Title: The Art of Omission
Pairing: TaoRis (Tao/Kris)
Genre(s): romance, fluff
Word Count: 1,360
Summary: In which Tao hates to lie and Kris is the only one who knows why he doesn't have an ideal type of girl.
a/n: I have been bitten by the EXO bug. This will not be the last EXO fic you see from me. But it's the first because Tao is just precious
Tao couldn't lie. He hated to. Ever since he was young, his mother had instilled honesty into him (as well as punctuality, but that didn't affect him so much as an idol since they all tended to go everywhere together and just because he was ready, didn't mean that Lu Han was) to the point that lying wasn't even something he wanted to do. Which was mildly problematic considering his new life as an idol.
Not to say that idols were meant to go around lying all the time. But they couldn't answer the questions asked of them on shows as though they were speaking to a friend. They had to be careful about what they said.
Fortunately, Tao had learned the art of omission over the course of his life so far (if he couldn't lie, he had to be able to do something so that he could get by without revealing things he didn't want to). So at least he could leave things out when he answered instead of lying outright.
Which was why, when asked his idea type of girl on Sina, he explained that he was too focused on his career to think about an ideal type. Even when the host pressed him to think of girls from dramas or movies, he told her that he was too busy to watch dramas. When the reality was that he had no ideal girl. But they weren't asking him about an ideal boy, were they?
No one ever was, which was why he'd become so skilled at leaving out information. Because he had to have something to say when acquaintances, family members, and adults asked him if he had a girlfriend.
And while he thought his answer had been fine- not a lie, but not the full truth either- his manager apparently disagreed.
“Tao, you need to come up with an answer for ideal type,” he told him backstage after the live broadcast, “You can't get away with skirting the question like you did.”
“But we really don't have time to watch dramas or to date,” he pointed out.
“That's fine...your answer was fine for today. Fans will probably think it's endearing. But they want to know your ideal type. So you need to come up with something tonight to say on the show tomorrow.”
“But I already said that I didn't know,” Tao tried, already feeling dread rise up in his throat at the prospect of lying.
“Just say you went home and thought about it or something,” the manager suggested, patting him on the back and moving on to scold Lu Han for appearing to zone out during the interview.
Tao sighed, looking up to see Kris watching him with half amusement and half sympathy. Because he knew what their manager didn't. And he was the only one in the group who did.
Tao hadn't intended to tell Kris initially. But when he'd been feeling homesick once, Kris had sat and talked to him about his life at home and his past. And with the older boy's kind attention on him, he couldn't bring himself to omit anything. So he'd included his own discovery of his sexuality, his first boyfriend, and his struggle to hide it all from his family.
Kris had listened quietly, nodding on occasion. And when he'd finished, Kris had given him a comforting hug- his long arms seemingly encompassing his entire body.
“Manager gege didn't like your answer?” he asked, sauntering up to Tao.
“No,” he sighed, “He said that I have to make something up to say for tomorrow's interview.”
“That shouldn't be too hard,” Kris assured him, “I'm sure the other members will help.”
“You know I don't like to lie,” Tao replied, eyes serious.
Kris nodded. He knew.
“My ideal type has to be pretty,” Tao told the host, who immediately applauded his response, “And she has to have a good figure.”
“I like girls with good figures too!” the host replied indulgently, seeming to feel that he shared a kinship with Tao now that they had the alleged same taste in women. Tao cringed internally, but smiled and continued.
“And as long as her character is good, it doesn't matter if she's cute or not,” he added, realizing now that he'd spoken how shallow his response had sounded. But it was the other members' faults.
(“Say that she has to be pretty,” Xiumin had told him.
“And with a good figure!” Lu Han had added enthusiastically as Kris watched them from the other side of the room, eyes knowing.
Tao had nodded, knowing that he could at least remember that, even though only a moron would have to go home to think only to come up with pretty. But he felt his stomach knot at the knowledge that he'd have to spout out these untruths on air the next day.)
At least it was over with, he thought to himself as the interview progressed onto other topics that he felt more comfortable with.
Still, he hated that he'd lied even though he knew that he had better get used to it. And soon.
“That wasn't so hard, was it?” Kris asked, falling into step with him as they walked out of the building toward their van.
“I didn't like it,” Tao told him honestly, hearing how sulky his own voice sounded.
“You did a good job,” Kris assured him, “I'm sure no one could tell that you were lying.”
“I still hate it, ge.”
“I know,” he sighed, seeming to debate his next words before he swiftly pulled Tao behind a large, concrete pole in the parking garage- out of sight of the other members and their manager.
“What are you doing?” Tao demanded.
“I lied too, you know,” Kris said, eyes darting around to avoid the other's gaze.
“You did?” Tao asked, surprised, “About what?”
“Well, I guess I omitted the truth,” he amended, “Though what I said about fate dictating whether you meet your ideal type or not was true.”
“What did you lie about?” Tao asked again, curiosity making him forget that his back was pressed against hard concrete and that they should be following the others- not hiding out by themselves.
“I used to think that my ideal type was a kind girl who takes care of others,” he began, still not making eye contact, “I thought I wanted a girl who cooks and wants a family.”
“You don't anymore?”
“It seems my ideal type likes to eat rather than cook...someone who looks cold and intimidating at first, but is actually warm hearted and cute.”
Tao looked at Kris questioningly, his heart pounding even though he knew he must be letting his imagination get the best of him. Kris certainly couldn't be talking about...
“Someone who values honesty above all else,” he went on, “...and knowing wushu is a plus.”
Tao felt like his heart must be loud enough for Kris to hear even with the sound of car motors echoing around the parking garage.
“Ge?” he asked, voice coming out in a whisper.
Kris finally looked at him, serious and earnest. Tao knew he wasn't kidding- he wouldn't joke about something like this.
“So that's the truth,” Kris said, searching Tao's face for a reaction.
Tao swallowed, feeling his cheeks flame under the scrutiny.
And when Kris leaned down and pressed their lips together, he didn't pull away- kissing back eagerly once he found that his brain was working again. Or working well enough, considering the circumstances.
Kris pulled back, fingers ghosting over the underside of Tao's jaw and making him shiver.
“I think this is going to make answering the ideal type questions even harder,” Tao finally said. Kris smiled.
“I'm sorry,” he apologized, but he didn't seem particularly sorry. Which was fine because Tao wasn't particularly perturbed anyway.
Their lips met again briefly before their manager yelling for them interrupted their kiss.
“Where were you?” he asked when the two finally climbed into the car.
“Going over the interview questions,” Kris answered easily like the good leader he was.
He and Tao shared a look.
It wasn't a lie after all.