FIC: Night Pangs, 1/1

PAIRING: Frodo/Faramir

WARNING: MPREG. If male pregnancy bothers you, don't read on.

Disclaimer. I own nothing. Not making a profit. Yadda yadda yadda.

Note: These ficlets take place over a span of time, each occurring on a different night.


Faramir yawned, wondering for a moment what must have woken him in the dead of night. Outside the crickets of Emyn Arnen cheeped, and a faint beam of moonlight shining through the bed-chamber window illuminated the spot next to him where Frodo lay curled up in sleep, dark curls strewn on the silky pillowcase.

His lover clearly slept too far away, Faramir considered, rolling close to spoon behind Frodo and cup his hands about Frodo's swollen belly. He lightly rubbed the taut skin through the fabric of the hobbit's nightshirt and Frodo sighed contentedly in his sleep. Smiling, the man felt a tiny flutter under his hands and knew at least another person in the bed was now awake.

Frodo had felt the babe move for the very first time only two weeks earlier, and Faramir couldn't seem to get enough of touching Frodo . . . holding Frodo . . . making love to Frodo, though they were careful. Letting his eyes close now, Faramir began to lose himself once again to the dream-world of sleep, his hands slowing their rub as drowsiness set in.

His eyes snapped open in alarm, however, as one of his hands drifted low on Frodo's abdomen and felt something sticky and wet coating the front of the hobbit's nightshirt. Attempting not to panic, Faramir eased himself up, hoping to determine what the substance was. Blood? What if it was blood? He lived in nearly constant fear that something would happen to Frodo or the child, and what if it was coming to pass? What if Frodo was going into early labor or losing the baby?

Trying not to wake Frodo and alarm him, Faramir leaned over and inspected the nightshirt in the darkness, frowning. The stain was light-colored, and as he leaned down he smelled . . . something that definitely didn't give off the metallic aroma of blood. Rubbing his fingers in the stain, the man brought them to his nose and sniffed.

Gravy. It was a gravy stain, of all things.

Sighing, Faramir lay back down, snuggling close to Frodo as he tried to still his own heart. He shouldn't have been surprised to find gravy staining Frodo's nightshirt, as the hobbit lately had been inclined to wake in the middle of the night craving every food under the sun---most especially, of late, sticky nut butter. With carrot slices. With tomatoes. Faramir had even caught him eating it on his scrambled eggs one morning at breakfast; a combination that made the man's stomach churn.

Tonight Frodo had apparently tiptoed out of bed and partaken in the leftovers from supper---roast beef with a rich brown gravy to top. Ironically, Frodo had refused the same food *at* supper, turning pale at the smell of it and opting instead for a mint jelly and nut butter sandwich.

Yawning again, Faramir wondered idly if pregnant hobbits were the same way everywhere---keeping their lovers from a good night's sleep without even trying.


"Faramir. Faramir, wake up."

Oh, how Frodo hated to do it, but no other options were available. Though many servants dwelt in Frodo and Faramir's abode, most of them were asleep at this time. And unfortunately, most of the guards were posted outside, and even the ones within calling distance would not leave their stations except for a dire emergency.

Which this definitely wasn't---not really, thought Frodo. Just a minor emergency. What he needed to do now was present the whole thing to Faramir as a semi-major emergency.

"Wake up, Faramir." Finally, a gentle prod to the man's shoulder did the trick.

"Huh? Frodo? What's wrong? What is it? Are you all right?"

"Yes, yes, perfectly all right."

"Then why did you wake me up, pray tell?" Faramir's voice sounded rough with sleep as he leaned up on one elbow to regard the hobbit, who was kneeling on the bed staring at him with a slightly guilty, but not entirely recalcitrant, expression.

"Your hair is sticking straight up," Frodo said, trying not to chuckle as he reached over to smooth the unruly waves.

"Well, it *is* the middle of the night, love." Yawning, Faramir rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. "I do not often worry about my grooming while I'm asleep. Now, what is going on?"

Frodo reached out and rubbed his fingertips down the soft hair on Faramir's chest, hoping this gentle touch would ease the man's anger once he found out exactly why his precious sleep had been disturbed.

"I cannot reach a jar of pickled beets on the top shelf of the larder, and if I don't have them, I'll never get back to sleep again."

"I saw a jar of them on the lower shelf just the other day that you were digging into."

"I finished that jar. Night before last."

"You have never had any difficulties getting items off the top shelf before."

Frodo rolled his eyes briefly, wondering why Faramir could never seem to remember these little things. "I always used to climb up the ladder and grab stuff, but I can hardly risk that now, can I? What if I fell, five months along with child? What might that do to our baby?"

"Ah, I see. No, you certainly cannot risk that, and I can very well believe I will never get to sleep if you are deprived of an essential food item. Very well . . . we shall make a quick trip of it." Pushing the covers back, Faramir ran a hand through his hair and sat a moment to orient himself before placing his feet on the floor and wincing at the coolness there. If only he could grow hobbity fur to warm his toes . . . . Standing, Faramir pulled on his silk robe, tying it in the middle as he spoke.

"All right, I'm ready, Frodo."

Silence met his words, and turning, Faramir saw why.

The hobbit had crawled back into bed and had snuggled under the covers, drawing them up to his chin.

And he was snoring softly.


Faramir instinctively reached out in his sleep, coming to startling alertness as he realized that the usual hobbit-sized lump that warmed his bed was absent.

It was nothing new. Frodo must have been making another night-time food run to satisfy his pregnancy cravings, Faramir guessed, and he closed his eyes and tried vainly to go back to sleep. It wasn't working, however, and he lay there staring up at the ornate ceiling for some minutes, gradually becoming aware of a very soft noise emanating from the corner of the room.

Mice? Had mice infiltrated their bed-chamber? For the noise sounded distinctly like chewing.

Leaning up on his elbows, the man squinted toward the direction the sound came from, and as his eyes adjusted to the very dim light he realized Frodo sat, knees drawn up, in the large overstuffed chair in the corner of the room, his cheeks working overtime as he nibbled at something.

"Frodo, whatever are you doing over there?"

"Eating a carrot."

Faramir groaned. "Come back to bed soon, please?"

Popping the last bit of carrot into his mouth, Frodo nodded. "All right . . . I've just these crackers and nut butter to finish. I hated to climb into bed and disturb you with my eating, or sprinkle cracker crumbs or smear sticky nut butter on the sheets." His voice trailed off a bit, and Faramir could see Frodo shivering slightly.

"I know." Faramir softened his voice, staring at his lover's pale face gleaming in the moonlight. Without another thought he rose, naked, and pulled the soft, thick bed cover with him as he padded across the room.

"May I join you?" Without waiting for an answer, as Frodo's mouth was stuffed with carrot, Faramir lifted him and sat down, settling the hobbit comfortably on his lap as he wrapped the bed cover snugly around them both. "Here, give me your feet and I'll rub them for you."

"Mmm . . . feels nice," Frodo drawled as he laid his head in that warm space between Faramir's neck and shoulder. "I don't think I ever get enough of you holding me."

"You looked cold, and I could not have the bearer of my child trembling with the chill," Faramir said softly, moving his hand from where it rubbed the hobbit's feet and now tenderly circling Frodo's mound of belly. "He or she is relatively quiet tonight, I think."

"Only for the last little while. Trust me, that's what woke me up and started my hunger binge. That, and needing to use the privy."

Faramir chuckled and hugged Frodo to him, inhaling the spicy scent of his hair as his lover finished off the last of his snack.


It was Frodo who woke up first, hearing a groan coming from the restless figure sprawled on his stomach beside him in sleep. He reached out, gently teasing the man's hair away from his face before drawing close and soaking up the warmth of Faramir's skin.

"Poor dear," Frodo whispered, planting a kiss on Faramir's neck and thinking how envious he was that Faramir was able to sleep on his stomach. The man had experienced a rough day, having ridden out many hours to attend to business in a nearby province and returning, exhausted, very late that evening. Frodo had wondered why Faramir had not simply camped out the night and returned in the morning, but it seemed that even though he was still only six months along with child, Faramir hesitated to leave him for even just a day if he could help it.

"Frodo?" Faramir's voice was quiet and tired, but his arms spoke of strength when he drew the hobbit closer, one hand entwining in Frodo's ringlets while the other cupped his bottom.

"Sssshhh. Go back to sleep."

But instead, Faramir raised up a bit on his forearms, staring at Frodo with his eyebrows drawn together. "Are you hungry? Do I need to get you anything first?"

Frodo grinned. "No, for once I'm quite fine. I already made my midnight run to the larder. Now, you lie back down and rest and let me rub your back for you. No more talking."

"Mmmmmm." Faramir settled down on the cool sheets and moaned softly with contentment, then sat back up again, rubbing sleep-filled eyes. "You are sure you do not require anything? No nut butter? No pickled beets? No ginger cookies?"

"Unbelievably, I do not. Now rest, dear. Just give in to it and rest."

His face slightly disbelieving, Faramir finally lay back down, allowing Frodo to rise up a bit over him and gently knead the tense muscles of his neck and back. "Ah . . . feels wonderful . . . think I'll just . . . close my eyes . . ."

Frodo smiled, massaging a while longer before leaning down to plant a kiss on Faramir's cheek. Then he himself prepared for sleep, fluffing his pillow and pressing as close to his lover's bare flesh under the covers as he could with his belly poking out so.

That same belly growled in hunger only a few minutes later.

The End