West of the Moon

A Tolkien Fanfiction Archive



Where An Argument Leads You
They haven't been arguing. Really.
Author: Dana
Rating: NC-17


"Been arguing, eh?"

Merry fixes Pippin with a piercing glare, a look he knows from personal experience to be accompanied by a rather like-minded frown. Pippin, though, doesn't seem to much mind Merry's irritation as he flashes a quick grin, the sort that shows off a flash of hard white teeth, and then he turns back in his seat to the all important task of buttering a scone. Merry walks across the width of the kitchen and is left standing at the table, though he doesn't go any further than that and take his own seat. He glances down at Pippin, who is busy licking butter from his fingers. Haven't you any manners? he wants to say, though it isn't as if his words would matter.

Anyhow, they're not what he's wanting to say.

If Pippin had been sitting here five minutes past, as Merry is sure he had been, then he would have seen Frodo storming out down the hall from his bedroom. He would have heard the door when it slammed and he would have heard the shouting, too, the shouting that Merry already wished he could forget.

Well, Merry thinks, at least he only has to manage Pippin. Sam is already long gone for the day, having left with his old Gaffer and his young sister Marigold, too, for the visiting of relations in parts hence. Merry knew, as it had been much earlier in the day, and he'd been there with Frodo when Sam had regretfully let his master know, and Frodo had allowed it, of course, and no, Sam, I don't mind. Pippin, ever the rascal, had yet to rise from bed.

Merry thinks back. Whatever had caused their row? He and Frodo weren't known to argue often, but argue they had. He honestly doesn't know the cause, and it worries him, knowing that he doesn't.

Pushing at those thoughts, he says instead, steeling what irritation he can: "We haven't been arguing, Pip. And even if we had been, it isn't any business of yours to be sticking your nose in. I didn't think you were one for gossip. And you needn't sound so smug."

Pippin doesn't look up from the array of his baked goods. "Have too, Merry, and it isn't gossip when I haven't any intention of sharing it with anyone but you. And if you want to know how I know you've been arguing, and this is ignoring certain other facts and just this evidence I have at hand; you're blushing. Now, what this means," and Pippin pauses, taking a bite, chewing and then swallowing, "is, unless you just had yourself a bout of phenomenal up-against-the-wall-sex that I somehow managed to not hear, which is a something I find highly unlikely given that Bag End's walls really aren't all that thick as you might think and the sound does carry from Frodo's room, so I most certainly would have heard, the only other reason you'd be blushing is because you've gone and gotten yourself into a shouting match with our very dear cousin, Frodo, who would have course been shouting back. You really are a stubborn bastard when you want to be, Merry. No wonder Frodo gets so tired of you as he does, with you always nattering on and fooling around." With that, as though it needed accompaniment, Pippin finishes off the first of his scones.

Merry sputters, at a loss for words. His first thought is, yes, Pippin had heard, and isn't that just what he needed? His second is, of course, that he didn't need this, and why was it just his luck? "Pippin! I - Language!" He swallows, then makes a vague though sweeping gesture with his right hand, forefinger left pointing straight at Pippin - straight at Pippin's nose, that is, as Pippin turns and looks up. There is a smile on his mouth, yes, as Merry would have expected, and his eyes are shining, bright in their mischief. The look, given Pippin's near-audacity and the fact that he knew, leaves Merry feeling distinctly out of sorts.

"What Frodo and I do or don't do on our own time is none of your business, Pippin. And it would be best if you - "

"If I what?" Pippin asks, blinking as Merry's fingers waver, then continuing on. "Well, it really is all your fault, Merry - Frodo's, that is, as he is quite vocal, but you're to blame, as well, as you're the one who was making him make those noises. I suppose if you and he weren't so loud, then I wouldn't - "

Merry sputters, again. His blush deepens. He almost feels that his cheeks will burn, or are burning already, and he will go up in a great plume of red-gold flame. Burn away into ashes, yes, and he will leave nothing more substantial than dust. "Pippin!"

Pippin looks away, shrugging inelegantly as he butters and then bites into the next of his scones. "What, Merry? Would you rather I have called you a bitch's whelp? Or perhaps a cock-tease, cousin, which really doesn't fit? It's all somewhat relative, I think. Now - oh, goodness," and at least the teasing goes from Pippin's voice, and he sounds somewhat more sympathetic than he only just had. "You look like you need a sit down, Merry. You haven't much colour left in your cheeks."

Merry nods at the concern in Pippin's voice, and notes that he did feel more light-headed that could be good for a hobbit, and Merry then lets himself drop down into the chair that was next to Pippin's, already pulled out from the table. Pippin wordlessly hands Merry the scone he had prepared, and then another, this one untouched. Merry takes them, one in each hand, eating first one and then the other.

"Feeling better, now? And how about a sip of my tea?"

Merry nods. "Thank you," he replies, though his voice cracks.

Pippin quite anxiously puts his teacup into Merry's hands. Merry's hands shake, in turn, and his fingers clutch the air about him, noticeably nervous. Pippin put his hands on Merry's right arm. "Look, Merry. I'm sorry for teasing you - I was just having a bit of fun, and you needn't take it so seriously."

"I know, Pip." Merry brings the teacup to his mouth, then says: "It doesn't help that you're right."

Pippin smiles at him, and strokes his hand up Merry's arm, lightly, as though soothing a small lad. Then, and he taps his fingers lightly at Merry's elbow, and he is smiling still, he says: "Well, that's rare. Something that doesn't happen all that often, I know, so I can see why you didn't want to admit to the truth. Feeling better, now? You've got a bit more colour back in your cheeks."

Merry nods his head, then brings the cup back to his mouth. The tea is still mostly warm, and he sips, as Pippin then rather absently says: "Next time, you should invite me to join. Elsewise, I'll invite myself in on my own."

Merry coughs, and chokes, and spits tea down Pippin's front. Pippin blinks, then blinks again, and his mouth twists in a rather fierce grimace. "Well, thank you, cousin. I suppose I should be heartened, knowing that the thought of being with me sickens you so - "

Merry gasps and coughs weakly, shaking his head. "Pip, s'not that, just that - "

Pippin reaches for a hand-towel, and brushes it down his damp shirt. He hasn't lifted his gaze, and Merry coughs again, feeling awful, and dearly wanting to clear his throat. "What?" Pippin says, though has hasn't yet looked up from his task.

"It's just - well - I don't know - I mean - "

Pippin still has yet to lift his gaze, and he laughs. "You're not doing very well, Merry. Try thinking out what you want to say, and then try saying it. Might work a bit better, if you try it just so."

"Yes, well, I know that, and you're absolutely awful, did you know that?" Merry feels his mouth twist in a grimace, and he eyes Pippin, who at last did look up from the mess he had been cleaning. "Whyever did I keep you?" Merry continues. Then, and there is more he wants to say, but those words falter, though, at the light in Pippin's eyes: so very, very clear.

"Pip - "

"I suppose I understand. You shouldn't worry yourself over me, Merry - I am still rather young, so I shouldn't be surprised, and I'm not, and there should be no harm in a simple jest." Pippin lowers his gaze and shakes his head. Merry reaches out, takes the towel, then sets it back down on the table. He takes Pippin by both hands.

"Pippin, it's not that. It's just - well, Frodo and I, we have something."

Pippin mumbles something vague and rather unintelligible, mostly under his breath. "You haven't anything, Merry," he then says, so that Merry could hear. "You're a distraction, and nothing more - and don't think I'd say such, just for want of being cruel. That isn't how I am, Merry, even if I do like to tease."

"Oh, Pip - "

"See? Look at that, Merry - you don't even deny it, all that I have to say."

"Well, I - "

"I'm not often so right."

Merry is quiet. Pippin is, as well, unusually so. "I suppose I ought to go look for him," Merry says, at length. "Apologize for being such a fool, and see if he'd want to - well, you know."

Pippin does look up, then, and smiles - rather smugly, as he had before. "So, I'm right again? More than once, and all in one conversation. That really is something, don't you think?"

Merry manages a laugh, and squeezes Pippin's hands. "I do."

"Go look for him, then. He's let off his steam by now, or maybe he needs you there so he can let off the rest." There, that mischief in his eyes, again, and Merry almost forgets that Pippin had only half bared his heart to him, and had twisted Merry's from off his sleeve. "If anything, perhaps he needs you to lend him a hand. I hear that - "

"Don't finish that, Pippin. But finish your scones."

He leaves his cousin there and goes out from the kitchen, twisting is fingers in his collar as he walks down the hall. He hadn't meant to argue with Frodo and, truth be told, he doesn't know what it was they'd been arguing over in the start. Merry knows that, if he'd not been out of sorts already, he'd not have taken what he had from Pippin. Still, the lad was less a lad day by day, and he was more often coming out on the top of these situations. Really made it quite difficult for Merry, as he didn't know what to think.

But he hadn't meant to fight with Frodo and, now that he knew that he had, at least, that he had admitted it, he feels like an awful fool. Would Frodo speak to him again? Or would he send him from Bag End, not ever to return? Merry doesn't like the thought of it. He is rather fond of Frodo, in more ways than just one, and if Frodo didn't any longer want him around... He definitely doesn't want to be thinking about all that Pippin had said. Merry hadn't been able to deny it, at the time, but surely he could. It simply is that he had been pressed too hard, and it was understandable that he had been at a loss for words. Merry isn't all that often one for being at a loss for words.

He heaves a heavy sigh. Best not to think on it. Not when he'll be talking on it, and soon enough.

Merry doesn't have to think hard on where to find Frodo. At the Party Tree, and it isn't that Frodo was sulking, but he did not look at all happy, and as Merry approaches, Frodo's chin rises and his gaze lifts and he fixes Merry with the most livid of scowls.

"What do you want?"

Merry heaves a heavy sigh. "A truce, perhaps? Frodo, I don't want to fight."

Frodo's expression is guarded. "You have nerve, Merry. If I'd not left, I'd have split your lip."

Merry stops a hobbit's length from Frodo, and squats down, crossing his arms over his knees. Merry sets his gaze upon Frodo, and though he fees like frowning, it seems that he can not help but smile. "Here you sit, acting as though I'd no punches planned to throw in return."

Frodo makes a rather unhappy sound - a disgusted sigh, perhaps, and Merry threads his fingers together, pressing his palms one against the other. It is not easy to talk with Frodo, not when he is so wary of wearing his heart out in the open, most especially upon his sleeve. It has never been very easy to talk with Frodo, really, even those times when Merry had otherwise convinced himself that it was. "And? What else have you to say?"

"Nothing much, cousin. I haven't the faintest why we rowed."

Frodo does not look surprised. "It seemed situational. At least, it fit at the time."

"Just happened, eh?"

Frodo nods. His expression is now only glum. "Indeed."

"Shall we go back to Bag End? Pippin - "

"He heard us, didn't he?" Frodo sighs, then looks ashamed. He sighs, again, and rubs the back of his hand across his eyes, then lets his hand flop back against his knee. "Well, wouldn't that have been something. I don't know if I can look him in the eyes."

"He's too short to look in the eye, Frodo. Don't you worry about Pip."

Frodo looks as though he might scowl, but then he laughs. "What fools we are."

"I think he agrees."

"Are you very sure - I mean, that you don't know what it is we were arguing over? What it was that made me want to hit you so that you'd still be feeling it when you were old and grey?" Frodo, at least, looks mostly even handed. And Merry knows well enough from experience that Frodo does know how to hit. At least Frodo knows, given those past rows where they had acted more like lads than a grown hobbit and his near-grown cousin, that Merry can hold himself in return.

"I have no idea, dear cousin. Perhaps that's for the best?"

"I suppose it is." Frodo, at last, relaxes, and sighs once more, then shakes his head. "I know I won't mind forgetting."

"Nor will I. Now..."


"Shall we go back to Bag End? I think Pippin is intent on finishing off what's left in the kitchen, and the pantry, too."

Frodo looks thoughtful, and then he closes his eyes, sitting back against the broad trunk of the old tree. Merry is struck, as he often is by Frodo, by just how lovely his cousin really is. Far more fair than, say, Fatty, though that was almost like comparing apples to the stump of an old fallen tree. Dark eyes, yes, and darker hair, and the almost Tookish curve of his face. Though, there is Baggins in him, and something that Merry thinks must have come from Frodo's Brandybuck mother and, when he had had time to soak up sun, as he had this day, a light dusting of dark freckles can be found along the sharp curve of his nose.

Lovely, yes. Just one reason why he did so enjoy Frodo's company, but it was more than that, though Merry has not yet tried to put it to good words. He almost feels that he would trip over himself, if he were to try.

But he is lucky, he knows. That Frodo would have him. They did have something, no matter what Pippin might have said, and he had not been able to say in return. Something, no matter how passing, though Merry does not want to think -

So he doesn't, at least, not of that. And looking at Frodo, now, sun on him setting him to glow and shadow causing him to look somehow less than of this earth, with his mouth parted just so, as though Merry could see and taste Frodo's own breath, how he wants him. For now. To be his.


Frodo does not open his eyes. "Yes?"

"Shall we return to Bag End?"

Frodo's eyes crack open and then widen. "Well, I suppose."

"I would like it," Merry replies.


"Yes. There's things I want to do to you that I wouldn't feel comfortable doing to you while you're against a tree. That we're out in the open, well, I suppose that also factors in. But - "

Frodo puts his hand out, and crooks his forefinger. There is that and something in his eyes and Merry is certain the pace of his heartbeat has doubled and his mouth is suddenly very, very dry, and he is certain that, if he were to try, that he would not be able to speak.

And Frodo says, "Come here."

Frodo did so know how to grab hold of his attention and not let it go.

Merry does, almost tripping over his feet as he did. Frodo sits at the tree with his legs stretched out, and Frodo's hand lifts high. Merry takes it, and then he sits, Frodo's legs pressings firm against his thighs. "Well, hello," Frodo says, and he threads his fingers with Merry's, then puts his left hand at the nape of Merry's neck. To steady him, Merry knows, and as Frodo bends his mouth to his, Merry wonders if Frodo would taste fresh sweet butter and the rich bready taste of the scone he had had. And then he is tasting Frodo, his mouth sweeter, and warm, and the hand at his neck tightens, pressing itself flush against skin.

He almost thinks he will press Frodo right against the tree, and grind him back to the rough bark. He catches Frodo close, and presses him into his embrace. His tongue had felt thick and useless in his mouth, but now he kisses Frodo with what fervor he can. Frodo's hands meet at his waist, then pressing lower, and give Merry's bottom a firm squeeze.

Merry gasps, head falling back. Frodo grins.

"Bag End?" Merry croaks.

"Well - "

"Though we'll need to keep quiet. Pippin said - "

"Pippin heard?" Merry can't tell if Frodo looks as though he would cringe or laugh. Perhaps it would be some awful embarrassed blend of the two. "Perhaps it would be best if I had my way with you here."

"You mean if I had my way with you here. And I would not mind that, you know, as long as you allow me to have my way with you again, once we return to Bag End - "

"Insatiable," Frodo says, and presses his mouth to Merry's, kissing Merry so that Merry feels lightheaded, thinking he might fall and faint. No, he doesn't, and he catches Frodo back in his embrace, pressing him as tight against him as he can. Let Frodo feel him, feel what he wants, feel what Frodo does to him. All very important things, indeed, when his heart is racing, near to bursting in his chest.

They should move from view, Merry knows, but given the day and the slant of the sun, it is certain that the folk about had better things to do than to be looking so intently at the Party Tree, and at the otherwise empty field. He can imagine the fussing that this would cause and what gossiping they would hear in town, but Frodo doesn't care much for the opinions others hold of him, at least when it came to the affairs of his private life. (Much like Pippin, Merry knew, and what a thought to be thinking.) This is, though, hardly private, but perhaps it's better than if it had been.

Merry draws back, breathing in Frodo's breath, and lifts one shaking hand and presses it to the firm hardness he finds at Frodo's trousers, trapped behind such rough, restricting cloth. "Merry - " Frodo gasps, head falling back against the tree. Merry only grins, and wets his lips, and presses his mouth to Frodo's, lightly, licking against Frodo's lips and then pressing that kiss deep.

He works Frodo's trousers opens with that hand, pushing in to the warmth of that cloth. Frodo shivers delightfully beneath his touch, and Frodo's moan is free to open air as Merry drops his mouth to Frodo's neck, sucking on soft skin there until Frodo once against gives out his moan. Frodo's hold on him is firm, still, and Frodo tries to rock him closer, to quicken the pace of Merry's slow moving hand. A near delirious sounding gasp, then, as Merry slides smooth fingers over the hard shape of Frodo's cock, causing Frodo to twitch and gasp and moan as Merry's fingers wrap firm about him, as he pumps him in time to some unheard tune.

"Merry - " Frodo gasps, and he moans, yes, and Merry finds coherent thought, somehow, with the tightness in his own trousers and the hard smooth heat that he moves his hand upon: that Pippin had been right, at least, that they would have been something to be heard. He sets his mouth back against Frodo's, kissing him with tongue and the hard click of teeth as they meet in quick motion, and Frodo squeezes him hard. Again, and then again, and Merry almost thinks he can not take it. Not again. He lets go of Frodo, and Frodo hisses through his disappointment, hips moving and his legs pressing hard against Merry's thighs. Merry grins at him, though, and gives him a light, chaste kiss, then settles down in the tall meadow grass, where he stretches his body out, and pulls Frodo fully free of his trousers.

Frodo hisses, again, then groans, and his hips buck forwards. Merry steadies one hand against him, and one hand at the base of his flushed cock, and he licks sticky fluid from the crown, then sets his mouth about it, sucking slowly, but not yet taking him full in. Frodo groans, one hand threading in Merry's curls, almost vicious as they tug. Grass tickles Merry's cheek. He breathes in the salt of sweat and Frodo's skin, and lowers his mouth upon him. Frodo's legs part as he does, though his trousers were now only barely at his knees, and Merry steadies that hand that had supported the weight of Frodo's cock against his left thigh, taking him in as far as he can. Frodo is holding it in, that want and need to screech and keen, and the hand in Merry's hair tightens. The hand Merry had put at Frodo's hip falls to his own trousers, working one -handed at the fastening and pulling himself free. He feels the shudder of Frodo's body, and trembles in turn, sliding his hand in under warm cloth, and pulling himself free. He works his hand upon himself, groaning, thinking at least that he should match rhythm for pace, which is what he does.

"Merry - " is all Frodo can manage. Merry swirls his tongue along the length of Frodo's hard shaft as he lifts his head, then goes down quickly, this time, and Frodo's breath skips even as he gives a small cry (though it seems his voice had cracked), even as he jerks on his tight hold in Merry's hair.

Steady now, and quick, and Frodo can not stand it. Merry feels the tension of his body, how he holds himself, and Frodo's cry of release is muffled by some something, and salty heat floods Merry's mouth. He sucks it in, and sucks on Frodo even as he moans and twitches. His own hand quickens upon himself, and heat spills, glorious heat.

"Merry, Merry, please - "

He takes all that he can, slowing, caressing with his mouth and tongue, pressing his hand firm against Frodo's thigh and caressing there, as well. Frodo's head knocks back against the tree trunk, Frodo now out of breath, and Merry lets him free of his mouth, then eases himself up.

"Well, hello," Frodo says, again, and he re-threads his hand in Merry's hair and brings his mouth back to Merry's, kissing his own taste from Merry's lips, pressing deep with his tongue. When Merry can draw back, he does, and feathers light kisses across the shape of Frodo's face. Something, yes, something. They have something, and that could not - would not - cannot be denied.

"I would take you - " he whispers, and grins, pressing his forehead to Frodo's, their brows slick with the heat of the day, and the heat of their bodies. Frodo tightens his hold in Merry's hair, and smiles fond enough as he gives a quick tug.

"When I can walk again, and you can walk, too," Frodo says, and smiles, "we shall make our way to Bag End."

And they do.

The oil is where it should be, in Frodo's bedside table, right at the back, and Merry pushes Frodo back onto his bed, though Frodo is of course willing enough to go. It is a good type of oil, only faintly floral, though Merry knows if the smell of musty books could be bottled, that Frodo might better enjoy that lingering scent. But it is good, yes, for long massages and easing strained muscles, yes. Of course, it is good for others things, as well, such as easing the strains of wanting bodies, too. They had kissed, again, when they had come in from the sunny hot day, kissing and touching and squeezing, and Frodo had licked his cheek, too, laughing as he had. The door had closed behind them, and they were quiet as they could be, creeping down the hall and muffling laughter so as to not alert Pippin to their approach.

But now Frodo is beneath him, and Merry should be in control, though Merry hardly feels that he is. Their clothing is shed, now, and the door behind them closed. Now, all is bare smooth skin, and lovely, and Merry wants nothing more but to press himself into Frodo; he has held off on that desire long enough, in fact, and all he wants most now is the feel of slick heat and all of Frodo, all of him that he could take and have and keep - all about him, moving, pulsing.

No, it's more than that, he knows, but this is more than enough for now.

The slick slide of warm oil, and he presses himself against Frodo, groaning at the contact and the friction of even warmer smooth skin. He feels the push of Frodo's hips and the hard insistence of his returning erection, and Merry wraps his mouth back around Frodo's, kissing him. Frodo wraps his legs at Merry's waist, and holds him still.

They roll, then - Frodo acting as though he wanted for the top, though as they settled at the bed's center, Merry presses himself in, deep, and Frodo's back arches, legs tightening at their place about Merry's waist. That is it, of course, that heat, and Merry could drown himself in it. All around. It is all around. All Frodo and, for the moment, all his. Merry trembles, almost gasping, almost crying out, and crying harder.

Frodo has already left him. Too often, he thinks that Frodo will leave him again.

A kiss and a bite at the shoulder, laughing eyes and Frodo urges him on, as it was Frodo who first rocks himself into Merry's touch and his deep thrust. Merry steadies his hands at Frodo's hips, clutching hard and, despite Frodo's proclivity to sounding as though he were singing and moaning and groaning as he was being touched and tumbled, he only seems to hum, his eyes pressed lightly closed. Merry rocks himself deep, gasping as he does. Deeper still, and Frodo gasps, too, and they work out that rhythm, sweat gathering and bodies moving fast, faster, fastest.

Merry feels he might burn out.

He comes, crying out in the glory of his release and Frodo shudders, beneath him, gasping. Merry does not stop himself, only slowing the pace of his thrusts, and Frodo gasps, again, and then Merry feels it, Frodo shaking all about him, as he too comes.

Merry fell against him, shivering, content and complete. Frodo's arms move about him and he is still, both of them breathing hard. They do not move from the bed, at least, not for a long while after.

Sometime after, still in bed, they press close, cuddling, seeking for warmth beneath the covers, even with the lingering touch of sticky heat and those certain sensations that echo out from bodies that have joined. "You know," Merry says, "Pippin was right."

Frodo, drowsy, laughs.

"It must mean something, cousin."


Merry sets a somnolent kiss upon Frodo's cheek. "Yes. It must mean something, I'm sure."

"But what?"

"I don't quite know."

They sleep.

They kiss again, that night, after their long nap, rising from the bed, both feeling refreshed. They wash off at the basin in the corner, then dress again. It is late, yes, it is of course late. When they join Pippin in the kitchen, it seems that he has made a mess of himself but has mastered their supper. And at least nothing seems to have been broken, or had been burned. Left to his own devices, as he had been, it was something short of a miracle that he had not collapsed the hole.

"So," he says, before they could ask, "I made us all supper. Certainly you are hungry, after all that energy that you have been - " he waves his hand quite vaguely, and shares a pleasant enough grin. "Expending."

"He's awful, Frodo," Merry groans. At least he doesn't blush.

"Yes, well, but that's our Pip."

"I meant it, you know," Pippin says, even later, dinner had, and afters, too, with pipes smoked and conversation shared. When Frodo questions Merry as to what Pippin had meant, Merry does blush, then, though he shrugs it off. When Pippin acts as though he could answer for Merry's sake, and happily enough, will, Merry pounces him, right there, and pins him upon the parlour floor.

And Frodo laughs.


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