a fistful of leaves shoved at his face.
“What’s this?” He sniffs at the bouquet in front of him, thinking that it’s one of the herbs that Seokjin usually throws into his stews.
“Mistletoe,” Jungkook beams.
“This is mistletoe?” Jimin plucks one of the berries off. “I thought these were supposed to be red?”
“It’s mistletoe,” Jungkook confirms, snatching the bundle back as though Jimin’s offended it. Jungkook sounds sure of himself but he still turns the plant around in his hands, raises it up to his eyes in order to examine it.
“Don’t tell me you’re going to hang it around the dorm,” Jimin says incredulously.
“No, hyung, you’re going to hang it. All of it.” Jungkook grins wide and grabs one of Jimin’s hands, pushing the mistletoe into his palm, still warm from his own body heat.
“But—everyone would—what if we—” This party’s going to have just the seven of them, no managers or coordi-noonas present—a fistful of mistletoe is definitely overkill. There’s so much mistletoe that everyone’s bound to get caught under it at one point, including him and Jungkook, which can’t happen. Jungkook can’t be serious.
Jungkook cuts Jimin off with a dismissive hand.
“It’s fine, we’ll just have to take one for the team,” he says, strategizing through it like the entire thing is just some game of basketball instead of everyone’s very real personal boundaries that he’d be messing with. “Or we’ll just run through it really fast so we don’t get caught at the same time.”
He’s a child. Jimin is taking directions from a child.
Jimin opens his mouth to protest but Jungkook’s face is lit with glee, eyes sparkling bright, and Jimin can’t help but to give in again.
The dorm becomes a minefield of mistletoe. Jimin hangs it everywhere he can—there’s at least six of them strung up high, one in the hallway, two in the living room, and the rest messily taped up above the door of every bedroom. Jimin is standing on a kitchen chair, stringing up the last bundle right outside Yoongi’s bedroom door when Yoongi suddenly opens it, catching Jimin redhanded. Jimin freezes in place.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Yoongi says, ready to kill.
Seokjin peeks outside too.
“You already put some in the living room. Why are you putting it here too?!” Seokjin scolds.
“It was all Jungkook’s idea,” Jimin says petulantly. “But it’ll be fun! You’ll see, hyung.”
Jimin jumps off, rolls his sleeves up before he carries the chair back to the kitchen. He hears Seokjin and Yoongi bickering behind him.
“I’m going first,” Yoongi says.
“I’m older, I’m going first,” Seokjin argues. “You stay here until I get down the hallway.”
Yoongi and Namjoon complain about the mistletoe the most, but they get into it just as much as everybody else does. The oldest three hyungs are the ones who have plans of attack, arguing who goes first or second, stepping with light feet and watching the ceilings carefully for any mistletoe hidden from view. Hoseok and Taehyung just whoop and run through the halls, while Jungkook goes above and beyond and somersaults through. He even does unnecessary handstands, stupid show-off.
It’s been over half an hour and everyone’s still unscathed. But then Taehyung begs Jimin to help him find the earphones that he swears Jimin borrowed from him and Jimin knows from experience that Taehyung won’t shut up about it until Jimin folds. “Fine, let’s go,” he huffs. Jimin doesn’t bother to hide his annoyance, getting up with a ruckus and making his way to the bedroom, turning back from time to time to ensure Taehyung’s a good distance behind him. When he reaches for the door handle, he collides into a very solid, very warm Jungkook with an oof.
“Jungkook, what are you doing in my room?!” Jimin sputters.
“Taehyungie-hyung asked me to help him find his earphones,” Jungkook squawks, absentmindedly rubbing his chest. His eyes flicker up from Jimin’s, stares past him, and then his expression switches in an instant. His face pales quickly and Jimin whirls around too, sees what’s making him look so haunted.
Taehyung grins like a naughty schoolboy, all teeth. He doesn’t say anything, just sticks a pointer finger upwards with a gleam in his eye, and Jimin turns to where he’s pointing and—shit.
“Guess it kind of backfired,” Jungkook says sheepishly, a hint of a flush on his cheeks. Jimin doesn’t want to drag it out any longer than it has to be. He squares his shoulders, clenches his fists tight and just goes for it like he’s bungee jumping, tiptoeing up to give Jungkook a quick peck on the cheek. Done. Over.
“That’s no fun,” Taehyung mutters behind him.
Jimin ignores him, shoulders past Jungkook who’s standing stock-still in the doorway, rubbing at his cheek like Jimin left a lipstick stain there, pink against his skin. There’s nothing, but Jimin’s lips are still tingling from the cheek kiss. Jungkook’s skin was warm and soft against his lips. Stupid, he can’t believe he’s thinking about this.
“Get out of the way, I don’t wanna kiss you too,” Taehyung yaps.
Ten minutes of searching and Taehyung pulls a tangled ball of earphones from the wide pocket of his hoodie.
“Oops,” he says dramatically. His arm is stiff as he presents the earphones to Jimin, knotted cord sitting in the palm of his hand. “Guess I had them on me the entire time.”
With a performance like that, it’s a miracle that Taehyung managed to get hired as an actor.
”Taehyung,” Jimin seethes.
“I’m sorry, I’ll make it up to you!”
Jimin lunges for him but Taehyung races to the door before Jimin can catch him in time.
With absolutely no warning, Taehyung stops right in the doorway and spins on his heels, blocking the exit with arms and legs stretched out like Leonardo’s Vitruvian man and Jimin comes to a grinding halt in front of him.
“Mistletoe,” Taehyung singsongs, huge grin splitting his face. And sure enough, the bundle of leaves are still there, strung up right above the doorway. He can’t believe he forgot.
Jimin growls and smushes his face into Taehyung’s cheek in a poor imitation of a kiss.
And then he socks him in the arm.
The mistletoe wasn’t completely unsuccessful. Namjoon gets caught in it the most, just because he has no bodily awareness—he’s had his turn with every one of them already, some of them twice over. Jimin gets caught with Jungkook again, when Taehyung sticks mistletoe right between them, dangling the bundle from a makeshift fishing pole, a pair of chopsticks haphazardly taped together.
"C'mere," Jungkook barks.
He wrestles Taehyung to the ground, wrenching his arm back and pinning his wrist down and Jimin joins in, slapping the back of Taehyung's thighs with his hand.
Taehyung laughs even as he's hit, kicks his legs like a child.
"You still have to kiss," he cackles.
Jimin swings his arm back and slaps him one more time for good measure before he leans over and gives Jungkook another kiss on the cheek.
"You're welcome," Taehyung says insolently. His tone changes quick, begging for mercy when Jungkook bounces on his back with his entire weight, wrenches his arm back even further. Jimin can see Taehyung's other arm reaching for the mistletoe mobile lying on the floor, hand fumbling on the carpet, and Jimin crawls over in an attempt to grab it first.
Hoseok snatches the mistletoe before Jimin can get to it.
"I'm confiscating this," he says with a no-nonsense voice. "God knows what you three will do with it."
Taehyung's contraption would have been perfect for their plans, but now they have to think of another way to get Hoseok and Yoongi under the mistletoe at the same time. It seems impossible, but they finally, finally manage to get Hoseok and Yoongi stuck under it minutes before dinner, when Jungkook distracts Yoongi long enough for Jimin to shove Hoseok under the mistletoe too.
When Hoseok comes crashing into him, Yoongi yelps. “PARK JIMIN."
“Rules are rules,” Jimin trills. Jungkook snickers behind Yoongi’s back and Jimin has to bite his lip to keep himself from grinning.
“They’re stupid rules," Yoongi grits.
“Hyung, why are you protesting so much? It's just a kiss," he says. "Don’t you like me?” Hoseok’s lips droop in a dramatic frown and he drapes his entire body over Yoongi, clasping onto him like an octopus.
“No I don’t like you, now let me go.” Yoongi fusses, wriggling in Hoseok’s grasp, but Hoseok just squeezes him tighter and gives him a loud, wet smack on the cheek. Jimin swears Yoongi flushes a little before he shoves Hoseok off. It’s fucking cute and it makes Jimin’s throat grow thick, his chest warm up. Jimin’s happy for them, don’t get him wrong, but there’s a pull of envy in his stomach too, a hard steel weight that drops all the way down.
But Jungkook flashes him a cheeky little smile, winks at him as if to say “mission accomplished,” and the envy dissipates quicker than smoke.
Part two of the mission starts when Jungkook disappears as they're setting the table, only to come back with a case of beer under one arm and two bottles of soju in the other.
“Can’t have a party without alcohol!” Jungkook announces with a grin.
“Wow,” Namjoon drawls, “our maknae’s turning into a party animal.”
“You’re barely legal, crazy kid,” Seokjin says, slapping Jungkook on the arm.
“What?! It’s been like a year,” Jungkook retorts. “And it's almost Christmas, we have to celebrate.”
Taehyung dangles his head off of the sofa arm. “I’m a lightweight, can I just have a soda?”
"As a chaser for your soju, sure,” Jimin laughs. He tears open the case and puts a can of beer in front of every chair.
“Can you just drink it for me?” Taehyung whines.
Jungkook ignores him and says firmly, “We’re all doing one house shot.”
Hoseok purses his lips and Jimin readies himself for Hoseok’s protest. After all, he’s the weakest drinker out of all of them; they had learned it the hard way when Hoseok bolted to the restroom after six shots of soju. They found him sprawled on the floor, clinging to the toilet bowl with both arms and throwing up the contents of his dinner. It took Jimin two weeks before he could stomach the smell of bulgogi again.
“One shot,” Hoseok says, to Jimin's surprise. “And I need lemon juice in mine.”
“I got it, hyung,” Jimin chirps and bounces over to the fridge.
When no one’s looking, Jungkook wiggles his eyebrows at him. A drunk Hoseok is a touchy Hoseok. A few drinking games and they got it in the bag. Hoseok just needs to be seated next to Yoongi and they'll practically set themselves up—Jimin wouldn’t need to do a thing.
"Jiminie, sit next to me!" Taehyung pats the chair beside him with a hand and Jimin begrudgingly sits down.
"Jungkook!" Taehyung calls.
"I'm coming, I'm coming." He trudges over with shot glasses balancing in the crook of his arm and squeezes them into the empty space beside the bucket of chicken.
With a grin, Jungkook extends his arm, bottle of soju shoved in Jimin's face. "Hyung, do the honors."
The first shot goes down harsher than Jimin remembers, even with the squeeze of lemon to ease the way, but he's doing better than Taehyung who just gags beside him, tongue lolling out of his mouth like a dog's.
Yoongi finishes his soju with an unchanging expression on his face so Jimin dumps an extra shot into his beer.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Yoongi snaps.
"Hyung, trust me. You need it."
"I'm too fucking old for this."
Seokjin barks, "What the hell does that make me?!"
"A grandpa," Jungkook snickers through a mouthful of meat.
Seokjin motions to whack him with the chopsticks from across the table but Jungkook just laughs and Jimin can't stop himself from chuckling at Jungkook's insolence.
"Brat," Jimin mutters, shaking his head, but unable to keep the fond grin off of his face.
Two drinking games in and Jimin gets more buzzed than he expected. He's always had the worst luck when it comes to these games—it's like Rookie King all over again. Jimin's metal chopsticks are starting to feel a little heavy in his hands when Taehyung suddenly pipes up next to him.
"Let's play 'I love you,'" he says, and something in Jimin's stomach clenches tight.
"That's not fair, I suck at that game," Jimin grumbles.
From the corner of his eye, he sees Jungkook roll his shoulders back, straightening up in his seat out of interest. "I wanna play," he says. And fuck, he's got to be kidding.
"I hate that game," Yoongi moans.
"That's just because you suck at that game too," Jungkook says back and oh . He gets it now. Jungkook's trying to get Yoongi drunk, too. Jimin just has to take one for the team.
"I'll start," Taehyung says with too much excitement.
He clears his throat exaggeratedly, breathes like he's readying for a dive. And then he turns to Jimin with the stupidest expression, mushes his cheeks up with both hands, and says in a high-pitched baby voice, "I wub you," and it's not even funny but a giggle erupts from Jimin's chest like a river bursting through a dam.
"You're the worst," Jimin whines.
Taehyung cackles and rubs at his shoulders. "This is way too easy."
Jimin glares at him and takes a gulp of his beer, grimacing as the carbonation burns on the way down.
Taehyung's eyes glitter. "Your turn," he says.
With a sigh, Jimin turns to Jungkook whose face is expressionless, eyes completely blank. Jimin's fingers feel cold, something about Jungkook's stony face makes him nervous which is ridiculous. It's not like Jimin's professing his love for real, it's just a game, a stupid game.
He closes his eyes and breathes out.
And then he puts on the cutest expression he can muster, bats his eyelids and says sweetly, "I love you," and Jungkook cracks a smile, nose crinkling up, but he doesn't laugh. At least Namjoon humors him, squeaking in the back of his throat like the rusty hinge of a door. “So cute," he wails.
Jungkook ignores him, turns to Yoongi and raises his arms up dramatically, singing in operatic falsetto, "I love you" and Yoongi's just as bad as Jimin. He cracks up too, and then curses as he drinks.
It's all worth it to see Yoongi say "I love you" to Hoseok. Yoongi tries to make it funny (but fails) and Hoseok doesn't even try to keep a straight face. His expression is so soft that it catches Jimin off guard. His breath hitches just seeing the way Hoseok's head tilts, edges of his lips curving in a fond smile. There's something between them. There has to be.
"Did you see that?" he whispers to Jungkook.
Jungkook nods almost imperceptibly, round eyes still staring at Hoseok.
When they get to Seokjin, the circle reverses. Namjoon's awkward "I love you" can't get through to Seokjin who just looks at him coolly and says "get lost" with the steadiest tone. It ends up back at Hoseok who barely opens his mouth before Yoongi bursts out laughing again.
"I hate this game," he mutters, gulping his beer. There's a flush on his cheeks—it might just be from the alcohol, but Jimin thinks Hoseok might have had a role in it too.
Jungkook and Hoseok both get Yoongi to drink two more times before Jungkook spins in his chair and turns to Jimin and the earnestness in Jungkook's gaze makes the blood rush with a whoosh to Jimin's face. He readies himself for it, tries not to look Jungkook in the eye but look past him, but Jungkook always manage to break Jimin down, melts him like chocolate in his palms.
His lips curl up in a lecherous grin and he arches an eyebrow and says in an exaggerated husky tone, "I love you," and hearing it makes Jimin's pulse hiccup but Jungkook's face is so goofy he can't help but laugh again.
Jimin slaps Jungkook on the arm and pouts, "get lost," but he feels the blood thrum in his ears, heart pounding twice as hard, twice as fast.
"You're supposed to say, 'I love you,'" Jungkook teases, biting at his lips like he's trying to hold back his smile.
Jimin says weakly, "I hate you," and then takes another swig of his beer.
Less than half an hour in and the noise around him gets muffled like he's underwater. He knows he's drunk because his body feels light, his face is warm and he can't stop fucking giggling, which means he has to drink even more . He finally calls it quits.
"I'm getting too drunk, I don't wanna play this anymore," he whines.
"Shut up Tae, you barely even had half a beer."
"Not my fault I'm good at this game,” Taehyung says with a hiccup.
"It's rigged in your favor, stupid."
Seokjin cuts in, "You guys are too noisy. Shut it."
"Let's play truth or dare then," Jungkook says with an impish grin. "If you can't answer the question or you can't do the dare, then you drink."
"We've lived together for over three years, we already know everything," Yoongi argues.
Jimin protests for Jungkook's sake, "Not everything." Underneath the table, Jungkook pats his thigh in a "thank you," and the heat doesn't disappear from where he’s been touched. Jimin definitely had too much too drink.
"Me first!" Jungkook sings.
The first truth or dare is directed to Yoongi, who after switching back and forth for some time, finally ends up going with "truth".
It must be what Jungkook wanted because his eyes glimmer, delighted.
"Hyung, do you like anybody?"
Jimin can see the way Yoongi's shoulders pull up just barely, jaw clenching. Beside him, Hoseok's face is blank, gaze lowered to the cup of beer that he turns around in his hands.
Yoongi drinks and Jungkook cackles. "That was basically a yes."
"Shut up," Yoongi returns. And then he refocuses his attention on Jimin.
"Jiminie, truth or dare?"
His head is all muddled but he goes with "truth," it seems like the safest bet.
"Do you like anybody?" he asks and Jimin's stomach flutters. He didn't expect it from Yoongi, he didn't think he cared about that kind of stuff.
The alcohol must be making him stupider than usual because he blurts a "Yes" before he stiffens in shock. He withdraws in his chair, curls in on himself from the embarrassment. Jungkook turns to him in surprise, he sees it in his peripheral, but Jimin can't get himself to meet his gaze.
Seokjin gripes from the opposite end of the table, "Why don't I know about this?"
Yoongi adds on, "Who is it?" and Jimin stammers. "You already had your turn! I'm not falling for that."
He untucks his legs and pretends the confession never happened, acts like he doesn’t notice the way everyone stares at him like the answer’s painted on his face.
"Hoseokie-hyung,” he says.
"Hoseokie-hyung, if you had to date anyone of us, who would it be?"
Hoseok's cheeks puff out and he coos, "Obviously you, Jiminie."
"I'm being serious here," Jimin grumbles.
"So am I," Hoseok says cheerily.
Yoongi scoffs and mutters, "Jimin, just take the compliment."
Jimin sulks because that wasn't the way it was supposed to go.
Namjoon had stripped himself of everything except his boxers and Taehyung had gulped down a nasty concoction of pork drippings, kimchi juice, and coke before the question's directed at Jimin again. He doesn’t get why Taehyung wants to pick on him when there are five other perfectly fine choices sitting at the table, Taehyung’s planning something, he knows it.
"Truth or dare?" Taehyung asks.
With Taehyung, it's always dare. It has to be dare. There's no other choice.
The minute Taehyung's lips pull back in a little smirk, Jimin regrets it.
"I dare you to tell us who you like," he says smugly.
Jimin’s already drunk but he sucks it up and gulps down some more beer.
Taehyung mutters, "You're no fun."
"I wanna know," Hoseok whines.
Jungkook chimes in, "Me too," and Jimin flushes and ignores them all.
After a bit, Namjoon stands up from his chair and says with finality, "Alright, alright, I'm drunk and I'm old and I'm gonna go pass out."
"If you're old what does that make me?" Seokjin hisses, slapping Namjoon in the chest.
Jungkook snickers and says again, "A grandpa," and Seokjin growls, "Jungkook, I swear to god. ”
And then it's just Jimin and Jungkook sitting at the kitchen table. Seokjin and Namjoon have already retired to their room after finishing up with the dishes and Taehyung's passed out on the long couch. Hoseok and Yoongi seem to be fiddling with something, squished up together on the loveseat, but Jimin's feeling a little bit dazed so he doesn't bother to check up on them. He just rolls his head back on the chair, body still warm and light from the alcohol. Even with his eyes closed he can feel the heat radiating from Jungkook beside him. His entire left side feels like it's tingling, hyper-aware of Jungkook's presence.
"Any other ideas?" Jungkook asks in a low whisper.
Jimin just hums, doesn't open his eyes.
He jolts in his seat when Jungkook’s hand pats his thigh frantically. Jungkook's eyes are bulging, he jerks his chin towards the direction of the couch and Jimin looks over, sees Yoongi and Hoseok pressed up shoulder-to-shoulder. They're exchanging whispers, lost in their own little world. And then Yoongi gets up, pulling Hoseok off the sofa with a hand. Their hands stay clasped longer than necessary. Yoongi barely spares them a glance, just heads towards the direction of the bedroom with Hoseok trailing after him. They can't be—
He whips towards Jungkook whose eyebrows are both raised. They share a look, Jimin knows from Jungkook's eager expression that they're both thinking the same thing, and then they get up with a clatter, racing towards Hoseok's room.
Jungkook opens the door with a flourish, eager to catch them in the act of—whatever it is they could be doing.
But Hoseok and Yoongi are just standing in front of the door with their arms crossed, chest thrust out, smug looks on their faces.
Hoseok points up.
"Mistletoe," he sings, and Jimin jerks his head to the ceiling and—
He readies himself to kiss Jungkook again but before he knows it, Jungkook bends down and gives him a quick peck on the cheek, so short it can barely be called a kiss, but Jimin's entire body hums with energy. He still feels it on his skin, warm where Jungkook's lips touched it, and his heart drums in his chest.
"A real kiss," Yoongi drawls.
"What—I— no ," Jungkook sputters, affronted, and Jimin's lung constricts when he hears it. He can't get himself to look up, just stares at the carpet, face still warm from the kiss, the phantom touch of Jungkook’s lips still lingering on his cheek. A real kiss? That’s never going to happen.
"Alright then," Hoseok says casually.
He pulls out Taehyung's little invention from behind his back but Jungkook is quicker, he lunges for the mistletoe pole and grabs it right from Hoseok's hands.
"Hyung!" he calls, and Jimin's head snaps up, he sees the plan Jungkook has in mind and tackles Yoongi to the floor.
Jungkook straddles Hoseok and presses him down to the carpet and Jimin does the same with Yoongi. With a wide grin, Jungkook dangles the sprig of mistletoe right between them.
"Mistletoe," Jimin sings back in retribution.
Surprisingly, Yoongi just stares at him, unfazed. In fact, something in his face looks a little smug, like he has another trick up his sleeves.
"Fine, you win," he says nonchalantly. "But can we at least get up first? This is uncomfortable."
Jungkook is skeptical, looks over to Jimin for guidance and Jimin shrugs. It sounds reasonable. It's not like they can kiss in that position anyway. Begrudgingly, they get off, kneeling beside them, and Yoongi and Hoseok sit up, straightening themselves out.
"We're waiting," Jungkook croons.
Yoongi rolls his eyes and grabs Hoseok's face in a grand gesture, kissing him right on the lips, and Jimin blanks out, thoughts freezing. He hears Jungkook suck in a quick breath.
"Happy?" Yoongi says.
"Hyung, " Jimin blurts, still unable to grasp the situation. "You—you guys—"
"Are you two—"
"We've been together for over a month now," Hoseok says all too casually.
Jimin's gaze flickers over to Jungkook briefly, tries to gauge Jungkook's reaction, see if Jungkook had any clue. But Jungkook looks just as surprised, stares back at him dumbly, mouth still slackened in shock.
“Your turn,” Yoongi says. “Do a real kiss this time, just like us.”
“We already kissed!” Jimin protests despite himself.
“The first one didn’t count.”
“We’re not even— we—” Jungkook stammers, cheeks pink.
“WE CAN’T DO THAT,” Jimin finishes for his sake.
“Shut up,” Yoongi growls. “Just kiss and put everyone out of their misery. We’re tired of seeing your weird little mating dance.”
“Everyone knows you guys like each other,” Hoseok adds with a roll of his eyes. “Except for Jin-hyung, maybe.”
Like each other? Like each other?
His limbs are shaking. He turns to Jungkook in an instant, makes sure Jungkook heard the same thing. He must have because his ears are red, bottom lip pulled in. Their eyes catch briefly but Jungkook hastily looks away.
“Jungkook?” he squeaks.
Jungkook doesn’t answer him, just fiddles with the mistletoe in his hands, plucks the leaves off of the stems like a lovesick girl plucking daisy petals.
The alcohol makes Jimin bold.
He crowds Jungkook, palms splayed flat on Jungkook’s knees.
“Hyung?” Jungkook asks, thighs tensing under Jimin’s hand. Jungkook’s face is dusted pink, eyes shiny and wide.
Jimin musters as much courage as he can and kisses him, and to his relief, Jungkook doesn’t tense up. Instead, he kisses back, moves his warm hand up to rest on Jimin’s cheek and Jimin’s nerves buzz from the adrenaline, thoughts scattering, body humming at the way Jungkook’s fingers caress the back of his neck.
He’s so happy he wants to cry.
There’s a clap that they both don’t hear because they’re too engrossed in the kiss. If they had looked over, they would have seen the way Yoongi and Hoseok smiled at each other, high-fiving in the background.