[b]A/N:[/b] TWO DAYS, FOUR HOURS, AND FIFTY-SEVEN MINUTES TO RETURN OF THE KING *pant pant*. That said, I can get onto the less important part of this author's note, the age of Merry. In this fic Merry is sixteen-years of age, making it the year 1398 by Shire Reckoning. All other ages will be told in relationship to this. Also, the PPF in the summery stands for "Pointless, Plotless, and Fluffy".

[b]Disclaimer:[/b] Meriadoc Brandybuck, and all other related Brandybucks and their various relations belong to J.R.R. Tolkien and his estate. I am making no money off this fic, and claim no right to the characters.

[b]Dedications:[/b] As ever, to my best friend Halogatomon, without whom most of my stories would never seen an ending, and to all the Merry fans that suffer his much overlooked and underrated abuse.

[b]Rating:[/b] G

[b]Summery:[/b] 16-year-old Merry faces a rainy day at Brandyhall. Can things get any worse? Obviously they can ^^. *A P.P.F. story*

[b]Title:[/b] Rainy Days in Buckland (A.K.A. A day in the life of Merry)

[b]Authoress:[/b] PTB (beeppedersen@hotmail.com)

[b]Chapter 1:[/b] Breakfast

It was one of those mornings were staying in bed was just to tempting an offer to resist. A gale, or so it seemed, was raging right outside the young heir of Buckland's window, his bed was warm, and outside it cold. There was absolutely no reason for more than his nose to be sticking outside the soft comforters, and indeed that's all that was. Yes, he planned to stay warm and snug right where he was, thank you very much.

Of course, his plans hadn't accounted for his two young cousins, Doderic and Ilberic, ages nine and seven, to come racing into his room, yelling at the top of their voices and landing on his bed.

"Merry! Merry! Uncle says it is time for you to get your lazy backside out of bed!" Ilberic yelled, to close to his elder cousin's ear for comfort. Merry groaned, and attempted to disappear completely under his covers. Doderic yanking them off rewarded this course of action.

"Merry! It's raining Merry, and Aunty Esmie has made blueberry pancakes." This got the teenager's attention. Emerald eyes suddenly snapped open, and he sat up, sending Ilberic sprawling on the bed.

"Blueberry pancakes?"

"Uh-huh!" Doderic reported eagerly. "With boysenberry syrup." No more was needed to coax him out of bed. Warm covers gone, and forgotten by now, Merry leaped out of bed, grabbed the nearest set of clothing that looked even remotely clean, and raced to the nearest bathroom.

But alas, the same cruel fate that awaits any unfortunate hobbit that oversleeps in Brandy Hall met our young hero this day. Melilot had reached the bathroom first, and he would be hard pressed if he could get her out of there before her dress and hair were absolutely perfect. The auburn haired youth groaned.

"Melilot, hurry! I want to get to breakfast."

"Hang onto your britches, Meriadoc! I'm nearly finished."

"I'll be lucky if you're finished before second breakfast." Merry grumbled. He decided a better course of action was needed, and the one he should have chosen in the first place. He raced back to his room as fast as his furry feet could carry him.

"Doderic! Ilberic! Out!" The two-hobbit lads, who had been using their cousin's feather bed as a place to practice gymnastics, immediately began to protest.

"You can't order us out Merry, you aren't master yet!" Doderic pouted.

"We don't wanna' go, Merry, and Uncle said you can't order us about." Merry rolled his eyes, and promptly picked the pair up by the back of their britches. Finding themselves being removed under duress, both began squalling at the top of their lungs, and hitting every square inch of their cousin that was within arm's reach. This deterred neither aforementioned cousin, nor those making their way to the breakfast table that were walking the hallway outside. As a matter of fact, when they were both thrown out to land on their backsides, Cousin Merimas, one year Meriadoc's elder, laughed at them.

If Merry was in the least disturbed by his cousin's apparent lack of sympathy, or other cousin's lack of respect for privacy, he didn't show it. He stripped off his nightshirt, and changed into the slightly rumpled trousers, doing the button's up so hastily that he soon discovered that he was one buttonhole short and one button over, and thus had to do it over again. Satisfied that all articles of clothing had found their proper position, Merry went for the exit again.

That was when he caught a glance at himself in the looking glass that hung on the wall beside his door, and froze. His hair was standing up all over the place, and his face dirty from last night's adventure in the forest with Berilac, his father's brother's son. He had a better chance of flying to the moon than his mother allowing him to eat breakfast in that state. Inwardly groaning, he once more endeavored to claim the bathroom, this time to have his plan thwarted by Melilot's sister, Mentha.

Green eyes turning darker with annoyance, Merry's fists attempted to beat the door into submission.

"Mentha, hurry! I want to use the wash!"

"Don't get your foot hair in a tangle, I'll be out when I'm good and ready Meriadoc!"

"You'll have better luck washing in the rain than getting in there anytime soon, lad." Marmadas, sire of the two biggest female annoyances in Merry's life, grinned at him as he walked toward the breakfast table. Half and hour later, he would be adamantly denying to Esmeralda that he had even considered the sixteen-year-old would take him seriously.

A wide grin breaking across his features, Merry made a dash for the back door of Brandyhall. He pushed it open, stuck his head out until it was well soaked, a task that took only a minute or so, then pulled it back in. Running his hand over his hair to smooth it, and grabbing one of the little one's coats that often lay discarded in a heap beside the door to scrub his face, he pronounced himself clean, and once again attempted to make his way to the breakfast table.

As usual, meals were a noisy affair in the Hall, and there were not nearly enough chairs to seat all it's occupants at one time. On a regular day, Merry would have been up early enough to claim his favorite chair on his father's right hand side, but as it was, Merimas had taken it.

Such an affront could not be tolerated, and Merry marched over to stand between Merimas, and the chair that held his Uncle Merimac. He placed his hands on his hips, and glared at the seventeen-year-old.

"Merimas, I believe that is my seat." He stated simply, and promptly tackled the elder boy. Such fights over seats were quite frequent at the Brandybuck table, at any meal but breakfast in particular, and the yelling teens were ignored by all but Saradoc, who was watching with interest. Merimas may have been his son's senior, but Merry was tall for his age, if somewhat slimmer than Saradoc believed a hobbit should be, and he was keen to see which of the pair would turn up as victor.

As it turned out, in the end, it didn't matter as Uncle Seredic took the chance to take the seat, and by the time Merry got Merimas's arms pinned firmly behind his back, it was to late. Though the children, teens, and tweens were allowed to squabble over the best seats, under no circumstances were they to involve adults in their fights. Under no circumstances was Merry going to allow this to stop him from eating as much of his favorite breakfast as possible however. Quickly, he came up with a plan. He allowed his now humiliated cousin the use of his arms, allowing him to climb onto his hands and knees, before stepping lightly on his hand so that he could raise no farther, and sitting on his back. Merimas let out an indignant cry, but their Uncle's roared with laughter.

"That's using your head, Merry!" Uncle Merimac roared, slapping his leg with delight, Marmadas, Seredic, and Grandfather Rory equaling him in volume. Merimas's face was scarlet with humiliation. "Now Merry, really, if you want another chair, just ask your Grandfather to carve you one for Yule." Grandmother Menegilda scolded, though laughter shown in her eyes. She put a plate, piled with blueberry pancakes and half drowned in the treasured syrup in front of Merry, then taking pity on his unfortunate seat, set a plate down for Merimas too.

His father and Uncle Rory were discussing the affairs of Buckland across Merry and his two uncles, and Merry struggled to pay attention while eating as much of the beloved pancakes as he could force into his mouth at once.

"You're pony's about ready to foal I'd say, Saradoc."

"Aye, Keri's bound to have her baby any day now."

"Handsome creature, I'll bet. Dinny sired this one, didn't he?"

"Aye, that's right." Merry promptly grew bored of the conversation. He loved the ponies as much of the next hobbit lad, but his father's predictions of the height, build, and color of the new foal were only so interesting. He lost track of the conversation almost entirely as he sipped his milk, looking from his grandfather to his father.

"Aren't Frodo and Bilbo coming for a visit today, Saradoc?" Merimac asked off-handedly, his eyes sparkling with mischief. His elder brother instantly caught what he was supposed to say, and grinned in a way that could be taken as evilly.

"Aye, and their bringing you Fatty and his sister Estella with them too." The comment had the desired affect on his son, who chocked on his milk, and unfortunately sprayed Ilberic and his younger sister Celandine; age four, with his milk. He ignored their dirty looks.

"They're what?" He managed to squeak. His seat laughed, promptly earning himself pressure on his fingers, which caused him to yelp and curse his stubborn cousin under his breath. Saradoc heard, but chose to ignore it in favor of the entertainment of seeing his normally cool-headed son squirm.

"Cousin Bilbo and Frodo are coming to visit, and their bringing Fredegar Bolger and his sister, Estella.*"

"Young Peregrin and his sisters as well. They're staying for the Mid-year's day festival!" Mentha, who had finally chosen to withdraw from the bathroom and was now sharing a seat with Melilot, piped in brightly.

"What time are the expected to arrive?" Merry asked mildly, attempting to hide his blush by taking another drink from his milk.

"Around second breakfast, I'd expect." Rory said in an offhanded way, deciding to join in the fun. The milk again found it's way from his mouth outward again, this time though he still had his cup up to his face, and also managed to disguise it as a cough.

"Well," he managed to choke out, "I suppose there is much we must prepare then, isn't there?" Abandoning all pretense of a gracious exit, Merry jumped to his feet and fled the room, running through a mental list of things he had to do to make himself look respectable for Estella, leaving behind him a room full of laughing adults.

*= In my version, it doesn't mention Estella at all, as is the case with some of the older ones. If I remember correctly from my library copy, Estella is Fatty's sister. If I'm wrong, please let me know. Thanks ^_^.

-PTB