Seven Deadly Sins V: Anger
Orithain and Rina
Disclaimers: Merry, Pippin and everything and everyone else from the Lord of the Rings universe belongs to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien, Alliance Atlantis, New Line Cinemas, Wingnut Films and The Saul Zantz Company. No profit is being made, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Turning the letter heíd just finished reading face down on the table, Merry sighed and rubbed at his temples. Pippin was in the kitchen searching for a snack, thankfully oblivious to the news Merry had just received; the trick was going to be finding a way to tell him without upsetting him.
Ever since the debacle with Pippinís parents, the two of them had been living together, something necessitated by the elder Tooks cutting off Pipís stipend until he came to his senses. It wasnít that Merry minded in the least; he just wished that his aunt and uncle would be more understanding about the situation and the fact that neither one of them were going to give the other up.
And now his parents were coming to visit. This was the first word heíd received from Brandy Hall after writing his own missive to them explaining his side of the story they had assuredly heard from Pippinís parents, and the curt tone of the letter didnít bode well for the upcoming visit.
Perhaps they would be moving into Bag End with Frodo at this rate.
"I found some apples, but your larder is nearly bare again, Merry. Weíre going to have to go to the market to restock. And we should invite Sam and Frodo over for dinner sometime. Weíre always going to them, but... Whatís wrong?"
Merry looked up and told himself to smile, wanting to wipe the worried look off of the younger Hobbitís face. "Nothing that an apple wonít cure," he said, standing and taking one out of Pipís hand and biting into it.
Pippin frowned, watching Merry closely. He was well aware that the older Hobbit tried to protect him whenever possible and often when unnecessary. Heíd wait though and find out bit by bit, the easiest way when Merry was in protective mode. "Hey," he squawked instead, "that was my apple! Get your own, you lazy Brandybuck!"
"You said you found some apples, silly Took, so eat one of the others," Merry retorted, taking another bite of the firm flesh.
"But, Merry, Iím hungry! Just two apples isnít enough, and you donít have any more." Pippin was nearly whining, though his eyes were still intent behind the usual sparkle.
"Then I suppose weíd better go to the market and get some more," Merry snapped, before taking a deep breath, closing his eyes and compressing his lips together. "Sorry, Pip, I didnít mean to bark at you."
"All right, sit down, Merry. Weíre not going anywhere until you tell me whatís wrong. Weíre supposed to be partners in this relationship, and you should be able to lean on me as much as I do on you."
Looking shame-faced, Merry sank down onto the stool beside the table, setting the apple down and picking the letter up. Wordlessly, he held it out to his lover, inviting him to read it.
Settling on the stool next to the older Hobbit, Pippin took the letter and began reading it, dismay clear on his face as he worked his way through it. "Oh. Oh dear. This isnít good, is it? Will they make you go back to Buckland?"
"No." Merry shook his head. "Iím considered an adult in years at least if not in Hobbit-sense, so they canít make me do anything. They can, however, take away my stipend and this hole... We may become vagabonds, Pip," he tried to joke.
Pippin swallowed hard. "Well, weíd just have to find a way to earn our keep. They hire Hobbits in Bree, I hear. We could always go there if we had to. Iíll do whatever we have to, to stay together."
Reaching out, Merry pulled Pippin into his lap, holding the shorter Hobbit tightly against him. "I feel the same. Iíd muck out stables for Big Folk and their horses from dawn to dusk if it meant I could fall asleep next to you."
"We may be borrowing trouble. Maybe your parents will be more reasonable than mine," Pippin suggested hopefully. "It would be nice if someone other than Frodo and Sam were happy for us."
Merry nodded and sighed, resting his head on Pipís shoulder. "We can only hope, love. I suppose weíll find out in two days; thatís when theyíll get here. We should plan a dinner or something; perhaps that would show them that weíre capable of living on our own."
"And they donít need to know if we get some cooking help from Sam," Pippin grinned. "Weíll impress them. I may not be some rosy-cheeked lass, but I love you more than anyone else ever could. Weíll make them see it."
"That we will."
"Argh! Pip, the bread!" Merry shouted, seeing a puff of dark smoke coming from the oven.
"Nooo!" Pippin wailed, spinning around and knocking the roast onto the floor. Seeing the latest in the string of culinary disasters, he sank to the floor and burst into tears. "Iím hopeless! Your parents are going to hate me and insist you find someone better."
Looking at the shambles of the kitchen, Merry buried his face in his hands, his shoulders shaking, but with laughter instead of tears. Dropping to the floor beside the younger Hobbit, he gathered Pip into his arms, tears of hilarity running down his cheeks.
"Face it, Pip, neither of us are much for cooking, though you still beat me by a mile. Weíll just ask Sam to help make the meal, and everything will be fine."
Finally realizing that Merry was laughing, Pippin gaped at him in outrage for a long moment before the funny side struck him, and he collapsed against Merry, howling with mirth. "Oh my, this is absurd. How could we make such a mess of things?" he giggled, looking around at the chaos that had onceóand not too long ago at thatóbeen a neat, tidy kitchen. "I can manage a simple meal, but for this we definitely need Samís help."
"And heíll never let us live it down," Merry chuckled, tilting Pippinís face up to his to kiss the tip of his nose. "Not that I blame him, considering what weíve managed to do to this place. I say we try and get it cleaned up, then we take a bath and clean each other up."
Pippin nodded fervently. "Thank goodness your parents arenít arriving till late tomorrow. We can see Sam, ask him for his help, and still have time to just relax together and try to forget all this. And I get to bathe you as a reward for cleaning this up," he sighed, looking around again. "How did we get flour on the ceiling?"
Merry didnít even bother to look up. "When we were throwing it at each other, remember? I wonder if we should just invite Frodo and Sam to this meal as well; it might make things more civil."
"Or would it make it worse, making them hold things in till Frodo and Sam leave? I think maybe we should just face them and find out how things are going to be. I just hope we donít both lose our families over this."
"Youíre all the family I need, Pip," Merry swore, stroking a hand over his cousinís cheek. "And youíre right, best to get things done and out; weíll owe Frodo and Sam a meal another time."
Pippin nodded. "Youíre all I need too, but it doesnít mean we wouldnít like to have others too. I hope your parents can accept us and maybe someday mine will reconsider." He sighed slightly then shook his head. "But for now, our real concern is cleaning this up before Sam and Frodo see it, or weíll never live it down."
Merry nodded. "Well, best we get up and start cleaning then, or weíll never be done." He pushed up to his feet, drawing Pippin up as well, then grimaced when he stepped in a puddle of something he didnít want to name. "This is going to be a long afternoon."
Giggling, Pippin tossed him a rag to mop up the glob of whatever it was. "It is... but you have me to look forward to." He struck a pose, fluttering his lashes at his lover.
After bending to wipe up the mess, leaving a small clean spot in the midst of the chaos, Merry sighed. "Youíre making me want to leave this all and hope itíll be cleaned up when Iím done with you."
Pippin backed away, brandishing a rolling pin at him. "Donít even think it! This is not going to clean itself, and I refuse to let Sam roll his eyes at us every time he sees us for the next eleventy-eleven years! First the kitchen, then the play."
Merry arched his sandy brows and blinked in shock. "Since when did you become the common-sensical one, dear Pippin?"
"Since I became a not exactly respectable, not exactly married Hobbit," Pippin laughed. "One of us has to!"
The older Hobbit paused and fixed his lover with a serious look. "You know I would, if we could," he said quietly.
"I know," Pippin replied equally seriously. "As far as Iím concerned, we are married. I know others wouldnít agree with me, but thatís how I feel and how Iíll always feel. I love you, Merry, and no other."
"Ever," Merry nodded, taking Pippin in his arms and kissing him again. "And if we donít get this mess cleaned up, weíll never get to love each other, either."
"Good point," Pippin agreed after another kiss. "So grab a broom while I get a rag, and letís see if we canít find the kitchen under all this! Our only other resort will be to move," he chuckled.
"No one would have us," Merry grinned, patting his lover on the rump before letting him go and going in search of a broom to clean up the mess theyíd made.
What seemed an eternity later, Pippin collapsed into a chair and draped the damp tea towel heíd been using over his face. "Well, thatís the last of it," he uttered, slightly muffled by the fabric and very grateful that theyíd taken a short break earlier to go to Bag End and see Sam about preparing a meal since heíd never be able to make it there as exhausted as he was now. "Now just dispose of my poor, exhausted body, and all the cleaning will be done."
Merry groaned, unable to rise from the floor where heíd been sweeping crumbs out from under the table. "To do that, Iíd have to move, and I canít seem to right now."
"We may still be sprawled right here when your parents arrive tomorrow then, because I donít think I can move either. How could we possibly have made a mess that took half a day to clean up in less time than it takes to eat breakfast?" Pippin groaned.
"I wish I knew." Merry slowly pushed himself to his hands and knees, then to his feet. "Though if we did stay where we were, the place would still be clean when Mum and Dad arrived."
"Yes, but we wouldnít, nor would we get to play in the bath together."
Merry gave a low chuckle as he helped Pippin to his feet, plucking the tea towel off his face so that it didnít fall to the clean floor. "You have energy to play?" he asked incredulously.
"Not yet, but Iím sure Iíll be inspired once I see you in the bath," Pippin chuckled, catching Merryís hand and drawing him toward their room, intent on getting them as clean as the kitchen and then exhausting themselves again much more pleasurably.
"We have to draw the bath," Merry groaned, leaning against Pippinís side as they walked down the hall. "Are you sure we canít just go jump in the creek?"
"Do you really want to walk that far and bathe in cold water?" Pippin pointed out, eyebrows rising. "It may take a little longer this way, but once we have it ready, we can slide into that lovely hot water... and then you can slide into me."
Merry brightened at that suggestion. "Sounds perfect to me, Pip," he sighed. "I do hope we have enough water heated though."
"We should; I put some on while we were cleaning since I knew we were going to want a bath when we were done." Pippin hugged him then stepped back to strip off his sweaty clothes and toss them toward the hamper in one corner of their bedroom. "Come on, slowpoke, or Iíll think youíre not interested."
Merry sighed, groaning a bit as he began to remove his own clothes. "Oh, Iím interested, all right, just might be too tired to do anything about it, is all."
They filled the bath, then he settled into the hot water, moaning in pleasure as the heat relaxed his tight muscles. "Címere then," he murmured, waiting until Pippin climbed in as well and settling his cousin against him, Pipís back to his chest.
"Oh, this feels wonderful," Pippin groaned happily, head falling back against Merryís shoulder. "I may fall asleep just like this," he sighed, rubbing his now damp curls against his lover. "But then with our luck your parents would arrive early while we were in here."
"And the water might be a bit chilly by then too," Merry mumbled, closing his eyes and tightening his arms around Pippinís waist, letting himself relax.
"Spoilsport," Pippin sighed, reaching for the washcloth and soap. "But I suppose youíre right. Weíd best wash up and get to bed for a nap and some fun while we still can."
"And here I thought you wanted me to slide into you in the bath," Merry sighed. "Fine, fine, change the plans in mid-stream."
"You were the one complaining about the water getting cold," Pippin pointed out. "Iíd be more than happy to stick with the original plan. I canít imagine much better than hot water around me and you in me... unless we had a snack tray too," he added, giggling.
Merry snorted out a laugh. "Not even for you, dear Pip, am I going near that kitchen again today! Youíll have to make due with the hot water and me."
Saying that, he slid a hand between his loverís thighs, cupping and stroking his testicles and shaft.
"I thinkóoh!--that I can manage with just that," Pippin replied, moaning and squirming atop his lover as Merry toyed with him. He settled in Merryís arms, his legs falling open to drape over his loverís, his hands rising to pluck at his own nipples.
Tilting his head to the side, Merry kissed his way down Pippinís neck, arching his body against the younger Hobbitís backside even as he continued to play with Pipís erection. "Thatís it, love, touch yourself," he murmured.
Pippin could only moan, his body on fire from their combined touches. He rocked gently against the erection he could feel rising against his backside, shifting until it slipped into his cleft, gliding easily against his oil-slick skin as he moved. Needing the connection with his lover, he turned his head to the side until his mouth found Merryís.
"Mmm, shift up a bit, Pip," Merry breathed against the younger Hobbitís lips. When Pippin did as he asked, he took his own shaft and settled it against the tight entrance to Pipís body, feeling the clutching heat settle around him as Pippin slid downward, impaling himself on Merryís erection.
"Just like that," he murmured, leaning back against the side of the tub and bringing Pippin with him, intent on making this last as long as they could both stand.
Pippin gasped, his fingers curling over the rim of the tub and clenching hard as Merry shifted them. "Oh, Merry, yes," he whimpered, feeling his body stretch around the welcome invader. He again twisted his head around to kiss Merry, tongue licking hungrily at Merryís lips.
"Mmm, so good, Pip," Merry sighed, curling both arms round Pippinís waist and holding him close as he rocked upward, one hand finding and circling Pipís shaft, stroking it in time with his thrusts. "This is lovely."
"You are," Pippin practically mewled, his body tense and wanting but enjoying every moment of this pleasurable torture. "Oh, Merry, yes." His fingers closed over Merryís, not attempting to guide him but simply needing to feel Merry touching him.
Closing his eyes so as not to lose control of himself too soon, Merry turned his head to kiss Pippinís damp neck. "One night I want to fall asleep in you, love, so we can wake up still feeling each other." He tightened his fingers slightly around Pippinís erection as he spoke.
Pippin whimpered, his body clenching around Merryís in reaction to that thought. "Oh yes," he whispered, his toes curling tightly beneath the water as Merry pleasured them both. "I want that too, so much."
"Per-perhaps tonight." Merryís voice had grown deeper with need, and his hips were moving with a sharper rhythm, causing water to slosh over the sides of the tub and onto the floor. Pip felt so good around him that he could barely stand it, and he kissed and nipped at the side of his cousinís throat, raising a dark purple love mark on the skin there.
Pip cried out when he felt Merry mark him. He didnít do it often, but Pippin adored it when he did. He felt like they truly belonged to one another and nothing could tear them apart. He thrust down to meet Merryís strokes, causing the water to splash more forcefully, and he wailed Merryís name as his body tightened, waves of pleasure starting to flow through him.
"Ahh, yes, love, thatís it," Merry rasped, arching up to meet Pippinís moves, his hand moving faster over the other Hobbitís erection, his thumb rubbing the fleshy head as he felt Pippin tremble, then come apart around him, shooting hot seed into the cooling bath water, causing his own orgasm to crash through him in pounding waves.
Pippin collapsed on top of Merry, one arm hanging over the side of the tub, the other floating limply on top of the water. "Oh my," he murmured. "I think youíre going to have to carry me to bed, Merry."
Merry started to nod, then groaned. "Minor problem, Pip. Sam and Frodo are coming over to help us fix dinner for Mum and Dad this afternoon, remember?"
Pip groaned and slumped, letting himself slip under the water. He really didnít want to think about parents just then.
Moving his arms upward, Merry hugged Pippin to his chest. "Iím sorry. I shouldnít have mentioned it."
"Well, itís not as if pretending they werenít coming would keep them away," Pippin sighed. "But surely we have time for a nap first?" he added pleadingly.
Merry shrugged. "Not sure of the time, but I suppose a short one couldnít hurt. Iím sure Sam and Frodo will wake us when they come if we oversleep - or perhaps theyíll come, fix the meal, then leave without waking us!"
Standing up a little unsteadily, Pippin grinned down at him as the water sluiced off him. "Well, they might have if you didnít take so much pleasure in pounding on their door, Meriadoc Brandybuck! As it is, Iím sure Sam would be delighted to have a chance to do the same to you."
"Ahh, but itís such fun, Pip!" Merry protested, waiting until Pippin stepped out of the bath before standing as well and climbing out after him. "You canít blame me for wanting a bit of entertainment now and again, can you?" As he spoke, Merry dried himself, watching Pippin admiringly as he contorted himself around to do the same.
Pippin paused in the midst of toweling off his hair to peer askance at Merry, unaware that tufts of his hair were standing straight up. "I thought I was your entertainment?"
"Fool of a Took, youíre my life," Merry answered, smiling. "Now letís get that nap in before we find our door pounded in."
Frodo shook his head, smiling, as Sam pounded on Merry and Pippinís door hard enough to make it vibrate. "Youíre enjoying this, arenít you?" he accused laughingly.
Sam turned to look back at Frodo, putting on his best innocent face. "Now why would you ever think such a thing as that, Mr. Frodo?" he asked, before returning to pounding on the door.
"Oi! Answer the door, or youíll make your own meal!" he shouted, before smiling sunnily as a decidedly sleep-worn Merry answered the door.
"That is nothing to joke about, Samwise Gamgee," Merry yawned, scrubbing at his face with his hands before stepping back out of the way. "Especially considering the mess Pip and I made this morning."
"Which we cleaned up," Pippin put in hastily from behind Merry, peering at their friends. "We wouldnít have expected you to cook in that mess, Sam," he said, trying to look pitiful.
Frodo rolled his eyes where he was standing behind Sam.
Sam crossed his arms over his chest and looked at the other two sternly. "And youíll be cleaning up after my cooking today, I believe?"
Merry opened his mouth to protest but shut it again when Pippin stomped on his foot. "Of course, unless Frodo wants to help some?"
"I wasnít planning to sit around watching while you did all the work," Frodo said easily. He refused to allow Sam to wrap him up like some helpless infant. "I think I can manage to wash a few mixing bowls and pots."
"With three of us cleaning up," Pippin put in with a quelling glance at Merry, "it wonít take any time at all."
"With the three of us doing that, I wonder if there will be any food left for my parents when they get here," Merry mused.
"Períaps we should take it back to Bag End with us until they arrive," Sam suggested.
Pippin stuck his tongue out at them. "No oneís eating any of it till they get here. I want us to make a good impression."
"We will, Pip," Merry assured him, closing the door behind the other couple and walking them back to the kitchen. "Where do you want to start...?"
"Thatís the lot of it," Sam said, wrapping the loaves of fresh bread in a warm towel and placing them in the bread box. "All you have to do is baste the roast every so often to keep it moist."
"Even we canít mess that up," Pippin said with relief. "Thank you, Sam. I donít know what we would have done without you. Bad enough Iím not a lass, I donít want Merryís parents to think we have a bare pantry as well."
"They know you, Pip, so that wouldnít seem out of the ordinary to them," Merry murmured, hugging Pippin close.
Sam reached for Frodoís hand, blushing at the praise. "Iím glad we could help, sir. I hope things go well and get settled here."
"Thank you," Pippin repeated, hoping against hope that things would go better than they had with his own parents. "Weíll let you know how it goes once theyíve gone again." He only hoped they wouldnít be taking Merry with them, and he reached desperately for Merryís hand at the thought.
Frodo watched them knowingly, his blue eyes sympathetic to their plight. "Itíll work out," he said comfortingly.
"If not, I hope youíll both come visit us in Bree," Merry tried to joke, though there was a bit of fear in his eyes and he held Pipís hand tightly.
Though not prone to such gestures, Frodo stepped forward and hugged each of them in turn. "Youíll always have a home in Bag End if you need it," he said softly, hoping for their sakes that it would not come to that. It was so obvious that they adored each other; he only hoped the elder Brandybucks could see and accept it.
Pippin just nodded nervously, grateful but growing increasingly nervous as the hour of Merryís parentsí arrival drew near.
Thinking of his own fatherís possible reaction if he found out just what he and Frodo had been getting up to, Sam shifted uncomfortably.
"Thank you, Frodo." Merry said, for once serious. "I doubt weíll need it, and besides, it would drive Sam mad if we came and lived with you." He smiled at that and tried to shoo the other two toward the door. "Now get. Iím sure youíd like some time alone, and besides, we canít have my parents thinking someone else was responsible for this wonderful meal, can we?"
Laughing, Frodo drew Sam after him, whispering something that made Sam flush deeply but hastened his steps. "Good luck!" he called back as they let themselves out the gate.
"Well, thatís it then," Pippin said on a deep sigh. "Weíre as ready as we can be for your parents. Oh! We should change, donít you think?"
Looking down at their wrinkled and stained clothes, nearly as bad as what theyíd worn that morning, Merry nodded. "Not our best, but something good, Iíd say. We did get the laundry done, didnít we?"
"Thank goodness, yes."
Pippin led the way back to their bedroom, and a short while later was frowning at his reflection as he tried to tug the collar of his shirt higher. Much as he adored the mark Merry had left on him, he didnít think Merryís parents would share his opinion.
Catching sight of Pippinís antics and wondering just what he was doing, Merry left off tucking in his shirt and walked over, wincing when he saw the purpling flesh on Pipís throat. "Not the best timing on my part for that, was it, love?" he asked, tracing a finger over the love bite.
"Sadly, no," Pippin admitted even as he arched his throat into the gentle caress. "Perhaps a neckcloth?" he considered, eyeing the mark.
"That might help..." Nodding to himself, Merry looked through the armoire until he found a cloth that complemented Pippinís shirt. "Here we are." Turning Pippin around, he tied the soft swatch of material around the younger Hobbitís neck, smiling at a memory.
Pippin smiled in return, hands resting on Merryís waist. "What?" he asked curiously, wanting to know what had put that look in Merryís eyes.
"Just remembering the time I visited the Smials and taught you how to tie one of these," Merry said quietly.
Pippinís smile softened as he remembered the occasion as well. "I was so frustrated till you showed me the trick of it... I think I was already starting to fall in love with you even then, Merry. Things always seemed better when you were around."
Reaching up to stroke the side of Pippinís face, Merry leaned in and kissed him. "I know," he said, before trying to lighten the mood. "And I hope you arenít saying that because when I was around, people had someone else to blame things on!"
"Well, of course I am!" Pippin giggled, leaning against him as he laughed. "It was the only time I wasnít in trouble. Well," he added judiciously after considering that, "I was in trouble, but you were in more because you were Ďolder and wiser!í"
"Thatís what they always told me, but it just never seemed to be the case, did it?"
"No, and it was much more fun our way," Pip replied emphatically, stealing a kiss only to have his head jerk up in the middle. "Is that someone at the door?"
Merry nodded, trying not to look worried for Pippinís sake. "I believe so. Now then, am I presentable?" He took a step back so that Pip could look him over.
"You look wonderful," Pippin praised, not even the knocking dimming his pleasure in being with Merry. He took a deep breath and Merryís hand and nodded toward the bedroom door. "Shall we?"
"Iíd suppose weíd best." Merry squeezed Pippinís fingers lightly as they walked to the door.
Steeling himself for the worst but hoping for the best, Merry pulled the round portal open. "Mother, Father. Itís good to see you," he said, opting for a normal greeting and kissing his motherís cheek, then shaking his fatherís hand, hoping they werenít going to slight Pippin, who was standing at his side.
"Meriadoc. Peregrin," Saradoc greeted coolly while his wife sniffled slightly and dabbed at her eyes with a crumpled handkerchief.
Heart sinking, Pippin slumped where he stood, the heart going out of him. Clearly Merryís parents werenít going to be any more supportive than his own had been.
Chin lifting in determination, Merry vowed not to let his parents get the best of him or hurt Pippin. "Why donít you come inside," he said politely. "Weíve got a lovely meal thatís just about ready and some good bottles of wine to go with it."
"Saradoc..." Esmerelda Brandybuck began uncertainly, looking over at her husband.
"Maybe I should leave?" Pippin offered quietly, staring down at his feet to hide the devastated look in his eyes.
"No!" Merry said sharply. Taking a deep breath, he looked at his parents, his hazel eyes hard. "Mother, Father, I donít know what exactly Uncle Paladin and Aunt Eglantine had said to you, but I suppose you should hear it from me as well. I love Pippin and he loves me. Weíre together now, and nothing anyone does is going to change that. Now, either you can come in for the dinner we worked hard on, or you can leave, because I wonít have you slighting Pip or saying anything about the situation."
Pippinís fingers curled around Merryís, and he straightened slightly though he still wouldnít meet anyoneís gaze.
"This conversation would be best conducted inside, Meriadoc," Saradoc replied, though he did add, "Itís good to see youíre well, Peregrin."
Feeling a bit better, though not relaxing yet, Merry led his parents to the dining room and helped Pippin bring the platters and serving dishes to the table.
Helping Merry serve, Pippin did his best to hide behind the other Hobbit, avoiding making eye contact with anyone and darting back to the kitchen whenever he could. Once everything was on the table, he stood in the kitchen, trying to convince himself to go back out. He threw a longing glance at the kitchen door.
Moving up behind Pippin, Merry hugged the younger Hobbit close. "Youíre doing fine, love," he murmured. "Weíll be fine, I promise."
In the dining room, Esmerelda sat in her seat, trying not to appear too uncomfortable with the situation or with her husbandís silence.
Saradoc watched the younger Hobbits closely as they finally sat down at the table and began passing the food around. "Do you really think people will accept this, Meriadoc? This isnít just another of your larks that you can brush off when itís done, you know."
"There wonít be any Ďdoneí to it," Merry said firmly, "and if people canít accept it, thatís their problem, not ours - even if they are family."
Esmerelda paled. "Merry, dear, you canít be serious. Both you and Pippin are too young to be deciding something like this, and it will ruin both your chances for marriage later."
Pippin sighed heavily and clutched Merryís hand tightly for comfort. "Why canít any of you seem to understand that we donít want to get married? Unless we could marry each other which we canít so we donít. We love each other." Why was that so impossible for all their parents to accept?
"Itís a phase," Esmerelda answered, trying to convince herself as well as her son and nephew. "You two have always been close, but thereís no need..."
Merry sighed. "Youíre right, Mother. There is no need to continue this if you and Father canít accept it. I - we - had hoped you might at least be understanding about the situation, but if you canít, Iíd suggest you leave."
Pippin winced, his fingers tightening on Merryís as his shoulders slumped. Heíd so hoped that his aunt and uncle would be more understanding, but it seemed they were as against his relationship with Merry as his own parents. He stared blindly down at his plate before pushing it away.
"Iím going to go lie down," he said quietly, still not looking up. "Iím not hungry after all."
"Pippin, I didnít mean to upset you..." Esmerelda began, before Merry cut her off.
"But you did, Mother, as did you, Father. You say you want the both of us to act as adult Hobbits, but when we do, you tell us weíre acting like children. Iíll only say this once more, and that will be the end; I love Pip, not like a child, not like some infatuated tween, but as an adult. Heís who I want to spend the rest of my life with, and if the two of you cannot accept that, then I suppose we wonít be seeing each other any more."
"Merry," Esmerelda gasped, eyes wide.
Saradoc, however, nodded sharply. "Very well. Youíve convinced me that you really do feel that strongly about it. I canít say itís what I wanted or expected for you, but I can see this isnít a passing fancy. I want you to be happy, Meriadoc, and it seems that Peregrin does that."
Merry opened his mouth to argue, then blinked, realizing what his father had said. "Do you truly mean that?" he asked, keeping hold of Pippinís hand to prevent him from running.
"Yes, I do. Now that Iím certain youíve thought this through and that this is what you really want, well, youíre my son, Merry. Nothing can change that."
Pippin sniffled as he slowly sank back into his chair. "That didnít seem to matter to my parents."
Saradoc reached across the table to pat him awkwardly on the shoulder. "Give them time, young Pippin. They still see you as their baby."
Giving his parents a quick look, Merry tugged Pippin over into his lap and wound his arms around his cousin. "With Mum and Dad on our side, weíll get them to come around, love."
Pippin curled into Merry, tucking his head under Merryís chin. "I donít care anymore. If they donít want me, I donít want them." He tried to sound indifferent, but his tone was forlorn.
"Oh, sweetheart." Esmerelda jumped to her feet to come to their side and wrap her arms around both of them.
Merry looked up, meeting his motherís eyes, his own full of misery at Pippinís state.
Scuffling his feet uncomfortably, Saradoc stood as well and moved to the other side of the chair, bracketing the two younger Hobbits between himself and his wife. "Theyíll come around, Pippin; Esme and myself will see to that."
Pippin snuffled a bit before he forced a smile as he raised his head. "Doesnít matter," he said. "I have my own family now, and if they donít want to be part of it, well, thatís their choice." He slid off Merryís lap, pausing to hug his aunt before settling back into his own seat.
"We should eat. We canít let all this food go to waste!"
Merry had to grin at that. "Thatís more like my Pip. Sam would kill us if we let his good meal go to waste." He realized what heíd said and ducked his head and grinned. "Well, at least weíre smart enough to know our limitations!"
"Meriadoc, I raised you," Esmerelda said dryly. "It is no surprise to me that your talents lie in consuming food rather than preparing it."
"At least you canít say Iím a growing Hobbit any more!"
Saradoc grinned as he sat back down after helping his wife back into her seat. "Any growing you do will be around the waist, my boy." He patted his own paunch for emphasis.
Pippin opened his mouth then shut it hastily as he realized the comment heíd been about to make wasnít appropriate for his loverís parents. "Mushrooms?" he offered with a hint of desperation.
With a heartfelt groan, Merry collapsed on the rug in front of the hearth, too tired to even make it to a chair. "We did it, Pip," he murmured, smiling at the younger Hobbit. "Brought my folks around and even managed to clean up the mess from dinner."
"Be quiet, I think Iím dead," Pippin groaned. "Where did all those dishes come from?"
"I think Sam brought his and Frodoís over while we werenít looking; thatís where they came from," Merry grumbled.
Pippin had to laugh. "As if Sam would trust us with one of his Mr. Frodoís plates. We might break it."
"Mmm, good point. I do promise not to break you if you trust me to hold you right now though." Merry looked up from the floor and held out a hand to Pippin.
Pippin smiled and took the hand as he squirmed a little closer, not having the energy to stand or even sit up. "I think Iíd like you to hold me."
Sighing, Merry pulled Pippin into his arms against his chest. "Just think? I must be losing my touch."
Pip laughed. "No, Iím just too tired to be sure of anything, silly Hobbit."
Merry sighed. "Well, since my parents are asleep in the guest room, I suppose we shouldnít make a spectacle of ourselves here on the hearth."
"No, we should go to our room and make a spectacle of ourselves in our nice, comfortable bed. And donít forget to bring a snack!"
"Canít you be my snack?" Merry asked pitifully, not wanting to go in the kitchen again.
"Whatíll be my snack?" Pippin inquired indignantly.
Merry feigned wide-eyed shock. "Are you telling me that Iím not enough?"
"I thought you didnít want me draining you dry."
"When did I say that?"
"The last time you couldnít be bothered getting a snack before going to bed," Pip retorted with a smirk.
Merry grumbled. "I hate it when you make sense." He groaned and got to his feet. "Good thing it doesnít happen often, isnít it?" He grinned and darted into the kitchen.
Pippin swatted at him but missed as Merry fled, and he stood up as well, muttering about smug Hobbits who were no better than they should be as he made his way toward their bedroom.
As he gathered up a tray of leftovers, Merry hummed to himself, grinning slightly as he walked back to the bedroom to find Pippin sprawled on their bed. "Not asleep, are you?"
"And if I was, how would you wake me up?" Merry blue eyes sparkled under tousled hair as Pippin wriggled into the comfortable featherbed.
Merry grinned and settled on the end of the bed. "Why, Iíd start eating your snack, of course."
Pippin immediately bounced up onto his knees and snatched the tray away, practically clutching it to his chest as he peered suspiciously over it at Merry.
"Now I know my place," Merry sighed, shaking his head.
Pippin stuck his tongue out, carefully placed the tray out of harmís way on the nightstand, and pounced on the other Hobbit. "With me, of course."
"Just not between you and your food."
"Clever Hobbit," Pippin agreed, trying not to laugh. "But if youíre very good, Iíll share it with you."
"Yourself or the food?"
"Both," Pip offered generously.
Merry smiled. "That I can live with," he murmured, pulling Pippin down for a kiss.
"Considering our announcement to your parents earlier, I think thatís rather a given," Pippin pointed out before melting into the kiss, nestling against Merry.
"Mmm, even without that, it was a given," Merry whispered, sliding his hands down to cup Pippinís ass.
Pippin beamed at him. "Love you," he replied as he arched against Merry, legs spreading to let them nestle closer.
Merry smiled back. "Show me," he breathed.
Pippin sat up, never looking away as he unfastened Merryís suspenders and tugged his shirt free, drawing it over Merryís head with the other Hobbitís eager cooperation. "Oh, Merry," he breathed, leaning down to lick Merryís chest, paying particular attention to the hardening nipples.
"Mmm, Pip," Merry sighed, arching upward, his fingers tangling in Pippinís dark hair.
Pippin giggled faintly, thinking Merry sounded absurdly content, but he liked him that way. His fingers unfastened and pushed down Merryís trousers while he continued to taste his upper body, and then Pippin gasped his satisfaction when their naked bodies finally pressed together.
"Mmm," Merry moaned again, grinding upward and curling a leg around Pippinís.
Pippin abandoned the now reddened nipples to sit up, Merryís erection caught between his buttocks as he rocked atop the other Hobbit.
Merry squirmed, friction pulling at his shaft with unbearable pleasure.
A sharp gasp escaped the younger Hobbit, and he caught his lower lip between his teeth, pleasure clear in his expression. He stared down at Merry as he continued to rock, teasing them both with a hint of what they really wanted.
"Pip, my folks are going to be hearing some things Iíd rather they not if you donít stop teasing soon," Merry warned, his voice rough with need.
"No self control," Pippin laughed breathlessly, finally reaching for the small jar of oil on the nightstand and coating his fingers. He stared down into Merryís eyes as he reached back and pressed one inside himself, moaning faintly.
"Not when it comes to you," Merry sighed, licking his lips as he watched Pippin prepare himself for their joining. He ran his hands over his loverís flanks, feeling the taut muscles quiver under his touch, and an answering shiver ran through his body. "Ride me, love. Now."
As eager as Merry, Pippin didnít waste another moment before rising up higher on his knees and slowly lowering himself onto the shaft he held upright with one hand. Whimpering as he was breeched, he braced his hands on Merryís chest, supporting himself until Merry was fully inside him.
"My beautiful Pip," Merry sighed, thrusting upward as much as he was able, his eyes half-closed with pleasure. "Love feeling you like this, can never get enough of it."
"Even better than second breakfast," Pip replied, managing to keep a straight face as he raised and lowered himself on Merry.
Merry rolled his eyes but didnít let go of his hold on Pippin. "The highest of compliments coming from you, Master Peregrin."
"Glad you appreciate it." Pippin leaned down to kiss him, whimpering at the shift in position, and his hips started to move more rapidly.
"And you," Merry whispered, closing one hand on Pippinís hip, urging him to move, as the other circled his shaft, stroking it.
Pip deepened the kiss to muffle his cry, not wanting to wake Merryís parents. He rocked rapidly back and forth between the shaft filling him and the hand stroking him.
Merry moaned and arched up harder, feeling Pippin quiver around him and his own body shiver in answer as they rocked together, their movements becoming more frantic as they lost control.
Pippin felt the sensations building in him, felt Merry moving in him, and he rode his lover almost desperately. "Merry," he gasped, forcing his eyes open to watch the other Hobbit as they trembled on the brink of climax.
"Pip," Merry breathed, giving a low-voiced cry as he came, knowing that Pippin would be his for all time.
Pippin simply collapsed atop Merry as the last spasms of his climax ebbed, indifferent to the stickiness between them. "Love you," he mumbled.
Merry nodded, gathering Pippin in his arms and holding him close. "Love you too, and to Mordor with what anyone else says."
"Glad your parents are accepting of us, even if it didnít seem like they would be at first." Pippin nuzzled into him, fingers twisting into Merryís curls.
"Me too, but bugger them if they werenít," Merry answered. "We donít need anyone but each other, Pip."
"And we have each other," Pippin replied, smugness dripping from every word.
Merry smiled. "That we do, Pip. That we do."