West of the Moon

A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive



Foolish Games
Smut and silliness and improbable hobbitpile fooling around.
Author: Bill The Pony
Rating: NC-17


Sam should have known better than to let himself be dragged along with the others on that peaceful summer evening, but the sparkle in Rosie Cotton's eyes was as compelling as it was terrifying, and before he knew it, he was following her and half a dozen fellows up the road to Old Mr. Bilbo's toolshed. It was the nearest thing to a barn round about Bag End; it stood a good ways away from the front door and was mostly unattended except when Sam and his Gaffer used it to store tools and plants and mulch in. When he got there, there was already a small crowd of young hobbits inside-- they were various ages, all the way from lads and lasses a year or two older than Sam down to a couple as young as Mr. Peregrin.

Sam looked about anxiously, half expecting to find Frodo among them, and when he didn't, it worried him-- it was his shed and all, since Mr. Bilbo had gone and left. He ought to know there were a bunch of youngsters hidden up in his toolshed. At least, that was how Sam reckoned it.

"Don't be such a fidget," Pippin chirped at him as he hesitated. "Come on, sit down!"

Sam looked for Rosie, but she had gone to sit between two other lads-- a Brandybuck and a Boffin, to Sam's dismay, both a little older and from better families than Sam. He sighed and sat down next to Pippin. "What are we doing?"

"You'll see." Pippin had the same sparkle in his eyes that Rosie had.

Sam bit his lip and stayed where he was, though he had misgivings. They worsened when Mr. Merry produced a bottle, to the delight of all present. Sam groaned. "We can't be doing this in Mr. Frodo's tool-shed!"

"Hush, Sam. What he doesn't know won't trouble him." One of the Cotton cousins leaned over and patted him cordially; he couldn't remember her name.

Pippin leaned in to whisper in Sam's ear. "Merry knows you're sweet on Rosie. He'll try to make the bottle land on you two." That really alarmed Sam; he got to his knees and started to back out of the circle, but Pippin caught him and dragged him back down. "The game's starting, Sam!"

The bottle spun, wobbling slightly on the uneven pebbled floor, and came to a stop halfway around the circle; Sam breathed a sigh of relief-- it'd be impossible to control. "Second spin gets the kiss," Merry proclaimed and spun again, and it stopped this time pointing to a youngish lass, who bounced up and ran across the circle to bestow a swift kiss on the first lad's face, then hurried back to her place.

Sam tried to make himself as small as possible as Merry took the bottle and prepared for a third spin; but then the door squeaked, and his salvation arrived in the worst possible form. "What's going on in here?" Frodo's voice, half-startled and half amused, quieted them instantly and froze everyone in their places. Sam wished it were possible to sink through the floor, but sadly, it wasn't.

Merry, caught red-handed, shrugged at Frodo with a winning smile, and got a chuckle in return. "You boys and girls will have to find another place to play this game." He looked thoughtful. "And another bottle, and someone else to spin it, too. Merry Brandybuck, you should know by now that when I invite you to stay with me and I turn around to find you've disappeared, I'll know you're up to no good, especially if I see hordes of children climbing up the road not long after!"

He stood aside from the door and gestured toward the deepening evening outside it. The young hobbits hastily got up and began to leave, streaming around Frodo more or less shyly, most of them seeming quite embarrassed. They vanished into the night, and Sam attempted to accompany them, but Frodo's hand snaked out and caught his wrist.

"Not you." Sam was tugged over till he stood in the small island of stillness amidst the flood where Merry and Pippin lingered with Frodo. He crimsoned to the ears and unhappily took his place at Frodo's side; within minutes the four of them were the only ones left.

Frodo looked around the shed, but nothing seemed damaged or out of place. He tossed the bottle in his hand. "If you want to play something like this, you've got to do it right." There was humor and amusement in his voice, and he met Merry's gaze with a challenging stare. "You should have said something if you were bored, Merry. The three of you come inside with me, and we'll do this properly."

Sam blinked, startled. "But the girls have gone, sir!"

"Who said we needed girls?" Merry's voice was soft with amusement and something more, and Sam's mouth fell open. He felt a strange tingle of excitement and fear course through him; this could only be a terrible idea no matter how you looked at it.

"But there's only the four of us..."

"No one to tell tales," Pippin ventured, and Frodo nodded at him, eyes sparkling with humor as they moved to Sam's face.

"You don't have to come if you'd rather not, Sam." Now all eyes were on him, and Sam snapped his mouth shut. He coloured-- if he fled now, they'd think he was a coward, and not only that, but they'd be up in Bag End doing heaven knows what, and he'd be down in his own hole with his family, doing nothing...

"I'm for it if you three are," he said stoutly, trying to meet the challenge in their eyes.

Merry slapped his shoulder cordially and they all filed out after Frodo. Sam cast a glance down the hill, where the departing hobbits were still visible. He wished he were among their number... almost. After all, there were only the four of them, all boys. Surely there couldn't be much for them to get up to other than maybe a little kissing.

Kissing. Sam's eyes darted between his companions, and lingered on Frodo. He nearly stumbled, the thought made him that nervous. But at least Pippin was right. With only the four of them there, nobody would carry tales. Sam squared his shoulders and followed his friends over the doorstep into Bag End and down the long hall back into the hill.

Frodo led them into his own bedchamber, which had no windows-- he'd never yet taken to using Bilbo's. It was cozy, with a fire laid unlit, and there were flowers that Sam had cut himself nodding in a vase on Frodo's dressing table. Frodo's bedspread was a deep green and the sheets soft buttery yellow. Sam had made the bed many times, but never so much as sat on it; without an invitation, it wouldn't be proper.

Frodo sat down in the middle of the wide bed, folding his legs. Merry scrambled up next to him without hesitation, and Pippin followed. Of course, if Pippin wasn't afraid, Sam wasn't about to let on that he was either, and he completed the uneven circle defiantly, placing himself evenly distanced between Pippin and Frodo.

Frodo set the bottle down in the empty space at the center of their small circle and tried a spin, but the coverlet was too soft.

"Hang on a bit." Merry scratched through his pocket and drew out a handful of oddments-- some string, a knife, a few throwing stones... and dice. Sam boggled; his mother had warned him of the evils of tossing dice, and he'd never played a game with them. Merry separated them out from the other things and crammed the left-over items back into his pocket.

Frodo tittered a little. "I should have known why you always have either too much spending money or none at all."

Merry kept one of the dice and put the other in the center. "Frodo's one. I'm two. Pippin, you're three; Sam you're four. Five and sixes roll again."

"What about if it lands on its edges?" Pippin scrambled a little further toward the center of the circle, eager.

"Edges, the person who rolled gets to choose."

"What will our first game be?" Frodo reached and took the carved cube. "We should start small, you know. It makes the game last longer."

"Well, how about playing for truth?" Merry rubbed his hands together. "You tell a truth about yourself, and then one that you think about whoever the die gives you."

"A good plan." Frodo rolled. "Pippin!" he commented with satisfaction. "Very well, Peregrin Took... I think you're too young to be playing at spin the bottle!"

"I am not!" Pippin bristled. "I'll be sixteen next June!"

Merry hid a grin behind his hand. "Pip's precocious, Frodo."

Pippin looked at him uncertainly. "I am not! ...What does that mean?"

Frodo just laughed at him. "I believe he is, at that."

"And your own truth?" Merry prodded him.

Frodo hesitated, then smiled. "My truth is that the three of you are my best friends in all the Shire," he said quietly. Sam felt a tingle of pleasure race through him, though he tried not to show it.

Pippin ignored that, and was still frowning at them as Merry took the die.

Merry rolled a four and looked up at Sam thoughtfully, with a glint of amusement in his eyes. "I think my truth is that when it comes down to it, Sam's probably less ready to play this game than Pippin is for all that he's older than both of us."

Sam squirmed and went crimson. "Well, that just means there's at least one of us as has some good hobbit-sense." He looked away. "I mean, what comes of it if we move along to kissing? I'll have to kiss you, Mr. Merry, or Mr. Pippin or Mr. Frodo, and then we'll have to look at each other forever more, thinking about how we've done that; we can't ever undo it, if you take my meaning."

Merry laughed softly. "Well, Sam, I'll tell you my second truth then. I've already kissed Frodo more than once, and I don't believe he thinks less of me for it."

"I don't," Frodo murmured, and his cheeks were faintly pink.

Sam was brought up sharp; he stared at them, then ducked his head.

"It's my turn," Pippin took the die from Merry and tossed it. "Oh. Myself." He blinked at the three.

"You tell two truths about yourself, then, Pip."

"That's no fun!" Pippin sighed, greatly put-upon. "All right, then. "I never... you know. Lay with anyone. Not yet."

"And this is supposed to surprise us?" Frodo whispered loudly to Merry, clearly meaning to be heard.

Pippin seized a pillow and flung it at Frodo's head; Merry caught it and swung, catching him soundly. There was a scuffle and Sam rescued the die before it could be kicked off the bed; matters concluded with all the pillows behind Frodo's back. He laughed, leaning back comfortably. "Tell us something we don't know next time."

"All right, then!" Pippin swallowed hard, his face defiant. "When I dream at night, those dreams, you know, sometimes I... I dream about you, Merry." He pushed the words out in a rush.

That made Merry blush; he reached and covered Pippin's hand with his own for a moment without speaking.

"That's the kind of truth we want to hear," Frodo murmured approval. "Sam, it's your turn."

Sam rolled the die, which showed him a five, and then rolled again. He stared down at the single pip with a sense of doom.

"Let's have a good one, Sam," Merry encouraged him.

"I think..." Sam hesitated, words bottled up in his throat. "I think Mr. Frodo has prettier eyes than any lass in the Shire." He blurted, and clenched his hands in his lap, overcome by embarrassment. "Or any lad, either."

Merry chuckled. "Well, he's not going to resent you for a compliment like that, Sam, so you can stop cringing like a kicked pup."

Frodo's hand fell lightly on Sam's shoulder, kneading there for a moment. "Thank you, Sam."

"And your truth about you?" Pippin pressed him.

"I think that would be that when we're done I'm going to go home and ask my Gaffer to give me a strapping for getting involved in this game in the first place," Sam tried to joke, but he felt hot-faced and wretched.

"It's all right, Sam." Frodo took the die from his sweaty hand. "I think it's time we moved to a new game."

"Agreed." Merry nodded his head.

"You just don't want to have to tell things as good as Sam and I told," Pippin protested.

"No, we want to get on to the kissing," Merry cuffed him fondly. "Don't you?"

"Well, when you put it that way." Pippin beamed at them all. "That is what we play next, isn't it Frodo?"

"If you want." Frodo laughed. He rolled the die briskly, and it tumbled to a halt showing two spots. Sam blew out a breath of relief.

"Merry?" Frodo's mouth curved slyly, and he turned to face his cousin.

Merry grinned and walked toward Frodo on his knees; Frodo's arms went around Merry's waist easily. Sam's eyes went wide; Frodo closed his eyes and lifted his face, and Merry leaned down to touch his lips-- and then didn't pull back for a long span of seconds, his mouth moving lazily on Frodo's, his hands resting on Frodo's arms.

Frodo made a little contented sound in the back of his throat when Merry pulled away at last, and Sam forced himself to look at Pippin-- anywhere but at Frodo. He was so hot with embarrassment and arousal he thought he might burn up like a meadow of dry hay in a grassfire, and he had to shift his legs to ease the growing discomfort there.

Pippin was wide-eyed too, and he licked his lips without seeming conscious of what he was doing. Merry held on to Frodo for a long moment, looking into his eyes, until Frodo suddenly chuckled and pulled away from him.

"Your toss, Merry."

Merry spun the die, and it showed him a two; he lifted his own palm and his lips smacked against it theatrically. That sent Frodo into gales of laughter, and pillows tumbled everywhere as he fell back among them.

Pippin was already reaching for the die, which Merry had dropped. "Hang on, hang on, I want my turn now!" Pippin found the die and threw it; it almost tumbled off the bed, but it landed on edge against Sam's leg.

"I choose Merry!" Pippin announced, and Merry smiled at him-- a little softer than he had at Frodo, with less heat and more fondness.

"Anybody would think you'd kissed a thousand lads and lasses," Frodo laughed. "I'll bet there are none."

"None? None!" Pippin puffed up, his dignity offended. "I'll have you know, I kissed Lily Bracegirdle last midwinter's eve in the pantry at her father's house!"

"She thought he was Hugo Chubb, but Pip intercepted the note she'd sent, and it was too dark in there to tell the difference till it was too late," Merry reported, trying not to grin.

"Merry Brandybuck!" Pippin smacked his arm. "That note was for me!"

"Then why did she scream and drive you out of the pantry after?"

Pippin drew himself up to his full height with pride. "Because I put my hand--"

"Enough!" Frodo laughed. "Just kiss him, and be quick!"

Pippin lifted his mouth expectantly, and Merry leaned in to touch his lips-- but Pippin snaked an arm around his neck and held him in the kiss, and Merry made a startled noise. After a moment Pippin let him go and Merry drew back laughing, licking his lips. "You're not old enough to use your tongue!"

"I am so!"

"He must have learned that from Lily," Frodo shook his head, trying not to laugh again. "Merry, you didn't have a real turn this time. Go again."

Merry took up the die. "I've been kissed more than my share already, so I should let Sam have his turn."

Sam paled, then flushed. "I wouldn't want to go out of place, Mr. Merry." He drew back hastily.

Merry laughed, amused. "Have it your way, but you're missing the fun." He examined the die, polishing it, casting a sidelong glance at Pippin. "I wouldn't want it to roll amiss."

Pippin fairly squirmed with impatience, and Merry rolled-- a five.

"Better polish it some more." Frodo drew his knee up and rested his chin on it.

Merry polished it, and then blew on it, smirking at Pippin. "I've a mind..." he cast, and it fetched up against Frodo, on edge... "to teach you a lesson, Pip."

Pippin's eyes went wide. "Come here," Merry murmured, opening his arms. "I'll show you a thing or two Lily Bracegirdle never heard of."

Pippin hesitated for a moment, then scrambled into Merry's arms and shut his eyes, tilting his head back. "Arms around me, silly Took." Merry laughed, and Pippin obeyed. "Open your mouth." Merry's voice was a little husky. "Not so wide. Like that." He leaned in, pulling Pippin close against him, and his mouth sealed over Pippin's softly.

Pippin cried out, and his arms tightened around Merry; Merry's hand stroked down his back and settled firmly over Pippin's backside and pulled him in close. Sam stared, unable to look away; the muscles of Merry's neck and jaw worked slowly and Pippin made low, strangled noises-- but he wasn't fighting. His fists opened and closed behind Merry's neck, helpless.

Merry finally released Pippin, and their mouths clung together; Pippin held onto Merry, dazed, looking into his eyes. "Oh," he managed at last, his voice shaking.

Merry stroked his cheek, then sat back, and flashed a smirk at Sam. Sam realized he was staring and jerked his eyes away. "Your turn, Sam."

Sam stared down at the die, and Frodo slid it over to lie against his leg; his hand felt cold and clumsy as he picked it up. He turned it over in his hand, refusing to meet anyone's eyes. If Pippin could do it, he could, he told himself, and made himself toss it. His throw went wild, and it rattled on the floor; Merry got up and went to fetch the die.

"It's a six," he reported. "You'd best toss again, Sam."

Sam caught the die automatically, feeling something like a leaf caught in a high wind. He made himself throw, and Frodo shifted just as it touched the coverlet, so that it rolled up against Frodo's thigh... on edge.

"Sam's choice," Merry settled back onto the bed. "Who will you have, Sam?"

Sam felt his toes curl up, and he didn't look to meet anyone's eyes. "Now, I never had no practice," he mumbled, face flaming. "And if you try to use your tongue on me, I'll thrash you, Master Pippin, be you a Took or no."

Pippin bounced across the bed, already recovered, and leaned in, putting his hands on Sam's knees. "Lift up your head," he chided, and set his lips against Sam's, then drew back after a moment. Sam looked up, relieved; his shoulders rose and fell with a quick breath.

"That wasn't so bad, was it, Sam." Frodo's voice was gentle.

"No, it wasn't." Sam handed the die to Frodo as though it were hot nonetheless.

Frodo shook it in his hand and rolled it easily; it came to rest... "Three pips!" Pippin laughed. "That's me."

"But you don't get three kisses," Frodo laughed. Pippin pouted, moving quickly to present himself for his prize.

Frodo took Pippin in his arms and leaned in for a kiss; Pippin went eagerly and his hands quickly moved down Frodo's back, venturing downwards till Frodo pulled away, laughing, and gave Pippin a swat on his backside. "You learn too fast," he sounded a little breathless just the same.

"You went easy on Sam," Merry accused Pippin, who just grinned at him and scrambled back to his place.

Merry took the die and rolled it quickly, with an expert flick of his wrist, and grinned when it came up on four.

"You did that on purpose," Pippin accused him, and Merry flashed him a wink.

"Mr. Merry, I don't think--" Sam babbled as Merry advanced aggressively.

"Don't worry, I won't be putting my tongue in your mouth." Merry reassured him. "I have something better in mind." That didn't precisely make Sam feel any more certain of himself, but he was trapped, and he let Merry pull him close, uncomfortably aware that Frodo and Pippin were watching them closely. Merry's chest was warm and solid, and Merry's arms slid around him-- not too familiar, just around his waist.

Merry's cheek felt soft as it touched Sam's, and then there was liquid heat at Sam's ear. Warm breath flowed over his skin and Sam shuddered, gasping. Merry's whole mouth closed over his ear next, and his tongue was like hot velvet, and then Merry's wet mouth slid down his neck, making all his skin prickle. Sam heard a moan-- and realized it was him even as Merry drew back to grin at him.

"Do that to me!" Pippin begged, tugging Merry's sleeve.

"When it's your turn," Merry smiled at him.

"It's my turn now," Pippin insisted, and didn't wait to roll the die before he pounced on Merry.

Merry made a startled "Mmmf!" as Pippin descended on him, and Frodo drew back to give them room. His thigh brushed Sam's as he drew near, and Sam refused to flinch, carefully looking at the die, which had tumbled to lie against his foot. Pippin managed to wrestle Merry horizontal, but Merry gave as good as he got before finally squirming free, laughing and breathless. Sam sneaked a glance and discovered that the two of them were both quite aroused. He shifted again, uncomfortable and glad of his own loose breeches.

"Pippin," Frodo warned, trying not to laugh. "There's a penalty for cheating..."

Pippin's eyes went round as he listened. "You won't make me stop playing?"

"I'll have Merry give you a spanking," Frodo smirked then, and left Pippin to think on that. "Sam, it's your turn again-- Pippin's forfeited his."

Sam's hand clenched around the die so hard it hurt; he tossed it swiftly, and one pip showed when it came to a stop. He didn't look up for a long moment, trying to breathe.

"Sam?" Frodo's voice was soft. Frodo shifted closer; his whole thigh lay against Sam's now.

"If you want me to, I'll throw again, Mr. Frodo," Sam murmured, his shoulders drawing in. "It didn't roll proper like."

"Why should I want that?" Frodo's breath was warm on his cheek. "I invited you to come and play with us, didn't I?" Sam looked up at that, and Frodo's eyes were all that he could see, bright and inviting and unafraid.

His hand moved without any conscious effort of his will, and his rough palm settled against the curve of Frodo's cheek; Frodo's curls brushed against his fingertips. Sam held his breath as he leaned in and touched his mouth to Frodo's very softly; he didn't dare open his lips or move them against Frodo's skin, but Frodo's lips were already parted and his tongue brushed lightly against Sam's lower lip before Sam drew back.

Sam sat very still for a moment, then forced his hand to drop; as he turned away he let his tongue flicker out to taste his lip where Frodo's tongue had touched it. He shifted, uncomfortable, in near as bad a state as Pippin, who was snuggled against Merry now, smiling at Sam, unembarrassed by his obvious arousal. Sam didn't dare look at Frodo, but Frodo was still sitting very near to him, his leg warm against Sam's.

"New round," Merry observed. "Time to up the ante again?"

Sam's heart dipped; he didn't believe he could stand to venture more than he'd already done. A warm, nervous feeling fluttered in his stomach, and it didn't help his condition-- much more of this and he wouldn't be able to hide his state of mind just by bending his leg.

"That's fine with me," Frodo sounded a little odd, his voice a bit lower and rougher than Sam was accustomed to.

"I'm in," Pippin agreed quickly. "That's three to one." Sam was outnumbered, and he gave a quick nod, not meeting anyone's eyes-- he couldn't bear to, not with the taste of Frodo's mouth still lingering on his lips.

"Well, you two have already started this," Frodo mock-glared at Merry and Pippin. "But this time, let's play hands-free."

"Hands free?" Pippin frowned.

"You can put your hands anywhere you like, silly," Merry elbowed him, but not with malice.

Pippin brightened. "That sounds fine!"

Frodo rolled the die between his palms, and tossed it, and it came to a rest on its edge. Sam felt relief and waited for him to call Merry's name or possibly Pippin's, but he was so surprised that he flinched when Frodo's hand settled on his own shoulder. "I choose you," Frodo murmured. "Turn around to me, Sam."

He could not disobey, but turned toward Frodo blindly, and felt Frodo's hands steady him. "Breathe, Sam." Amusement silvered Frodo's voice, and Frodo's fingers played at Sam's throat for a moment, then on his chest, and as Frodo leaned in, his hand slipped inside Sam's opened shirt.

Frodo's lips were soft and wet, and his tongue was inside Sam's mouth, and his fingers closed on Sam's nipple. Sam wailed low in his throat, and he knew not where his own hands went. He opened to Frodo helplessly, his eyes tightly shut, the world spinning around him in a dizzy blur of sensation.

Frodo's tongue danced against his, and his hands were warm and sure-- one kept playing on Sam's nipple, plucking it and setting Sam's whole body to vibrating like a harp wrung with music, the other steadied his head for the kiss. Sam had to gasp for breath when Frodo finally drew away; he wasn't sure if he was able to talk, or how much time might have passed, or even what his own name was, truth be told.

Sound penetrated to Sam dimly, insubstantial next to the warmth in Frodo's smiling eyes-- Pippin's voice, hushed and hungry. "Oh, my, Merry, did you see?"

"Hsh." Merry quieted Pippin.

Frodo smiled down at Sam and slipped his hand out of Sam's shirt, and Sam realized he was on his back on the bed with Frodo atop him, but he had no idea how he came to be there. His own hands were on Frodo's back-- they had not remembered to venture anywhere more daring, but he could hardly have expected them to. Frodo's legs were tangled with his, and it took a moment for him to roll away and sit up; dimly Sam knew Frodo had to have felt his arousal. He couldn't remember whether he had felt anything that meant Frodo might be aroused too, and he was too shy to check and see, his cheeks burning as he pushed himself upright again.

Merry had found the die and was holding it, looking at it thoughtfully. "I think we've sorted ourselves out for the evening, don't you, Frodo?"

Frodo nodded. "Let's finish this round, then change the game," he suggested. "Merry, you and Pip take your turn."

Sam's heart hammered in his ears, and he wasn't sure he understood what he was hearing. Sorted themselves out...? Into couples? But it couldn't be; Frodo couldn't possibly be meaning that he intended to pair with Sam... but Merry was pocketing the die and turning to Pippin; the decision was made.

Merry hardly needed to reach out; Pippin was practically in his lap already. "All right, Pip," Merry let Pippin arrange himself in his lap. "You just say if I do something you don't like."

"Like you could." Pippin squirmed until he was comfortable, and his mouth met Merry's, already parted in anticipation of the kiss.

Merry kissed him for a long while, then trailed his mouth back to Pippin's ear and down along his throat. Pippin let his head fall to the side and moaned softly; Merry found his nipple through his shirt and tweaked it, producing a sharp yelp and squirm.

Sam felt Frodo settle against him, leaning on his shoulder, and he shifted carefully to make room and support him, hardly daring to believe what was happening. He realized then that he'd forgotten to fasten his shirt again after the last turn. It hung open, but felt too self-conscious to fasten it, for Frodo sighed with contentment and melted against him. Sam could see that his eyes were heavy-lidded as he watched his cousins.

At last Merry released Pippin; Pippin had a bright red mark low on his throat, and his hand rose to cover it, but he only squirmed deeper into Merry's lap. "Now what will we play?" Pippin murmured, his voice lazy with contentment.

"Copycat. Hands free above the waist?" Merry suggested, and Frodo nodded assent.

"I'll copy you then, Merry, and Sam and Pippin can copy each other." Frodo sounded lazy and warm, his voice purring against Sam's shoulder.

Sam trembled as Merry nodded. "You start."

"All right." Frodo moved against Sam; he stayed very still as Frodo's hand ventured around, opening his shirt once more. Then Frodo's dark head bent, and Sam closed his eyes and bit his lip to hold back his cry as Frodo's hot wet mouth covered his nipple, and Frodo suckled at it, his tongue flicking against its tip.

"Oooooh," Pippin breathed. "Merry, yes, do that to me!"

"And you have to be quiet, too, like Sam," Merry teased Pippin softly.

Frodo lifted his head, his mouth wet and his eyes shining; he nodded toward Merry and Pippin, and Sam obediently watched as Merry unfastened Pippin's shirt and bent to kiss him.

Pippin struggled to stay quiet, laying his arm over his mouth, but failed, arching up against Merry's tongue with a strangled moan. Merry raised his head again at last, and he and Pippin composed themselves, waiting.

"Now you do something, Sam, and Pippin will copy you," Frodo prompted him gently.

Sam blinked. His eyes wandered over Frodo, and he felt lost, unsure where to begin, afraid to touch Frodo intimately... he finally licked his lips, nervous, and reached out, brushing Frodo's hair back, very carefully tracing the curve and point of his ear with his fingertips before pulling away. Frodo let him, eyes closed and head tilted.

"Oh, Sam!" Pippin muttered, annoyed. Sam flushed and snatched his hand away, mortified with embarrassment.

Pippin sighed and copied him quickly-- but not without gentleness, and Merry smiled.

"All right, now it's our turn. I'll go first, and Frodo will copy me, then Sam has to copy Pip." Merry eyed Pippin thoughtfully. For his part, Pippin turned a wicked glance on Sam, promising him embarrassment, and Sam swallowed hard.

Merry reached for Pippin's shirt again, and opened it completely, then slid it off his shoulders and sat back, satisfied with himself. "Frodo?"

Sam stared round-eyed at Frodo, forgetting to be too shy to look into his face. Frodo's lips were curved in a soft pleased arc and his fingers ghosted forward gently, trailing starfire across Sam's skin as they pushed back his shirt-- never leaving Sam's skin even as he guided the shirt across his chest and down over his shoulders and arms, taking much longer about it than Merry had, and then dropping it to one side.

Sam's breath was coming short and fast by the time that it was done, and he could scarcely move. Pippin was ready for his turn, though, and he caught Sam's attention impatiently. "Now, you watch. I'll be making certain you do this right!"

Pippin lay back, right beneath Merry's eyes. He trailed his hand across his bare chest, deliberately teasing at his nipples, and licked his lips. "Merry..." he whispered, low and sultry. "I want you to make love to me, Merry." He reached up and pulled Merry down on top of him and kissed him deeply, but not for too long-- he was eager to get some of his own back from Sam, that much was apparent.

"I can't do that!" Sam squeaked.

"You can't?" Frodo looked at him sadly, disappointment heavy in every line of his face and body.

"I...!" Sam swallowed hard. "Do you truly want me to?" He was faltering, and he knew it-- he could not resist the smile that curved Frodo's lips as he raised his eyes to meet Sam's again. Their blue was liquid with heat.

Sam lay back, trembling, licking his lips, his nerves jangling. His skin felt strange to him under his fingertips-- pebbled with chill and anticipation, and his nipples were taut; his own touch was an almost unbearable sensation. It felt good even through the stress and fear that filled him. "Mr. Frodo." His voice broke into a husky rasp, and he cleared his throat. "M-make... make love to me, Mr. Frodo; I want you to." Something deep and raw was bared in him, and he saw his answer kindle in Frodo's eyes, and after that it was almost easy to pull Frodo down onto him and claim his mouth. He was absurdly aware of Frodo's buttons pressing cold against his bare skin.

Merry nudged Pippin jovially after Frodo rose. "It looks like you have to try harder to find something he won't do."

Pippin swallowed. "I didn't think he'd say it..."

Frodo smiled at them, almost secretly. "I did." He sat back and gave Sam a hand up. "It's my turn now." Frodo sat back on his heels and reached to the buttons of his shirt; he unfastened them very slowly, drawing his nails against the smooth skin of his chest, and then pulled one sleeve off his shoulder, waiting for Sam's eyes to meet his before he let it drop to his wrists.

"He should put on a show at the Inn in Bywater," Merry mumbled, but he sounded more admiring than irate.

Frodo turned, lifting his trapped arms to let Sam pull away the shirt, and Sam did, his eyes feasting on Frodo's slim, bare back and his arms, then on his chest and nipples as he turned around again.

Pippin was feasting his eyes too, and Merry had to nudge him. "Hey, there, are you with him or with me?"

"With you," Pippin tried to look innocent, and Merry frowned at him, and then did his very best to outdo Frodo-- but to Sam's critical eye, he didn't have either the grace or the body to make as good a show of it. However, Pippin seemed quite pleased, and was flushed when Merry finished, eyeing him with open want.

Now it was Sam's turn, and once again he found himself at a loss, wanting to touch Frodo's slim body, but afraid to. "Sam..." Frodo murmured, reading his yearning in his eyes. "Touch me, Sam."

Sam reached out, trembling, and set his fingertips against Frodo's chest; his lashes slid shut as he let his hand wander, lightly touching the plane of Frodo's ribs, tracing one nipple, learning the fragile curve of his collarbone. Pippin's exaggerated sigh finally brought him back to reality.

"What's the matter, Pip, don't you want to touch me?" Merry complained.

"I want to touch you considerably more than that," Pippin grumbled. His hands quickly busied themselves on Merry, and grew a good deal more adventurous than Sam's, too. "Now it's my turn," he announced at last. "Merry, give me your hand." Pippin was blushing a little, and Sam bit his lip, anxious.

"Next time, give me something to work with, Sam," Pippin grumbled, "And I won't have to keep showing you what you should get up to." Pippin reached out, delicately flickering his tongue over the pads of Merry's fingers. Merry sighed and let his eyes close, and Pippin settled on Merry's middle finger, drawing it deep into his mouth.

"Oh, dear," Sam murmured.

Pippin let the finger slide out of his mouth, circled the tip of it with his tongue, and sucked it down again; Sam felt Frodo leaning more heavily against him, his breath fast. "Sam, Sam..." Frodo whispered, his voice soft with hunger, and he swayed heavily against Sam's shoulder.

"Pippin, stop!" Merry sounded strangled. "I can't--"

Pippin drew back, looking at Merry with wide eyes. "Did I hurt you?"

"No, I... no." Merry tried to breathe, and Frodo chuckled, low and breathy next to Sam's ear.

Sam made himself take a deep breath, then another. He reached for Frodo's hand as though he were in a dream, feeling shy but determined, and kissed each fingertip reverently before touching it with his tongue, then set the pad of Frodo's longest finger between his lips, and looked up to meet Frodo's eyes as he drew it deep into his mouth. Frodo's skin was salty, and his eyes were blue fire, burning into Sam's.

Sam sucked at his finger, daring, then pulled away and licked slowly around the tip of it-- he knew enough to understand the act he was imitating, but the hitch in Frodo's breathing gave him confidence as he plunged down onto Frodo's finger again, then rose to nip and suck at the tip, then down again. Frodo's free hand twined into his hair and Sam let it guide him, and then let it gently ease him away after a few strokes. He kissed Frodo's fingertip again, and held Frodo's hand against his face, his eyes closed.

"There you are, Pippin," Merry sounded shaky. "Youth and daring go a long way, but age and experience stay the course."

"New round, new rules," Frodo managed to speak at last, after clearing his throat. "Hands free, anywhere."

Sam trembled, but kept his gaze steady on Frodo. "All right, Mr. Frodo," he answered softly, before either Merry or Pippin could speak.

"Ooooh!" Pippin bounced. "I want to start!"

"I may not survive this," Merry grumbled good-naturedly, but he opened his arms for Pippin.

"Lie down," Pippin tugged and pushed at him, arranging him to his satisfaction, and then laid himself in the crook of Merry's arm.

"Why do I have a feeling I know what you're planning?" Merry purred, raising one knee and looking up into Pippin's face.

"Ssh," Pippin hushed him, then leaned in for a kiss-- and sure enough, his hand stroked down over Merry's belly to his waistband and then lower, coming to rest over the ridge that strained at Merry's trousers.

Sam made a noise of protest, shifting uncomfortably, ducking his head away from Frodo as he remembered that he would have to repeat Pippin's bold action himself. Frodo nuzzled softly at his ear, his hand stroking up and down Sam's back. Sam quivered, every nerve alight to Frodo's touch.

Pippin's hand moved up and down along Merry, defining the shape and length of him, pressing and stroking. Merry's hips arched up to meet the touch, and his arm closed around Pippin, his other hand coming up to slide into Pippin's hair.

Frodo's lips ghosted against Sam's neck. "Sam?"

Sam gulped, then turned to Frodo and helped him lie down, just as Pippin had arranged Merry. Frodo went easily, his limbs supple and obedient to Sam's touch, and Sam had to pause for breath, struggling to control all the feelings that were at war inside him. Seeing his master so sensual and willing-- anticipating his touch...

Sam lay down with his head upon Frodo's shoulder and composed himself for a long moment, not yet daring to move, then reached to tip Frodo's face toward his and leaned up to kiss him.

Frodo's mouth was liquid silk, open and purely willing, and there was smooth skin under Sam's palm-- slender muscle, the ripple of Frodo's ribs and the flatness of his belly. Then the shallow dip of his navel. Sam very nearly lost his courage at the waistband of Frodo's trousers, but Frodo's hand was waiting for him there, and it guided his down and settled it where it should go.

Sam made a broken sound into the kiss, his hand closing over Frodo as though it knew its business there, moving lightly, seeking out the length of him through the cloth. Frodo was smaller than he was, more delicate, but very hard, pushing up into his palm now as though begging for more of Sam's touch.

"Time," Merry called. "Sam? Time! Sam!" The words finally penetrated the haze of desire in Sam's brain, and he tore himself away, looking down at Frodo's kiss-stung lips. He was no longer in the mood to continue with the interruptions of the game, but he forced himself to pull away and offer Frodo his hand, helping him sit up again.

Frodo's chest rose and fell with quick heavy breaths, and he curled up under Sam's arm, his arm slipping around Sam's waist. Sam turned to press a kiss into his hair, feeling fiercely tender and oddly defensive.

Merry cleared his throat. "Frodo, this isn't going to last much longer," he warned.

"No," Frodo agreed softly. "Take your turn, then we'll try one more round, I think."

Merry nodded and squared his shoulders, then turned to Pippin. "Your turn, Pip." He moved behind Pippin, pulling him between his knees, then reached out and set his hand over Pippin's arousal briefly. After a moment his fingers attacked the ties of Pippin's breeches and pulled them open.

Sam felt Frodo moving behind him in unison with Merry; he whimpered and let his head fall back, not caring whether Frodo copied Merry or not, just wanting his touch. Needing it, craving it-- there, yes. Frodo's hands were soft, warm, and gentle. They moved skillfully on him, and Sam surrendered himself wholly, moving with them.

He bleated softly with disappointment when they left him, blinking and lifting his head. Pippin's eyes were on him, and though Pippin looked dazed and drowsy-eyed, Sam covered himself instinctively, embarrassed.

"Last round pays for all?" Frodo murmured, his voice thick and husky.

Merry nodded. "Pip? Do you want to keep playing?"

"Yes, Merry..." Pippin was nearly purring. "Then we'll have a late supper and play again?" He sounded hopeful.

Frodo reached around and touched Sam's brow, smoothing away an errant curl. "If we all want to." He sounded a little wistful. "All right, Merry, you start."

Merry sat back to think for a moment, then moved away from Pippin and beckoned for Frodo to do the same with Sam. "Both of us together, Frodo, and the one who's out of them first wins." His hands went to his belt, and Frodo nodded, matching the pose. Clothing flew in a flurry of belts and suspenders and homespun linen; Sam and Pippin watched wide-eyed. Frodo finished fastest, kneeling over Sam breathing fast; Sam didn't know where to look first-- at his master's face or at his arousal. No matter where he looked, it seemed like he could see both.

"Merry..." Pippin sounded shy for a change. "Merry, I meant what I said about you making love to me, I didn't say it just to torment Sam!"

"I know," Merry murmured, and leaned in to kiss him.

"I meant it too," Sam managed to utter, and Frodo's face softened with love and desire.

That seemed to count for his and Pippin's turn; before Sam knew it Frodo was drawing his breeches off him, gazing down at him as though memorizing him, his fingertips stroking lightly at Sam's belly, tracing the soft line of fur that led downwards. Sam no longer knew if Merry and Pippin were in the room with them; he only had eyes for Frodo as Frodo's knee parted his thighs and Frodo eased his weight down onto Sam's body.

Sam clutched at him, whimpering, as Frodo rocked their bodies together, kissing his way from Sam's chest up to his mouth, his mouth hot and hungry on Sam's, his tongue matching the rhythm of their bodies. Sam felt the smooth sweet skin of Frodo's hips under his palms, and he thrust upward sturdily, swallowing Frodo's cry. Lost in pleasure, he rolled Frodo under him, half-bearing his own weight on his arms as he speeded the rhythm building between them.

"Sam!" Frodo cried, and writhed under him, sleek and agile as an eel, clutching at Sam's arms, then raking his fingers down Sam's back desperately.

"Love you, Mr. Frodo," Sam choked, and the feeling burst from him in an explosion of pleasure that dwarfed the best of Gandalf's fireworks or the dragons of legend. Frodo gave a wordless cry and arched up to meet him, his fingers tightening hard on Sam's hips.

Sam barely had the sense to roll off Frodo afterward; only his master's gasps reminded him that he was heavy. He felt warm skin at his back but didn't care whether it was Merry or Pippin or the Mayor Will Whitfoot himself-- he wasn't moving. For the time being, he only had eyes for Frodo, who lay curled in the hollow of his body, sweat-slicked and panting, his belly wet.

A last cry echoed in Sam's ears-- Merry, from the sound of it; Pippin was already gasping and spent. When Sam eventually managed to lift an eyelid and peer at them, Merry was gentling Pippin, who was sobbing on his shoulder.

"Pip?" Merry's voice was tender and frightened. "Did I hurt you?"

"He's young," Frodo murmured softly. "It takes some people that way. I cried too, my first time."

"Merry... do you love me, Merry?" Pippin lifted frightened, reddened eyes.

"Yes, Pip." Merry kissed him softly. "Don't cry." He cradled Pippin on his chest with fierce tenderness, looking at Sam, his expression apologetic, half-embarrassed, and half-aggressive with his protectiveness for Pippin.

"I'll fetch a basin and some cloths," Sam murmured. "We could all use some cleaning up, seemingly." He rose without meeting Frodo's eyes, keenly aware that he was naked, making a rapid escape by padding out into the hall.

He was older than Pippin, and he would not let anyone see him cry over their game, but his heart would not rest, either-- not until he knew Frodo's mind. Was it only a game? He suspected that was why Pippin was crying; he didn't know if it was or if it wasn't, and his heart was all tangled up over Merry the same way Sam's was over Frodo.

Sam got the basin and poured up hot water from a kettle over the kitchen fire; he found clean cloths to carry with it back to the bedroom, making certain his face did not betray his fear before he entered, but it didn't seem to matter-- Frodo was anxious, sitting up with his feet on the floor, making ready to come after him.

"Sam..." he murmured, and his smile lit his face like the Sun. Sam's breath caught in his chest; there was fondness and love there, at any rate. He smiled back and tended Frodo himself even while Merry wiped Pippin's tears. Frodo sighed luxuriantly and smiled at him.

"There are cheese and bread waiting on the table in the kitchen. I'll come with you to get them, and then we'll all have a bite and curl up to sleep. That is, if you'll stay?" Frodo's eyes were suddenly troubled, and he looked at Sam anxiously. Sam's heart fluttered.

"That I will," he said, and they went out into the kitchen together.


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