Merry walked into the darkened bedroom to find Pippin standing at the window. The full moon illuminated lush emerald grass, and a faint breeze whispered through the leaves behind the crickets' nocturnal song.
"That suit becomes you," said Merry, drawing the door closed behind him. "The moonlight would become you still better."
Pippin kept his gaze fixed on the window. "Why couldn't we have been younger sons?" he choked out in a hoarse undertone.
Silently Merry stepped over to him and gently turned him about. Without a word he took Pippin's face in his hands, with soft, broad sweeps of his thumbs stroking away the younger hobbit's tears. "Tonight," he whispered into Pippin's mouth, caressing Pippin's lips with his own. Pippin's arms twined about Merry, pressing his firm body to himself, chest to knee. The fingers of his left hand tangled through Merry's thick curling hair; his right hand stroked a winding descent across Merry's shoulders, back, waist, buttocks, where it settled and began kneading. Merry's breathing grew ragged, and his tongue probed insistently around Pippin's as he clasped Pippin's back with his long arms.
Pippin broke away, eyes shining no longer with tears but with mischief and desire. He loosened the lace cravat at Merry's throat, set it free and cast it aside to land in some dark corner while he unbuttoned enough of Merry's satin shirt to grant himself access to the smooth beige throat beneath it. Keeping one hand behind Merry for balance, Pippin let his other hand drop to the straining bulge in Merry's velvet breeches, cupping it with his palm and moving in slow circles, just firm enough to be felt. Merry groaned, and his knees buckled.
"If...I spoil...these..." he gasped, letting out a little cry as Pippin began to suck on his neck, "...they cost me..."
"I'll buy you another pair," murmured Pippin against his skin. "A more fitting pair. These don't begin to do justice to your arse."
Merry began to laugh, but a well-placed press of Pippin's lips cut it off. Lips and tongue trailed along neck, collarbone; impatiently Pippin shoved aside the shirt and continued his explorations along Merry's shoulder. The hand behind Merry drew up and over the other shoulder, down the chest, to slip the rest of the buttons free. Both hands slid beneath, stroking up Merry's abdomen to his chest, skimming the nipples just enough to make Merry grit his teeth before they moved on to slide shirt and waistcoat over the shoulders and down the arms. Merry shook both garments free from his wrists then gripped Pippin's head and began to direct it down from his shoulder.
"Subtle, aren't you," chuckled Pippin, taking as long as possible to let his mouth wander across Merry's chest before it settled upon a nipple. His tongue flicked over the erect bit of flesh, eliciting quiet whimpers from Merry. With the tip of a long, slender finger he began to circle the other nipple, spiraling with increasing pressure toward the center, all the while avoiding it till the agony of its owner was nearly palpable. Just when Merry was about to say something, Pippin's thumb and forefinger closed in, gently squeezing, at the same time his mouth closed in upon the other nipple, sucking it in and holding firmly. Moaning, Merry faltered; Pippin's free arm flew behind him, steadied him, while he continued to moan and sigh.
"Stars and moon, Meriadoc, but you've got the most sensitive nipples in Middle-earth," murmured Pippin as his face glided toward the other side.
Merry chortled weakly. "You say that every time," he huskily whispered.
"It's true," said Pippin, taking the other nipple into his mouth, drawing forth a fresh round of sighs and moans from Merry. He was beginning to tire of it, but he knew from long experience that that was exactly when Merry needed him to keep going, and the pleasure of pleasing Merry overruled his own sense of tedium with spending endless minutes on silly nipples.
"Mm." Feebly Merry's hands fluttered upon Pippin's curls. "That's good."
Pippin drew back, smiling as he lifted his face to Merry's. Merry kissed him tenderly. "Thank you," he whispered.
Pippin gazed deeply into Merry's eyes. "Your pleasure is my pleasure," he whispered back.
"And yours, mine." Slowly one corner of his mouth turned up as he breathily commanded, "Let me see you in the moonlight."
Pippin gulped. Breath quickening, he stepped back a few paces, into the flood of soft white light streaming in through the window. With trembling fingers he fumbled with his cravat, let it flutter to the floor. His eyes never left Merry's as he let his fingers drop to the first, the second, the third button of his waistcoat, slipping them one by one, drawing it out as long as possible. On the last button his hand lingered, hovered near but just avoided touching the swelling beneath it.
Merry nodded slowly, his eyes gleaming hungrily.
Pippin arched his back, inducing a delectable strain against his breeches as he let the waistcoat slide from his arms. Drawing himself up again, he let his fingers settle upon the button at his throat. He waited, watching, savoring the rush of warmth as Merry's anticipatory gaze took on an edge of urgency, then, with deliberation, fingered the first button, traced its smooth contours, pushed it through, allowing the shirt to part at his throat.
"Peregrin Took," rasped Merry in a low, quavering tone.
Slyly Pippin smiled and let his fingers drop to the second button. Slowly, too slowly, he pressed it against the fabric, through the hole, let it fall away. The light of the moon glinted off copper strands in light brown curls.
Merry's eyes remained fixed on his. "And."
"And." Still smiling, Pippin slid the next button, and the next, and the next, until the shirt lay open, revealing a light cascade of copper tinged brown curls from chest to waist. Merry's hands twitched, but he made no other move.
Pippin tugged the shirt, inch by inch, out of the waistband of his breeches. White satin slid softly to the floor. Pippin drew himself to his full height, breathed deeply, let it out slowly, all the while watching Merry watching him.
"And." One eyebrow arched.
"And," whispered Pippin, unbuttoning his breeches.
Merry watched approvingly as the breeches pooled around Pippin's ankles and he stepped out of them. They gazed upon one another in silence, Merry's eyes roaming over Pippin's smooth, fair body, which glowed softly white in the moonlight. He said nothing, but the hunger in his eyes said all that Pippin needed to hear.
At last, Merry said, "Turn around."
Again there was silence, but Pippin knew that Merry was savoring every contour: the long neck, the wide shoulders, the curve of the back into a narrow waist and small, firm buttocks, down along the long, muscled legs to the red-brown hair covering the feet.
Pippin felt rather than heard Merry step up behind him, his moist breath in warm bursts upon the back of his neck. "Stars and moon, Peregrin, you are the most delectable creature in the whole of Middle-earth," he murmured, licking his neck and nibbling at his ear. Pippin swooned, sighing as Merry's tongue roamed as much of his face and neck as he could find from behind. Merry's arms encircled Pippin and embedded his slim fingers in the thatch of curls; Pippin pressed back against him, wriggling his hips none too subtly against the hard flesh behind him.
"Mm. On second thought, no." Merry drew back and turned Pippin around, turning himself as he did so. "My turn, tonight," he declared, leaning back against Pippin.
"Hm." Pippin's lower lip jutted out, but he pressed himself against Merry all the same. "Greedy, aren't you."
"Yes," hissed Merry through a sharply indrawn breath. "For you, always."
Pippin moaned softly. Resting his chin on Merry's shoulder, he took hold of his own stiffened member and began to glide the smooth, soft head, slickened with want, up and down between his lover's buttocks.
"Mm, yes," sighed Merry.
"Greedy sod," teased Pippin again.
"Mm-hm." He closed his eyes, sighing. "I wonder if they've learnt this one, yet?"
"Knowing those two," Pippin chuckled quietly, "probably not."
"Well. We shall have to tell them -- later," he gasped as smooth, firm flesh pressed into his own. "Oh. Oh, yes. Mm."
Both fell silent, save for quiet moans and gasps of pleasure as Pippin ran his hands over Merry's body, his mouth over Merry's neck, gently, gradually working himself deeper within his lover as desire relaxed him further. He drew back, pressed again, initiating a slow, steady rhythm that Merry eagerly met, quickened -- and Pippin restrained.
"Don't you dare stop --" gasped Merry, but then Pippin's hand fell and took hold, squeezing just so as his hips suddenly resumed a frenzied thrusting. They both came together, crying out as one voice that echoed through the little room and dissipated on the gentle breeze of the night.
"How do you do that?" asked Merry as he and Pippin lay in each other's arms in bed.
"Hm." Pippin smiled to himself. "Practice. Many years of patient, loving practice." Abruptly he fell silent. Merry reached for his hand and clasped it sympathetically. "These past two years have been awful, Merry," whispered Pippin. "Married off to a woman I hardly knew -- neither of us wanted it, but I had to marry someone, and I've tried, but she knows I don't want to be married to her, and she'd just as soon she weren't married to me. Oh, Merry," sobbed Pippin, turning to bury his face in Merry's arms, "I can't bear this! Let her leave me, and let someone else be Thain!"
"Pippin," soothed Merry, his own eyes welling as he stroked Pippin's hair. "You know you can't do that. Be sensible."
"I don't want to be sensible," wept Pippin. "I want you."
For a time Merry said nothing, waiting until the sobbing subsided. Then, softly, he inquired, "Did I ever tell you how I came to be engaged to Estella?"
"Hm?" Pippin sniffed, and frowned. "No. As a matter of fact, you haven't."
He blinked away a few remaining tears. "And I should like to know, now that you mention it: It all came about rather suddenly -- not unusual, I'll grant you, but I should think you'd at least have let me in on it if you'd had anything going."
"Oh, no, no. My dearest Pippin, only half a year ago I'd not a lass in mind. But then I was sitting with Fredegar and his family, one day, and his sister and I got to talking. Next thing I knew, we were walking in the woods behind the Bolger estate, and out of the blue, just as brazen as you please, she said, 'You miss Peregrin terribly, I suppose.'
"And I looked at her, startled, gathering such wits as I had left to say, 'Well, of course after having him as a housemate for so long, it will take some getting used to,' but she looked right up at me and said, 'I suppose you think you fellows are the only ones.'"
"What?" exclaimed Pippin.
"Do you remember Miralda, at all?"
"Miralda Willowsbrook? That friend of --" His voice fell away.
Grinning, Merry glanced down to see Pippin's jaw dangling. "Exactly so, my dear Pippin. That dear, dear friend of Estella's."
Pippin laughed. "Well, I'll be -- so you've managed a marriage of convenience, then?"
"Quite convenient, for both of us," agreed Merry. "Her father was starting to hint none too broadly that he didn't want any spinsters hanging round his halls. And mine -- well, you know." He grimaced. "Of course we'll have to produce an heir -- I think we find each other agreeable enough to manage that much -- but at least we understand each other, no jealousy or hard feelings."
"Oh, now I'm jealous."
Merry's eyebrows shot up. "You oughtn't to be."
"What do you mean?"
"What I mean, dear ass," Merry hugged Pippin and kissed him, "is that you will be able to spend as many nights as you can contrive with me at Brandy Hall, because my dear wife will oft as not be otherwise occupied. As, I hope, shall I -- all with her knowledge *and* her blessing. And with both of those," again he grinned, "no fear that word might get out as to who slept in whose bed on what night."
"Oh." It came out as a happy sigh. "I do love you."
"And I, you." Merry bent to kiss Pippin. "Now let's get some sleep. We've the whole week before us."
"Mm." Pippin smiled drowsily as he snuggled against Merry. "My turn tomorrow."
"Yes, of course." Smiling in turn, Merry drifted into sleep, his arms snugly cradling Pippin.