It Was Always There @wangxianforever77
Chapter 1

Author's Note:

I do not own The Untamed or any of Moxiang Tongxiu's works.

Also, most of the dialogue is from the show, though some of what is said is added to, rephrased, or summarized.

Mentions of events from others episodes.

Wei Ying clung to Lan Zhan-courtesy name Wangji-as he quickly but carefully led him away from the Xuanwu of Slaughter, a giant tortoise which was hell-bent on snapping them both in two. Lan Zhan's lower right leg was twisted and broken. The last thing Wei Ying wished was for his injury to become worse than it already was, and neither of them wanted the Xuanwu to catch them.

Looking behind him, Wei Ying faced his adoptive brother, who was being yanked further into the pond nearby by Jin Zixuan. There was an opening underwater from which they could escape the beast's cave. "Jiang Cheng! Find someone to rescue us!" he shouted.

He nodded quickly. "Wei Wuxian," he yelled, addressing him by his courtesy name. He almost always did. "I'll be back!"

"Let's go!" Jin Zixuan yelled, continuing to pull him.

And with that, Wei Ying practically hurled himself and Lan Zhan through the entrance to another part of the cave. They stood behind the wall nearby to hide from the Xuanwu. They waited to see if it would continue to follow after them, but it didn't. It must not have been able to fit through the doorway.

This turned out to be the case, as the Xuanwu retreated after its unsuccessful attempts to catch them. Wei Ying crouched by the entrance to make sure of this and was relieved to see it go back in the pond. He could only hope that Jiang Cheng and Jin Zixuan had managed to escape while it was distracted.

Behind him, Lan Zhan sat down to take the pressure off of his leg. He winced and grunted; the pain was nearly unbearable.

Wei Ying heard him and knelt by his side. "Lan Zhan, it's fine now. Don't worry. The monster seems to have sealed in the bottom of the pond somehow," he assured him.

When he moved the bottom of his robes aside to examine his injury, his eyes widened in horror, shock, and dismay. It was even worse than he thought; his leg had whiplash scars and bite marks on them from the afternoon he tried to protect him from the Xuanwu and Wen Chao.

It all began the previous morning. Wen Chao had ordered Wei Ying, Lan Zhan, Jiang Cheng (courtesy name Wanyin), and members of several others clans to recite the rules of the Qishan Wen Clan. When Lan Zhan and Jin Zixuan refused, Wei Ying quickly volunteered to do so to prevent Wen Chao from punishing them.

However, he started to enumerate the Lan Sect's rules instead. Jiang Cheng, Jin Zixuan, and Nie Huaisang (Wei Ying and Jiang Cheng's friend) were torn between disbelief and amusement.

"Brother Wei has some nerve," Wei Ying heard Nie Huaisang murmur with a grin.

But what really encouraged him was Lan Zhan's reaction. It was subtle, but Wei Ying could see his eyes twinkling in his peripheral vision, and he could have sworn that he had almost smiled too.

If only he knew how stunning his smile really was...

"Shut up!" Wen Chao yelled in fury then, interrupting both his thoughts and recitation. "Wei Wuxian, how dare you read the Lan's principles out loud in Qishan?!"

They were consequentially forced to carry the dung for the vegetable garden as a punishment after that. Wei Ying instantly regretted his actions; he hadn't wanted everyone else to get in trouble too. He would have preferred for Wen Chao to punish him and him alone.

Still, he had to admit to himself that it was worth seeing the dawning comprehension, incredulity, and rage in Wen Chao's expression as he purposefully announced the wrong rules. It nearly made him double over with laughter.

Wei Ying got into even more trouble in the vegetable garden later that afternoon. He had been asking Lan Wangji about the Yin Iron when Wen Chao suddenly appeared. He smacked a whip against his hand, which had been on Lan Zhan's shoulder, and demanded to know what the topic of their conversation was.

When Wei Ying cheekily told him that he was explaining to Lan Zhan that he realized that the smell of dung came from him, Wen Chao angrily attempted to whip him.

However, Wei Ying caught it before it landed on him. "Wen-gongzi...don't try me," he threatened in a low, dangerous voice before heaving it away.

Wen Chao scowled before summoning his guards to tie him up and lift him into the air. Then, much to Wei Ying's very great surprise, Lan Zhan stood in front of him with his arms protect him! That was the last thing that he expected him to do.

Not that Lan Zhan had never helped him before. He had during their mission to find the other shards of the Yin Iron.

Unfortunately, Wen Chao brought the whip down on his broken leg, making him fall over in pain.

Wei Ying was incensed. It was bad enough that Lan Zhan's leg was broken. Now his injury had been made worse! Merciless!

"Wen Chao! I'm the one who called you out! Come at me, instead!" he taunted.

"It will be your turn soon!" Wen Chao snarled before slashing the whip across his chest.

From behind him, Wei Ying heard Jin Zixuan say, "Wen Chao! Don't cross the line!"

"Ohhh, I'm so scared!" Wen Chao remarked sarcastically.

He raised the whip to hit Wei Ying again, but Lan Zhan caught it before it made contact with him. Then he twisted it around before yanking it roughly out of his hand.

Wen Chao must have realized that he would not be able to fight Lan Zhan on this because he ordered his guards to put Wei Ying down. Lan Zhan immediately knelt beside him and took his arm, an "Are you all right?" look in his eyes. His touch made Wei Ying's heart flutter strangely. He was also taken aback; Lan Zhan had told him that he didn't touch other people, especially strangers!

In the end, Wei Ying was put into Nightless City's dungeon. Lan Zhan tried to prevent him from being hauled there, but he chose to let Wen Chao have his way. The last thing he desired was for him to risk further injury.

He appreciated Lan Zhan for defending him. Nevertheless, he hadn't wanted him to get hurt in his attempts to do so. He considered him a friend (even though he had already begun to have an inkling that he may have been feeling something more for him). He hated it when any of his friends were harmed-or got in trouble-because of him.

Wei Ying wasn't certain if Lan Zhan thought of him as one, but if nothing else, his actions showed that he cared about him at the very least.

He shook himself out of his thoughts and came back to the present. "You wait here," he murmured to Lan Zhan.

The latter winced as he ran to another area of the cave. Where on earth was he to go in his condition? He had no choice but to wait there.

Wei Ying quickly returned with a tree branch that he managed to find. He sat back down next to him before breaking it into pieces. Once he had two sticks that were the same length, he placed them on the front and back of his leg. All he needed now was something to keep them in place.

"Ah!" he exclaimed. "Do you have a rope or something?" His eyes fell on Lan Zhan's ribbon. That would do perfectly. "Nice headband you have there!"

Lan Zhan's eyes widened as he pulled it off. "!" he sputtered in disbelief and shock. Wei Ying knew how sacred the Lan's forehead ribbons were! Only family members and significant others were allowed to touch them.

The only time he allowed

He gave him a "Seriously?" look as he tied it around his shin and calf. "Me what? You shouldn't care about that so much at a time like this. Is your ribbon more important than your leg? Hold it," he said, meaning the ribbon.

Lan Zhan only grimaced.

"Hold it," he repeated insistently.

This time, Lan Zhan obeyed with a shiver. Whether it was due to the pain or the fact that Wei Ying's hand was on his leg, he was not certain. He usually didn't like to touch-or be touched by-other people.

However, when it came to Wei Ying...

The latter suddenly hissed in pain, then, reverting Lan Zhan's attention back to him. He watched as Wei Ying clutched the left side of his chest.

He had gotten burned when he jumped in front of Luo Qingyang-a disciple of Jin Zixuan's clan who went by her nickname Mianmian-to protect her from Wang Lingjiao, Wen Chao's mistress. The latter had been jealous of Mianmian and viewed her as competition because Wen Chao harassed her incessantly. Because of this, she tried to have Mianmian's face branded with a hot iron. Had it not been for Wei Ying, she likely would have succeeded.

Wei Ying placed his other hand on his chest, then dawning awareness filled his expression.

"I almost forgot about this after all of that mess," he whispered, taking a blue pouch out of his inner robe. He patted it again, as if searching for something else. It became clear a moment later that whatever it was wasn't there; he looked confused and disappointed. "How can it be? I specifically left it for...never mind. It's better than nothing." He opened the pouch to take out the panacea inside. "Here, Lan Zhan."

He was just about the apply the herbs to his leg when he noticed that something else appeared to be giving Lan Zhan discomfort. Then he realized what it was.

Wei Ying pursed his lips. I have to find a way to force the stale blood out, he thought to himself.

An idea came to him seconds later. He stood up after setting the pouch aside. "Come on. Take them off," he declared, removing his belt.

Lan Zhan pivoted. "Take off what?" he inquired in alarm and confusion.

"What else? Your clothes! They were drenched in the pond. Aren't your wet clothes making you feel uncomfortable?"

Turning away, Lan Zhan made a face. Even imagining getting undressed in front of him...

"Take them off," Wei Ying persisted, interrupting his thoughts. He pulled his outer robe off, revealing the red one under it. "I'll dry them for you. Take them off!"

He didn't move.

"You can't? I'll help you, then."

Lan Zhan jumped when he felt Wei Ying's hands tugging at the collar of his own robe and pushed them away. "Wei Ying! What are you doing?!" he demanded, looking scandalized and shocked.

Wei Ying smiled. "What am I doing? I'm taking off your clothes."

He tried to pull them off again, but Lan Zhan resisted him a second time.

Leaning back, Wei Ying stared at him with disappointment and resignation. "You don't want to take them off?" He clapped his arm with another grin. "Okay. I'll take mine off."

Lan Zhan's stomach swooped. The idea of him being unclothed drove him so crazy that he couldn't take it! Pivoting again, he bent forward and coughed out the blood that had been lingering inside him.

The next thing he knew, Wei Ying's hand was on his chest. He glanced at it, then at him.

If only he knew what it did to him when he touched him...

Wei Ying was looking relieved. "Okay, there. It's much better with the stale blood spit out. Don't you feel much better now?" he queried.

Lan Zhan swallowed thickly. "Thank you," he whispered.

"Don't mention it," he remarked somewhat bashfully. "I'm afraid of people's thanks, especially your kind of formal thanks. They give me goosebumps."

He chuckled awkwardly as he rubbed his arms before lighting a pile of sticks on fire. After that, he took out the panacea once more so that he could apply it to the lashes and bites on his leg.

Lan Zhan initially remained quiet as he did this, but gasped in pain as he placed the herbs in a particular area.

Wei Ying gave him a reassuring look. "Just a while."

He was just about to add some more panacea to his leg when the former clutched his arm. He faced him again. "What is it? Pain? It will only last a while longer, okay?"

Lan Zhan didn't answer, just reached out to massage his chest where his burn was.

With a hiss, Wei Ying complained, "That hurts, Lan Zhan."

"You are welcome," he murmured cheekily.

Wei Ying turned to gape at him before laughing in delighted surprise. "Lan Zhan, you can tease me now!" he exclaimed. He leaned onto the wall as he rubbed his chest. Then he held his robe "I actually used to get injured a lot too. Every time I got hurt, I usually went for a swim. Besides, there isn't enough grass for the blood condensation left. I think your wounds need more."

"Since you're aware of pain, don't let it rash next time."

Pouting, Wei Ying grumbled, "You think I like it? I had no choice. Who knew that Wang Lingjiao was such a venomous woman? Mianmian is a fairly pretty girl. What if Wang Lingjiao had left a mark on her face from the hot iron, and it remained there for the rest of her life?"

"The mark on your body will always be there for the rest of yours," Lan Zhan remarked.

"That's different. It's not on my face..."

Thank goodness, Lan Zhan said to himself. One of the last things he would have wished was for that to happen to his beautiful face...

"...I'm a man. A man should get wounded and get scars sometimes..."

Lan Zhan shook his head at the ridiculousness of that statement.

"...What's more, even if the mark does remain forever, it represents the fact that I once protected a girl. She'll remember me for the rest of her life. Just give it a thought. It's quite beautiful, isn't it?" Wei Ying inquired, facing him.

Meeting his gaze with a frown, Lan Zhan asked, "Do you know for certain if she will remember you forever?"

Wei Ying scowled in confusion. "Why are you mad?"

Lan Zhan looked away. He wasn't mad at all. If anything, he was jealous. The idea of him flirting with Mianmian caused him to seethe with envy. However, he wasn't going to tell him that.

"You shouldn't flirt with anyone if you don't mean it," he muttered instead.

With a sulky expression, Wei Ying grumbled, "I wasn't flirting with you, anyway."

Lan Zhan wished that he was.

Meanwhile, Wei Ying was trying to figure out what caused his change in behavior. Suddenly, it clicked.

He leaned closer to him. "I see..." he announced in a sing-song voice.

"You see what?"

"That you like Mianmian."

Lan Zhan eyed him with annoyance and disbelief. However, Wei Ying believed that his stare meant something else.

"Ahhh...are you fond of her?" the latter queried with raised eyebrows.

The former gave him a pointed look, hoping that it would be enough to make him understand.

It clearly wasn't. Wei Ying obviously believed his stare was a confirmation that he did like her. He laughed awkwardly a second time and started to back away from him.

Lan Zhan huffed in frustration. He would have to do something for him to get what he tried to convey to him. Otherwise, he never would.

He slid a hand around the back of Wei Ying's neck to prevent him from moving any farther. He placed his other hand on his shoulder and, being careful with his leg, kissed him fiercely on the lips.

Wei Ying's eyes widened in complete and utter shock. Of all the things he expected Lan Zhan to do, it wasn't that! Nevertheless, he was overjoyed that the latter's feelings for him were mutual. Even though he had teased Lan Zhan about liking Mianmian, the idea of him even having a crush on her had secretly made him burn with jealousy. He was pleased to know that this wasn't the case.

He was so still due to shock and happiness that Lan Zhan grew worried. Perhaps he had crossed a line. Perhaps Wei Ying did not reciprocate his feelings.

However, his fears were quickly erased when-to his own amazement-the latter began to kiss him back. He also shifted to clutch his upper arms both of them hummed as their lips moved against each other's with passion.

After a moment, Lan Zhan backed away to peer at him tenderly. "I believe you know the answer to your question now," he remarked in a low voice.

Wei Ying chortled. "Yes. You have made it quite clear," he agreed. Then he looked curious. "Lan long have you...?" Liked him? Been fond of him? He didn't know how to finish his question.

Lan Zhan didn't need him, though. He understood. "Wei Ying," he began, running his thumb along his jaw. "I have been in love with you from the moment I first laid eyes on you.

You are, and will always be, the most beautiful person I have ever seen. And the more I came to know you, the more I fell hard for you.

"I will admit that you often irritate or anger me with your antics or rule breaking. Yet, with all your faults, I wouldn't want you to be any different than who you are. I cannot help but admire the intelligence and logic you possess." He kisses him on the lips again. "You are the only one who came to Cloud Recesses who has matched me in a duel and in sparring.

He kissed his cheek next. "I respect your forthrightness and the fact that you are never afraid to admit you are wrong, even if it means trouble for you. I will never forget that you tried to keep me from being punished the morning after we had been caught drinking and staying up past curfew. I may never have showed it, but I appreciated it, as well as the courage you had shown. I do not know many people who would have done the same."

After that, he pecked his jaw. "You are one of very few who amuse me, though I never allowed you to know this." Another kiss further along his jaw. "And it may not be apparent to others, but I can see how much you truly care about those who are close to you, and how loving you are to your family."

"Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan!" Wei Ying exclaimed, his face as scarlet as his inner robe. "You can't say things like that to me! My heart can't take it!"

A huff of laughter caught him by surprise. He had seen him smile before, of course, but he never so much as gave a chuckle in all of the time he had known him. With another jolt, he also noticed that this was the most he heard him speak in any conversation they had in the past.

"I beg to differ; you seem fine to me," Lan Zhan whispered in amusement.

Wei Ying glared at him half-heartedly. "Shut up."Then he realized something else. "Aiyah, Lan Zhan...if you have been in love with me since we've met, why did the idea of touching me seem to bother you? And why did you always look so annoyed whenever I actually did? I can understand not wanting others to, but why me especially?"

Lan Zhan caressed his face. "Because your touch drives me insane. Even the mere thought of it does. Furthermore, I knew that if you ever were to touch me, I would want you to too much. That was why I made it appear the opposite. It's because I do want it too much, and I find myself...desiring to do things to you...that would likely result in me kneeling in front of the Wall of Discipline for half a month. I feared that I would make a mistake and act on impulse."

"...Lan Zhan...I'm amazed at you! I never would have believed that you would have those kind of thoughts!" Wei Ying gasped once he found his voice, looking both scandalized and something else he couldn't name.

The former sighed. "It may appear that I do not, but when it comes down to it, I am as human as the next person. I am not nearly as perfect as everyone thinks."

Wei Ying leaned up to kiss him this time. "That's true, but you will always be perfect to me. Sometimes I think you are too good..."

Lan Zhan's heart swelled at his compliment, and his ears reddened.

"...But why didn't you tell me all of this before, Lan Zhan?"

At this, the former was quiet for a while, gathering his thoughts.

He finally spoke once he had. "I did not tell you because I did not know that you felt the same for me. I knew that you wished to be friends with me as well as my traveling companion, of course. But I never agreed to it because...because I wanted to be so much more. Another reason is because I was afraid."


Lan Zhan turned to him with a deep gaze. "Because I never had felt this way for anyone before. Nor did I know that falling in love would bring such intense emotions. They frightened and confused me; it continues to at times. I was also feared that you would reject me if I told you, especially since you only offered your friendship. The thought of it caused me so much pain that I could not bear it. But I would rather be afraid and be in love with you, and still have you in my presence or close by. I would never have allowed you to be if I felt otherwise," he murmured.

Understanding filled Wei Ying's eyes. "So, that's why you didn't try harder to stop me from joining you. Well, that's a relief. I thought you were only tolerating me because I wouldn't leave you alone. I never believed that it was because you were in love with me. In fact, I didn't think that you even liked me! And you seem so pissed off at me half of the time!" he pointed out.

"Half of the time, I am," Lan Zhan agreed with a tiny smirk. "Even so, I would not change it for anything. And as I mentioned earlier, I would not want you to be different. I love you for you, faults and all."

"Lan Zhan, stop! I'm going to faint if you keep saying things like this!"

With another small grin, he pecked him on the lips before inquiring, "Why didn't you mention having feelings for me sooner, Wei Ying? You have had enough opportunities to."

Wei Ying snorted. "How could I? I don't even know my own feelings most of the time. When I met you, I thought you were more handsome than people gave you credit for, and I was also impressed that you matched me in our first duel. I couldn't help but have respect you after that. However, you seemed so rigid, unreasonable, and boring at first.

"I eventually began to like and respect you more the longer I knew you. You're very intelligent yourself and have remarkable cultivation skills. That was why I wanted to talk to you so much. I wanted us to learn more about each other, and to be your friend. But I didn't think you liked me. Not initially; I irritated or angered you half of the time. I only realized that you must care about me-at least a little-after you helped me several times during our mission to find the Yin Iron. And when you tried to keep Wen Chao from punishing me, which I really appreciate you for doing. I only wished that he didn't hurt you for protecting me.

"There were times when I suspected I felt something more than friendliness toward you, but that only happened in fleeting moments. And then I have to admit that I was jealous at the idea of you liking Mianmian, even though I teased you about it. I see now that I do like you, much more than I thought, but never acknowledged it. That was why I never told you."

Lan Zhan mulled his speech over before nodding. "Mn. I understand, Wei Ying. And I apologize for not telling you before."

"So do I. And it's all right. We both know now, and that's all that matters."

"Mn," Lan Zhan hummed in agreement.

He was about to kiss him again when a flare of pain in his shin and calf, making him wince.

"Be careful. You're putting pressure on your leg," Wei Ying admonished.

Once he had made sure that his injury hadn't worsened, they began kissing in earnest. Lan Zhan clung to him desperately, wanting every inch of him as close as possible. Wei Ying gripped his shoulders before running his tongue across his bottom lip. This caused the former to gasp, giving him the opportunity to slip it into his mouth. They moaned lowly in unison, thinking that the other tasted delightful.

They eventually drew apart for air, half-faint from lack of oxygen. However, they were barely breathing correctly when Lan Zhan started place fevered kisses down Wei Ying's neck. The latter inhaled sharply when he felt him nip and suck on it. He knew there would be marks there later, but he didn't care.

It became heated after that. Every moan, sigh, and gasp awoke something in the both of them. Neither of them could have enough of each other. They wanted more, more of one another.

Lan Zhan took the robe from Wei Ying's hands-which had been all but forgotten-and spread it out of the ground. The owner of it did not mind this at all, though he was astonished by his forwardness. He simply smiled and lowered him onto it. Then he carefully propped his leg on one of the stones they had been sitting on, lowering his pants over it so as not to get dirt mixed in with the panacea.

"Wei Ying," Lan Zhan murmured in a husky voice as the former leaned over him.

"Yeah, Lan Zhan?"

He traced his hand along the collar of his inner robe. "Would now be a good time to ask you to take your clothes off?"

I hope you enjoyed this chapter! This story was originally going to be a one-shot, but I am thinking of adding one or two more chapters. I also plan on making this a series. Please comment and let me know your opinions on whether or not to continue. Thank you.

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