The Touch of Your Skin
Kris/Tao | Chaptered | PG-13 | Romance, Angst, Drama
Angry knocks lifted Tao up from his study desk. He skidded towards the door and opened it. Xitao pushed past him, enough to tell him that his twin was pissed. He closed the door, quick to take a seat in his office-like chair. He didn’t need to ask what was wrong, he was used to Xitao barging in and ranting out his anger when something was wrong. He found it ironic how when he needed someone to talk to, Xitao would always push him away. But he was old enough; he wouldn’t hold a grudge on something like that.
“Tao, you have to help me!” Xitao pleaded, sprawling belly-down on Tao’s twin bed, digging his face into the bed sheets. “I don’t want to babysit! I hate babysitting! Ma and Ba are both so stupid! Especially jiě jie, it was supposed to be her job! But she backed out so now they expect me to watch over some twenty-one-year-old! I don’t want to do it! Tao, help me, please?”
Tao scratched the back of his neck, not sure what kind of response he should give. His parents never paid much attention to him to begin with, he didn’t really mind because he understood their reasons. Many people ignored him too; he wasn’t so sure how he could help. “What do you want me to do?”
“I don’t know! Anything to stop me from babysitting! I don’t want to be stuck at a hospital all day, I have a life here and I wanna live it!”
“Did you talk to Ba and Ma about it?”
“Not yet, but if I do they’ll be disappointed in me. We’re talking their best friend’s son here. He’s been admitted to the hospital in town and they’re expecting me to baby him. What is this, some kind of game or something? Aish! I hate this!”
Tao nodded taking in the information. He already knew what his brother wanted him to do. He knew his brother wanted him to take the role and take care of this person. But it was wrong. He had absolutely no right to disobey an order given from their father, especially when it wasn’t directed towards him.
Xitao sat up and pouted, clasping his hands together. “Tao, my precious didi…”
Tao zoned his brother’s voice out and thought about the outcomes and benefits to saying “yes.” If he was to take the role, he might be able to make a new friend. He had a habit of taking care of other people and looking after them. The smiles he receives after hard work was enough to make his day, he felt liked…and special. The only problem would be keeping it a secret from their parents’ and getting punishment for doing something that wasn’t in his right. If he said “no” then Xitao would most likely do anything he could to persuade him into agreeing, there really wasn’t any other outcome he could think of. It didn’t take him long to get his thoughts together and make up his mind.
“…this is an opportunity for you! I’ll tell Ba and Ma about it! I’ll tell them that you’re taking care of him! In fact, let’s go tell them now!” Xitao got up, scurried across the room and grabbed Tao’s hand, dragging him out of his room before the younger could speak his mind. What could Tao do though? He never did have a say in anything, everything was pretty much decided for him.
Xitao pushed open the mahogany doors to his father’s grand work room, interrupting their old man’s work. Tao bit onto the bottom of his lip, he knew their father hates being interrupted and knocking would have been a better option than barging in unannounced.
“What is all this ruckus, Huang Xitao?” their father shot up from his work desk and eyed the twins from head-to-toe, clearly annoyed, expecting an answer.
“Ba! Tao said he’ll do it!” Xitao beamed, pushing Tao to stand in front of him.
Tao stumbled to maintain his balance and awkwardly bowed in respect before looking up at their father. “Good evening, sir.” Throughout his entire life he was taught to call his parents’ using “madam” and “sir,” while Xitao had all the freedom in the world to call them anything he wanted. Sometimes, Tao envied his older twin. If he could he would love to call his parents, but he knew for him it was forbidden. His world was truly different from his brother’s.
“Do what, Xitao?” he could hear the stress in his father’s voice and it surprised him. His father has never used that tone with anyone else but him. He curiously looked at his father (who barely casted him a glance) then back at Xitao who stood there, frozen.
The younger took note of the sudden tension and decided to speak up for his brother. “Ah, Ba—”
“I don’t remember giving you permission to speak, Tao.” His father sent him an irritated look to silence him. He stepped back and complied, looking down at the ground.
“Please, take all your time to explain to me as to why you interrupted my work time. I want to know what’s so important that you have to burst into my work room without having the slightest courtesy to even knock.”
Tao peeked from the corner of his eyes and looked at his brother’s petrified state. He was used to his father treating him this way, but to see his brother go through it for the first time scared him. He didn’t want Xitao to experience the things he went through—the countless lectures and hurtful words. He noticed the way his brother’s fingers curled into fists.
“I’m talking to you, Huang Xitao.”
Xitao let out a shaky breath and used up all his courage to face their father. “T-Tao said that he’ll take care of that boy at the hospital.”
They both watched as their father stood still, an unreadable expression masked his face. “Xitao, you do know that this is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity, right?”
The said male didn’t waste time on hesitating and nodded, positive about his decision. “I know, but because Tao is more accustomed to doing things like this, I gave up my position and offered him the opportunity. I’m sure he’ll do better than me.”
Their father turned his attention towards Tao and cleared his throat, a sign Tao knew by heart as he straightened his posture and sheepishly raised his head towards their father. His father sent him one last look before diverting his eyes towards Xitao again. “Are you sure? This is a rare chance; you’re willing to give it up just like that?”
Xitao smiled. “I’m sure, that’s why we’re here!”
“Are you positive?”
“Of course! You know me, Ba. You know I can’t deal with ill people.”
Their father snapped, “So when I become ill, you won’t even bother to take care of me?”
“E-Eh? I-I didn’t mean it that way, Ba. Of course I’ll take care of you.”
Tao watched the father and son bicker back and forth, smiling at the warm feeling bubbling inside him. If he could talk this free with his father, he’d die happy.
“It’s settled then. Next time, knock before coming in. You can leave…”
“Thank you, Ba!” Xitao walked around the table, pulling their old man into a hug before running around the table to hug Tao. “Thanks, didi. I owe you one,” he whispered into the younger’s ear.
Tao could only smile, watching Xitao slip behind the doors.
“Tao, stay, I need to talk to you,” his father gave a stern order, nudging his chin towards one of the chair in front of his desk, telling Tao to sit down. He obliged, not daring to ask questions. What did his father want to talk about? Was he going to get yelled at because he spoke up earlier? He didn’t know but he was ready to face the endless scolding.
His father sighed, rubbing his temples. “That boy always finds a way out of everything…and you’re always doing the tasks given to him.” He paused, running a hand over his face. “Since it has come down to the same results, you’ll be in charge of this task from now on, Tao. I don’t want to hear any complaints whatsoever. You’ll be watching over Wu Yi Fan, he likes to go by Kris. As you know, he’s the son of my best friend. Your main job is to look after him, assist him carefully, and guide him. Later tonight, one of my assistants will bring you a file about his medical condition. Starting tomorrow, your job is watch over Kris. Do you understand?”
How could he refuse? He was going to accept it even if his father rejected the proposition. Biting the bottom of his lip, Tao mumbled out a quiet (but determined), “I understand, sir.”
Name: Wu Yi Fan
Prefers to go by: Kris
Birth date: November 6, 1990
Tao scratched his chin while his left hand held onto a stapled packet about Kris. He was reading over the simple details, going over highlighted sentences and bolded words about “what to do” and “what not to do.” He bowed to every employee in the facility, sending them small smiles, being careful of where he was walking as he continued to read through the packet.
Is known to have good manners and etiquette—very polite and obedient, he’s also very innocent and naïve.
He smiled at the information. I guess it won’t be hard to befriend him then.
Tao broke away from his study, halting his steps to find the voice that called him. He didn’t need to look around; a tug at his pants was enough to get his attention. “Oh, it’s Channie. Didn’t you say you were going to call me ge?”
Chansik, the little patient pouted but it was soon replaced with a bright smile. “Tao-ge! What are you doing here? You don’t usually come on the weekends.”
Tao smiled back, crouching down to match the boy’s height. “I’m going to work here every day now.”
The boy’s eyes gleamed. “Really? Does this mean we get to play more? We can eat ice cream, play hide-and-seek, watch movies together, you can teach me wushu, and so much more,” he said, opening his arms wide to show how many things were on his list. “You can come and sing me lullabies before I sleep, kiss me on the forehead, and sleep with me too! My bed is big enough for the two of us! I’m sure of it! Waaah! I can’t wait! We have so many things to do!”
Tao’s smile slowly faltered. He didn’t know how to break the news to Chansik that he wasn’t here to watch over him but someone else. The boy seemed so happy to know that he was going to be here every day, he was afraid to make the boy sad. “Un, you’ll see me around. I’ll be busy though, Channie, so you’ll have to be patient and wait for me, okay?” Silence fell over them, he couldn’t read the expression the young boy was giving him but he was sure there was a glint of disappointment in them. He bit onto the bottom of his lip, thinking of what to do. He deliberately held out a pinky, grinning to himself when it caught Chansik’s attention. “I promise I’ll drop by every night.”
Chansik copied his earlier expression, biting his bottom lip. “Promise promise?”
He nodded. “Promise promise.”
The young patient broke into a smile and quickly wrapped his small arms around Tao’s neck for a hug. “Then, I’ll be waiting for you, ge.” He pulled back, a wide simper coating his face.
Tao stood up sealing the promise with a gentle pat on the boy’s head. “Don’t tire yourself too much,” he whispered.
“I never get tired, ge. You worry too much! I have to go, Suzy-noona might be looking for me!” with that he dashed away, but before he disappeared around the corner he turned around and threw Tao a peace sign.
Crashes, screaming, and yelling were the first things he heard when he made a right turn into the D Wing on the first floor. He took cautious steps down the hall, glancing at each ward number until his eyes caught onto the number seventeen. D117, the room Kris was supposedly in. He reached for the door handle, only to be greeted with the door flying open and a very teary eyed nurse attempting to close the door as gently as she could behind her. It was then that he noticed the loud noises were coming from this room.
He stared at her, surprised with her worn out appearance and disheveled hair. “Jieun-noona…” he softly mumbled out.
Jieun hung her head down; sniffing as tears came pouring out of her eyes. “He yelled at me for being a bad nurse…” her voice sounded so drained, Tao couldn’t help but pity her. “I was just trying to help him to the bathroom, but he got all angry at me and then he started to throw things, demanding me to get out. He hates me, Tao. What if I lose my job? I didn’t mean to anger him on purpose. I think I understand why all the other nurses refused to watch over him…”
“Jieun-noona, I’ll make sure you don’t lose your job,” Tao assured, resting a comforting hand on the girl’s shoulder.
She looked up, hope coloring her eyes. “H-How? No one else…” she paused for less than a second, realization dawning down on her and then her eyes widened. “Wait…you…you’re the caretaker, right?” She released a sigh when Tao nodded. “Oh god! Tao! Thank god! I forgot for a second that you were going to be here. He’s a mess! He won’t let anyone touch him…” she cried, wiping at her tears. “…I got all emotional when he yelled at me; I didn’t know what to do…this is so embarrassing. How can I call myself a nurse when I can’t even keep calm?”
“Noona, you’re a wonderful nurse. Please don’t say such things. I’ll take care of him so don’t worry, ne?” Tao ushered her out of the wing and walked back towards room D117.
He stared at the door taking in a deep breath. He knew that something untameable lived behind them. If Kris was able to drive away all those nurses, then wouldn’t Kris try to repel him off as well? Tao shook his head. He was absolutely sure that Kris was a gentleman—it said so in his profile. It was just a profile, Tao groaned knowing that there had to be a lie. Having a profile was usually just a cover up, basic background information. He didn’t really know what type of person the other was behind closed doors. Determined, he reached for the doorknob and turned the door open.
“I thought I fucken told you to leave me alone!”
The next thing Tao knew, a flower pot was thrown his way.
A/N: This isn't my first EXO fanfic but it is my first time writing about Taoris.