A Comforting Dream

Warnings: Slash but nothing too serious. If you don't like it don't read it, and if you do like it then thank you very much. Peace and love to you.

Disclaimer: No, I do not own Merry or Pippin or any of the other characters mentioned in the story. If you're not smart enough to know this then maybe you shouldn't be reading anything on this site...XD just joking. No, really I was serious, just so ya know. XP

**Joke**


Pippin laughed drunkenly as he took another sip from his mug of ale. Sitting across from him was his best friend in the world, Merry, who was staring at Pippin with an amused gleam in his crystal blue eyes. "Steady now, steady!" he said warningly as he outstretched his arms in case Pippin were to lose what little balance he had left and fall out of his seat. "Steady on, Pip!"

Pippin just laughed and allowed himself to fall from his chair into his friend's open arms. Pippin smiled in a childish way and his own earthy green eyes met Merry's blue ones. "Merry," he said in an exceedingly perplexed way, "you have a twin!"

Merry allowed a slight grin to form at the corners of his mouth as he stared down at his friend. Although he hadn't yet taken notice, the other Hobbits in the tavern had begun to stare at the odd spectacle. "Oh really?" he asked Pippin as he carefully helped him back into his chair, "and how is that so?"

Pippin giggled drunkenly and allowed some of his auburn curls to fall in his face. "No, really!" he insisted as he unsteadily pointed at Merry, "You have a twin!"

"And how is it that I've had a twin for so long and never known it?"

He laughed and said in a slurred voice, "He's right there." and the drunk little Hobbit reached out and clumsily hit Merry on the nose.

Merry recoiled slightly and put a hand over his nose. "Ow! Hey, watch it, will you?"

Pippin once again giggled and dangled his legs from the chair that he was sitting on. "Sorry, Merr, I can't help it." and he tried to take another sip of ale, but Merry snatched his mug away from him and held it out of reach. Pippin reacted to this with a sullen frown and the question of, "What's that for, Merry? C'mon now, be a good friend and give it back!"

Just as Merry opened his mouth to respond, he felt a tap on his shoulder and heard the full, hearty voice of the tavern owner say loudly, "Come on now, son, out ya go." and Merry felt himself being hauled out of his chair and to his feet.

He looked at the tavern keeper with a frown on his face. "Beg your pardon?"

"Out, both you and your drunken friend." he said sternly. "You two trouble making halflings have long overstayed your welcome."

"But Pip can't even sit straight!" Merry protested as he motioned over to his friend, who sat in his seat staring at the tavern keeper with an aloof look in his green eyes.

The tavern keeper shrugged and took the two mugs of ale from Merry. He said loftily, "Not my problem, Brandybuck. Now if you and that fool of a Took would kindly head home, I think that we'd all appreciate it."

Merry took this opportunity to peer past the old tavern keeper and into the staring faces of the Hobbits behind him. He flashed them a quick, awkward smile, not realizing until then how disturbing and loud he and Pippin's behavior must have been. Quick as a flash he turned back to Pippin and tapped him on his shoulder; the younger Hobbit was still mourning over his lost ale.

"Whaddu want?"

"Come on, Pip. It's time to go."

Pippin nodded and blinked his eyes in a weak attempt to get them to refocus, to get the room to stop spinning. With the help of Merry he was finally able to succeed in getting out of his seat and to the tavern door, but just before they went out he stumbled and nearly lost his balance. Thankfully Merry was there to catch him.

"Thanks, Merry." he muttered in an almost embarrassed way as he put an arm around his friend's shoulders in an attempt to steady himself.

Despite himself Merry couldn't help but almost relish the sudden added warmth of Pippin, and he found himself sighing deeply as he opened the doors of the tavern. What he saw made all of his newfound joy drain away. It was raining, and raining hard at that. His face fell as he watched the thousands of falling raindrops land on the now muddy road that led to the tavern. Pippin also frowned.

"It's rainin', Merry. Why's that?"

"I...I don't know, Pip." he had to work hard not to sound too annoyed at the other Hobbit.

"But I thought that when we came in it wasn't raining."

"That's because it wasn't raining then, understand?"

"Oh." was all that Pippin said for a second before he dared to add, "But it wasn't raining then. Why has it decided to rain now?"

"I don't know, Pip, okay?! Do you think that I know the weather personally?" Merry asked, his voice edgy as he tried to fix his cloak so that it covered more of Pippin than himself. He didn't know why he did this, only that it must be done because Pippin was very special to him, and if anything happened—Stop thinking like that! Merry thought to himself. It's not natural. Then another voice spoke, one that was significantly more powerful than the other one: But he's your best friend, he's almost like a brother to you; of course you are right to love him.

Love? Who ever said anything about love?

"Why are we still standin' here, Merry?"

"I don't know." another slight pause then, "Okay, then. Let's go...oh, and Pip?"

Pippin turned his gaze in his direction, and Merry didn't know why, but suddenly that familiar warm feeling came over him just as it had come when Pippin had fallen into his arms back in the tavern. Even in the cold of the rain he felt warm and content, and this feeling was only heightened when he looked over and saw how much trouble Pippin was having getting the world back in order.

"Yeah, Merr?"

He hesitated then shook his head. "Nah, never mind." and they both stepped out of the safe dryness of the tavern and into the rain.

The rain seemed to have sobered the Hobbit up quite a bit and removed some of the silly, childish behavior that he had been acting with before; he was cold, wet, and now his brain had began to pound as he tried to put reality back together again. A surge of sympathy filled Merry, and without realizing it he hugged Pippin closer to him, so close that he could just feel the other Hobbit's curly hair tickling his neck. He smiled at this and let out another contented sigh.

"Hey, Merry?" Pippin suddenly asked, speaking rather loud, trying to drown out the sound of the rain pounding against the ground, "What're you smiling at?"

As quickly as the little, tentative grin had come, it dissolved as Merry looked up ahead at the road. "Nothing."

"But I want to know."

Merry shook his head and said thoughtfully, "No, I don't think that you do."

This only confused Pippin more, and this was evidently not good; his brain let out a scream of pain as he stumbled down the street. Impulsively he reached over for something to grab, something to comfort him and make him feel better. He grabbed at Merry's wrist and clutched it tight, in the exact same manner as a small child might. "But I do want to know," he managed to say through the pain of his ale—driven headache, "I really do."

He felt Merry shake his head once more. "No you don't because there's nothing to know."

They walked in silence for a little while longer. Merry looked up at the sky and was pleasantly surprised to see that the rain had nearly ceased falling, but still he shivered. He was freezing! He felt something shaking his hand and when he looked down he saw that it was actually Pippin's hand that was trembling so, and when his eyes ventured up to the young Hobbit's face he saw that Pippin looked utterly miserable. Merry gave him a reassuring smile.

"Home can't be far now, can it?"

"At least the rain's nearly sto--" just as he began to say this, with a sudden crack of thunder and blaze of lightning the ran began to pour again, this time more violently than before. Merry sighed and rolled his eyes. Pippin just shrugged and grinned innocently.

Merry shifted his gaze down to his mud—covered feet then to Pippin's. He watched as the mud squelched in between his toes as he walked, watched as the slippery wet earth caused the already stumbling Hobbit to lean even more on Merry. Perhaps it was because he was so busy staring at the mud between his toes so intently that he didn't have time to warn Pippin as his foot hit the slippery mud the wrong way so that it slid out from under him.

"Merry!" Pippin exclaimed as his feet flew out from under him and he fell down onto the ground, taking the other Hobbit with him. "Merry, I'm sorr--"

"Pippin, it's fine, just relax, okay?" Merry said hastily as he hurried to his feet, ignoring the mud that clung to his clothes.. He looked over at Pippin's now strained and pained face and his heart filled with worry.

"What's wrong?" he asked as he knelt down next to his friend and laid his hand gently on his shoulder. "You look so pale..."

Pippin looked down and winced as he tried to move his foot. Merry looked down at it and frowned. "It hurts," Pippin said with a grimace. "I can't move it."

Merry swallowed down the fear that was threatening to overpower him. He could not panic; he must not panic. If anything, it was just a twisted ankle, nothing too serious. But still, when he looked up at Pippin, watched the drops of rainwater slowly slide down his cheeks, fall in clear beads from his auburn hair, watched his green eyes sparkle with both pain and excitement, he felt his heart constrict with worry. To him this was just another adventure, another thing that Merry could fix.

Once again the rain had began to let up, and now only a few small droplets of rain fell, though this was still enough to keep Merry freezing as he gently pressed his hand to Pippin's already swelling ankle; the other Hobbit let out a low hiss of pain and recoiled.

"Don't do that!"

"Well how am I supposed to figure out what's wrong with it if you won't let me see it?" Merry asked as he stared at Pippin. The Hobbit shrugged.

"I dunno, just don't touch it; it hurts too much."

Merry nodded and looked back down at the ankle. If Meriadoc Brandybuck had ever had any hope of being some kind of doctor or Elven healer it faded as soon as he peered back down at his friend's ankle. It was swelling fast, a sure sign of some kind of damage, but this knowledge didn't help Merry much. Instead of doting on this lack of knowledge, however, he pretended to know what the problem was and looked back up at Pippin.

"Can you stand?"

He shrugged. "I dunno."

Merry sighed. What had he expected? Despite Pippin's lack of an answer, he rose to his feet and held out his arm to his friend. "Come on. We can't sit in this street forever."

"But I--"

"Come on, Pip." his face was serious. "Just trust me."

Pippin, realizing that his friend wasn't joking, let more than a flicker of pain show on his face; his eyes watered with tears and his face turned ashen. His voice was weak and his breathing shallow as he whispered, "But can't you get Gandalf or Frodo to come down and take a look?"

This struck Merry as just plain insulting. Pippin knew very well that the wizard was off on important business and Frodo?Why, the boy was nothing more of a doctor than himself! Call on Gandalf or Frodo? There wasn't a chance. Merry scoffed and said indignantly, "Don't be stupid, Pip! I know what I'm talking about, now come on and get up."

"No you don't. I can tell."

Merry stood there looking indignant for only a second more before he sighed and slumped his shoulders. "Okay, so I don't, but what can we do, Pip? You can't walk and I can't..." a sudden thought came into his head, one which he more than loved to entertain, despite the warning voices in the back of his head—Why, I could carry him back home, couldn't I? Yes, surely I could. I could carry him and he would wrap his arms around my neck...

It was only now that he dared to notice the fact that Pippin was absolutely soaked, that his green jacket clung to his arms and that his once white shirt was now nearly see through. Merry swallowed and cleared his throat. "I can't..."

"But how can you just not know what's wrong with me, Merry?" Pippin asked. "I thought that you knew everything."

He smiled and knelt down next to his friend. "And who told you that?"

He shrugged and said obviously, "You just are, and I just know. You are—Merry, what are you doing?"

"If you can't walk on your own—which you obviously can't, mind you—then I plan on getting you home one way or another." he said as he wrapped his arms around Pippin and scooped him into his arms. Much to his surprise, Pippin didn't reject this, in fact he even relaxed a little. Merry felt his cheeks turn scarlet as he felt the other Hobbit's frame relax in his arms.

Pippin just closed his eyes and turned his head towards Merry's chest and began to breathe deeply. In an instant, just as Merry took his first step onward, a pair of arms were wrapped around his torso, hugging him securely, and he could feel Pippin as he held him close. Gradually the redness of Merry's cheeks melted into their natural color and everything seemed as it should be, and though the all too familiar heat still flowed through him, Merry resisted the urge to kiss the top of Pippin's head, run his fingers through his hair, to run his fingers over the smooth skin of his chest...

Stop thinking that! It's wrong!

No it's not! I...I love him? This thought seemed to come forth as more a question than an actual coherent thought. Merry just smiled to himself and thought quite comfortably, Yes, I do love him. His smile, his laugh, the feeling of him breathing against me...I love him!

He carried Pippin until he thought that his arms would fall off—they ached horribly—and for most of the way the other Hobbit remained oddly silent, only uttering a sound when he would sigh contentedly, shift a little, then close his eyes. To him this seemed like nothing more than a friend helping a friend, and this struck Merry with a horrible stab of realization; he wanted so much more, more than one little innocent kiss.

Suddenly Pippin looked up at him and pressed his hands to his mouth. Merry abruptly stopped walking. He ignored his trembling, aching arms and stared down at Pippin oddly. "What's wrong, Pip? You look--"

"I think that I' m sick."

His eyes grew wide as he allowed Pippin to jump out of his arms and land on his good foot. "I feel like I'm about to—oh, Merry, my head is swimming!" he removed his hands from his mouth and pressed them to his forehead as if this would help ease the pain of his headache. Merry swallowed and before he could stop himself he was at Pippin's side, gently running his fingers through the other Hobbit's curls, trying in some way to provide a small comfort.

Pippin stood there for a second, thinking that he was obviously imagining his friend's gentle touch before meeting Merry's eyes. "Merry..."

He quickly removed his hand and looked down at his feet, rather ashamed. "I...I..."

"Merry..." was all that he could repeat before he was pressing his hands to his mouth again. "Oh, my stomach feels like it's turning circles!"

"Just relax," Merry whispered comfortingly as he led Pippin off the road and into the bushes beyond. If the poor Hobbit really was sick, then it wouldn't do to have him be sick all over the road.

Pippin leaned heavily on Merry until they reached a grassy spot below the cover of trees. The grass was cool beneath their bare feet, and oddly enough relatively dry. It had been protected from the violent rains by the canopy of trees above it. Once they had gotten there, Pippin allowed himself to fall to his knees and close his eyes. Merry knelt next to him and carefully brushed a few curls from the Hobbit's face. Pippin looked at him again, his eyes sparkling.

"I...I think that I feel better now."

"That's good."

He nodded. "Yeah, I guess that it was just one of those things, you know?" Pippin said casually as he sat down on the grass and hugged his knees to him. When his friend didn't answer he frowned and asked, "Merry?"

"Huh?"

"Do you know what I mean?"

Merry honestly didn't know what he meant—he had been too busy staring at the perfect contour of Pippin's lips. The way they arched, their perfect curve and shape...he swallowed and felt his limbs go numb and the warm feeling intensify within him. "Huh?" he asked again, his voice cracking.

Pippin didn't notice. He just shook his head. "Nothin', Merr."

And they were both silent for another moment before Merry boldly reached out and slipped his arm around Pippin's torso. The Hobbit didn't reject or try to squirm out of the hold, so Merry seized the opportunity to pull him close so that Pippin's head was resting on his shoulder and their bodies were pressed perfectly together. Still Pippin didn't protest.

Merry took a nervous breath, fearing that if he did even the slightest thing wrong Pippin would pull away and reject him, but he didn't. Instead he just snuggled up to Merry, so close that his breath warmed his neck. With a careful touch Merry allowed his hand to venture up to Pippin's curls and twisted a curl with a finger and chuckled. Pippin looked up at him and smiled.

"What, Merry? What's so funny?"

He shrugged and continued to play with Pippin's curls, a little smile on his face. "Nothing, Pip, it's just that...I guess I never noticed just how...springy your hair is before."

Pippin laughed and let Merry twist and play with is curls. "I guess that it is!" then he smiled to himself and repeated quietly, "Springy...springy..." he glanced back at Merry and slowly his fingers wound their way into Merry's honey blond hair. Merry gasped and looked down at him. Pippin smiled. "Your hair feels nice..."

"But not as nice as yours."

Pippin shook his head. "No, better."

And it was then that it struck Merry just how simply absurd this all was, with his love pressed so close to him, his lips so ready and willing, his fingers intertwined in his hair. Gradually, so slowly that Pippin barely noticed, his hand traveled from Pippin's auburn curls to the smooth skin of his cheek and stopped.

"Merry?"

He leaned a little closer, so close that Pippin could smell the ale on his breath, but then hesitated. "Merry?" Pippin asked again.

When he still said nothing, Pippin repeated, "Mer--"

And he was cut off as Merry's lips met his. Like before, there was no resistance, only pleasant surprise, and soon Pippin was kissing Merry back. Both were desperate, both were longing and willing. There was no more hesitation as their lips met again and again, not even from Pippin. It all seemed like it had always been meant to happen, and that it was perfectly natural, even if they both were male Hobbits. But this didn't mean that Merry was stupid; he knew that they would never be able to completely have each other, not like he wanted. No, the others would never accept it, so for now he just contented himself with kisses.

Or at least that's what he planned to do, but soon he found that he was running his hands over the cool, smooth skin of Pippin's chest, and that's when he felt as if he were in a dream. It must be a dream. It's simply to perfect!

And it was, but Merry had never been one to enjoy dreams, whether they be good or bad. When you had a good dream, you awoke to find yourself let down that what you had imagined wasn't reality, and for a second he figured that this was what it was a beautifully perfect dream, but as a longing moan rose from Pippin's throat he realized that it wasn't a dream world.

This was real and it was happening in the real world, perfectly legitimate and concrete. Merry just smiled and deepened the kiss before Pippin pulled away, a look of concern on his face. "What is it, Merr? Did I do something wrong?"

He shook his head quickly and brushed his lips lightly against Pippin's. "No, Pip. You're perfect."

"So are you, but Merry?"

"Yeah, Pip?"

He hesitated before whispering, "I must confess that I'm more than a tad bit hungry."


If you liked it please feel free to review. I would really appreciate it. Thanks. Much peace and love to you.