Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me - if they did do you really think I'd be writing slash on the Internet and not making any money out of it?

Story Notes: Set pre-LotR. This is not meant to be taken seriously, so please don't and flames will just be posted on my website to be laughed at.

This story, the surprisingly popular 'Bagenders' series and much other random weirdness by me and Random Flatmate has been archived in our new website, www.bagenders.fcpages.com.

"You know you really should lay off the beer if that's what it's doing to you these days," Merry shouted through the door between his bedroom and dressing room. Usually it was great fun when his life-long friend and recent lover Pippin came to visit, but usually, Pippin didn't spend this much of his time at Brandy Hall so desperately hungover. When Pippin didn't reply, Merry went back to the bed, pulling on the loose nightshirt which had been flung across to the other side of the room on the way, and sprawled out invitingly on the bed to wait for him to come back.

A few minutes later there was a thump as Pippin hit the bed next to Merry. All previous thoughts of how they could spend the rest of the morning together were forgotten as Pippin curled up pitifully next to Merry, who decided to let him sleep it off and put his arms around him and kissed his forehead before they both drifted off to sleep.

When Merry awoke, Pippin was gone and a search of the bedroom and dressing room showed no sign of him, but there was a note on the table: "My Dearest Merry, I have gone back to Tuckborough to think over some very important matters and will contact you in due course, Pippin." Merry sat down on the edge of the bed and began to cry. If Pippin had left without saying anything, it must have been something important. Either he was going to ask him to spend the rest of his life with him, or else he was going to leave him. Merry decided it must be the latter. He looked down at his nightshirt; it must be all this weight he'd been putting on recently, Pippin must find him so unattractive now. He threw himself back on to the pillows and sobbed.


Shortly after nightfall, Pippin arrived back in Tuckborough and straight away made for the safety and comfort of his own room in his family's huge hole, stopping only to visit the kitchens to make himself a snack as he had missed dinner and felt to hungry and antisocial to join the rest of the family at supper later.

In his room he took the seat he always did when he needed to do some important thinking: on top of the chest of drawers. 'I will contact you in due course'? How could he have been so stupid, he must have given Merry completely the wrong idea. And he wasn't going to cry about it, well, not much anyway.

This was how sister Pearl, 15 years older and very much wiser found him half an hour later, perched on the chest of drawers with a tearstained face and his sandwich untouched and forgotten. She had taken it upon herself on the day of her brother's birth to look after him and give him the benefit of all of her experience in the world, as she reckoned that she would only just have worked out how to use this experience by the time young Peregrin needed it.

"Are you going to tell me what happened in Buckland, or am I going to have to drag it out of you?" she asked, putting her arm round Pippin's shoulder.

Pippin looked up at her and decided that it would be best just to tell the truth; Pearl was becoming quite a matriarch and her newfound ability to make him feel seven years old again made her very difficult to lie to. He took a deep breath. "You're going to be an aunt."

Pearl looked taken aback. "Oh Pip, I thought you had more sense than that, although having a girlfriend in Buckland would explain why you spend so much time there. But at your age! Twenty-five is far too young to be thinking about things like that." Pippin burst into tears again. "Who is it? This isn't a repeat of that dreadful business with cousin Adelard and the housekeeper's daughter, is it?"

Pippin shook his head. "You remember my friend Merry Brandybuck?"

"You didn't sleep with his girlfriend? Pip, he's your best friend!"

"No, no, it's Merry's baby," he wailed into her dress.

"Oh dear, but you don't need to go upsetting yourself about that, it isn't nice for Merry that something like that's happened to him, but it isn't your fault. Merry's a lot older than you and should know more about how not to get himself into trouble with girls," said Pearl, hugging him.

Pippin blinked up at her. "What are you talking about? No one's been getting into trouble with girls; there aren't any girls involved. Merry's got himself into trouble with me."

Now it was Pearl's turn to look shocked again, but she quickly recovered herself. "I know there's been a lot of gossip about you two (someone really should have had a word with you about wearing mascara in public), and I only half believed it, usually that sort of thing doesn't happen in old-fashioned rustic places like the Shire, but you never can trust Bucklanders; they breed altogether too fast in the conventional manner. But didn't father sit you down and have a little talk with you a few years ago about this sort of thing." Pippin nodded. "Didn't he explain that it's only girls who have babies? Boys don't, it's…unnatural."

"I know it doesn't usually happen, but I think we're different. I've heard about it happening to Elves in stories, they have things like fertility enchantments and, and…"

"But you're not a girl, and you aren't built for things like that. How's the baby going to get out?"

"I don't know. But what I do know is that I'm pregnant! I can feel it." Pippin went over to the opposite corner of the room and sulked.

"What's in this?" asked Pearl, investigating the contents of the sandwich on top of the chest of drawers. "It looks like a sardine and gooseberry jam sandwich."

"It is. Merry eats them all the time, I know it sounds odd – they're something of an acquired taste – but I rather like them."

"You really are convinced you're pregnant aren't you?"

"No, I am pregnant."

"Alright, alright, you're pregnant. But don't tell anyone, especially not father."

"Why not? Do you think he won't approve?"

"No, he'll think you're insane and disinherit you."


Merry decided that it was time to pull himself together. He was just going to have to face up to the fact that Pippin didn't love him any more because he was too fat like a proper grown-up. By going to cry about it to his cousin Frodo, and then getting blind drunk. He put some things into a sack and borrowed a pony from the stables and set off on the road west.

By the time Merry arrived at Bag End, he was in an even worse state than when he left home that morning. He knocked on the door just as Frodo was just about to sit down to afternoon tea.

"Hello." Frodo's cheerful greeting seemed to die as it left him and his face took on a worried expression. "Merry, what's happened? Did somebody die?"

"No, everyone was fine when I left. I don't really want to talk about it now." Frodo put his arm around his cousin and pulled him into the hole, sat him down in the biggest comfy chair and went to make the tea, telling Merry to help himself to the food on the table.

"My goodness Merry," said Frodo as he came back into the room. "Are you eating for two or something?" No sooner were the words out of his mouth than Frodo clapped his hand over it.

Merry didn't seem to notice, but put his head in his hands and began crying again. "It's terrible! I've been putting on so much weight and Pippin doesn't find me attractive any more!" He descended into incoherent, melodramatic wailing.


"Me and Pippin, we've been, you know, for the last few months put now he doesn't want to any more because I look so awful!"

"You and Pippin were doing what exactly…?"

"We were, you know, having sex. You don't want to know the exact details do you?"

"No, but Merry, did your dad ever sit down and have a little talk with you?"

"About boy Hobbits and girl Hobbits and when they love each other very much?"

"Well, sort of. He never mentioned anything about boy Hobbits and other boy Hobbits?"

"No, that sort of thing's unnatural. Except that with Pippin it was so much fun that I didn't care."

"He didn't mention anything about the Brandybuck Curse did he?"

"This is no time for ghost stories, Frodo, I need to talk to another Hobbit who everyone always assumes is gay about the problems in my relationship and/or doubts about my sexuality. This isn't how it's supposed to go."

"You mean he never told you? I suppose he saw it coming, lets face it, you're not exactly butch are you, and it's not just that floral shirt you're wearing, and you've always been good with children. I suppose he didn't want you to think you could have it both ways and this might persuade you to produce an heir in a more conventional way."


"Ok, I've got a lot of explaining to do." Frodo took Merry into the library and pulled a thick tome off one of the shelves. The pages were filled with Bilbo's neat, meticulous handwriting. "This was one of the last books Bilbo wrote before he left the Shire, I went with him to Buckland as his research assistant, since I'm sort of involved anyway. You know the story about how Hobbits came to settle the land east of the Brandywine?"

"Yes, Gorhendad Oldbuck decided he needed to set his family up in a hole of their own, and since he was the youngest son in his family and he wasn't going to inherit, he had to claim some that didn't belong to anyone else."

"Yes, but what they don't tell everyone is why he had to go so far away," said Frodo mysteriously.

"Are you going to tell me, or are you just going to stand there trying to be dramatic?"

"I'm just going to stand here looking dramatic." Merry glared at him. "Alright, I'll tell you. Old Gorhendad got himself into an argument with an elf lady he met in the woods one day; she was sitting down having a rest in the road with her great long legs stretched across it so he couldn't get past. So he asked her to move, and she said she wouldn't, because she was tired and her back hurt and her feet hurt and she was going to give birth any day now and told him to bugger off and find another way of getting past. And then he said he wouldn't and she got bitchy and said some things you really wouldn't expect to hear from and elf and then the story says that he got overexcited and kicked her in the shins and that really pissed her off, so she put a curse on him."

"What was the curse?"

"That he should have to find out what it was like to be in her situation. But there's something about being with child that affects women, makes them go a bit odd, and she put the curse on a little bit too strong, so that all his male descendents inherited being able to have babies. Except it only works if they do it with another male Hobbit who's also under the influence of the curse."

"That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," said Merry. "I came to you looking for advice, not to hear silly stories that fill in the gaps in a tenuously connected plot and to be accused of being pregnant. And anyway, you missed one important point, Pippin isn't a Brandybuck, so even if this curse did exist, I couldn't be pregnant, so hah!"

"Merry, don't stick your tongue out, you're far too old for that and it doesn't suit you. But this is where things really start to get weird. You see, while Pippin is very much his father's son, he doesn't so much have a mother as another father. Did you ever notice how much he looks like our distant cousin Marmadas…?"

"Eww. I knew old Marmadas was weird, but that's, that's…"

"The power of a magic elven curse for you."

"But Pippin's father isn't a Brandybuck either."

"Yes, but the Tooks and the Brandybucks have intermarried a lot, even according to the 'official' family trees, the real ones make us look even more incestuous."

"But how do they, you know, actually have the babies."

"You know I never dared ask and I don't think Bilbo did either. But can you think of any other explanation for why you're eating a cheese and custard sandwich and why, why…" Frodo looked down in horror. "Why your stomach just moved all on it's own?"

They both stared as Merry's 'fat' kicked again.

"I think we'd better go have a talk with Pippin."

Frodo nodded in agreement. "And a midwife."


The next morning Pippin was making his third attempt on second breakfast when his sister came to see him again.

"Urgh, is that mint sauce you've put on your toast and strawberry jam? Whether Merry's got you up the duff or not, he's certainly a bad influence on you."

Pippin scowled at her but didn't say anything, and curled protectively around where he expected there to be a bump in a few weeks or months.

"Anyway, I've written to him and asked him to come and see you to see if we can get any sense into your both your heads. You've both got the responsibility to produce an heir, so you're going to have to get used to the idea of marriage."

"You mean I can get married to Merry?" asked Pippin, a note of hope in his voice.

"No, you can't, and claiming to be carrying his child isn't going to change that. You're both going to have to marry girls at some point, which means you'll have to give up on this silly relationship idea, or at least find some very understanding wives."

"It's not silly, I'm in love with him."

"Yes, maybe you think you are, but you also think you're pregnant and you can't consent to marriage unless you're of sound mind."

Pippin opened his mouth to counter her comment with a witty remark, but closed it again as he failed to think of one.

"In the meantime, remember what I said about keeping out of the way of mother and father, and if they do come to see you, just try to act normal, or at least the way you usually act. We're going to get this all sorted out without you disgracing the family." This last part was made to sound suspiciously like a threat.

She got up and walked towards the door, and just as she was about to leave she stopped and turned round. "I was wondering, if you're looking for something to keep you occupied, would you mind looking after Primrose for me for a while this afternoon?"


It was later that same day that Frodo and Merry rode into Tuckborough in search of Pippin. So as not to arouse any suspicions they tried to act as if this was just another social call, but this was proving difficult as Merry seemed to be unable to control his tears.

"Pull yourself together Merry."

"But I can't, everything here reminds me of Pippin."

"Of course it does, this is his house."

Merry blew his nose on the hem of his big loose shirt.

"And I know you have to hide the bump, but was there any particular reason why you had to buy a pastel pink shirt to do so?"

Merry began to cry again. "It was my decision. Everyone thinks I'm weird, or stupid, first Pippin and now you! Why does everyone hate me so much?" Frodo decided he couldn't deal with this amount of melodrama at the moment, so grabbed him by the wrist and dragged him down the corridor towards Pippin's room.

Outside Pippin's door a strange noise could be heard. Giggling. Female giggling. This was enough to start Merry off again, but Frodo clamped his hand over his mouth before his howls threatened to become audible through the door. Then Frodo knocked quietly, half hoping not to be heard.

Through the door they could hear Pippin clear his throat, then a few last dying giggles. "Come in."

Frodo opened the door very cautiously to reveal that Pippin was in fact in his room with a girl. A girl of about 4 years old, his niece to be exact and she looked a little annoyed that their tickle fight had just been cut short. Merry took one look at the scene and began crying even more. He tried to run towards his lover with arms outstretched to hug him, but Frodo grabbed the back of his shirt just in time to stop him.

Oblivious to his tears, the child threw herself at Merry and attempted to climb into his arms. "Uncle Merry, Uncle Merry, come and play with us."

Frodo gently lifted her down. "We'll play with you later, Primrose, but right now me and Uncle Merry and Uncle Pippin need to have a grown up's talk, so why don't you go find your parents."

Primrose nodded and ran out through the door in search of someone else to bother. Pippin looked at the other two Hobbits in his doorway with surprise and anger.

"I thought I made it clear that I wanted to be alone and I didn't need the two of you to come chasing me halfway across the Shire."

"Yes, maybe you did, but you also need to have a very serious talk with Merry," said Frodo.

"Why? Is everything alright?" asked Pippin as he looked his tearful cousin.

"Pippin, I'm pregnant!"

It was at that exact moment that Pearl chose to reappear. "I didn't expect the letter to reach you so soon, but it's a good thing that you're both here, you have to try and talk some sense into my brother." She paused. "Is everything alright."

"No," said Pippin in a small and distant voice. "Merry thinks he's pregnant."

"What? First you think you're pregnant, then you think he's crazy because he thinks he is too. You must really be losing your mind, but at least you know now how absurd it sounded when you told me."

"Pippin thinks he's pregnant?" Merry and Frodo both stared at him in shock.

Pippin nodded and Merry ran forward and took him into his arms.

"Is anyone going to give me a coherent explanation for any of this, or are you all just going to cry at me some more?"

"I think I can, but you'd all better sit down," said Frodo, taking the huge book out of his rucksack. "This is all because of something called the Brandybuck Curse."

"Stop winding us up Frodo, I'm in no mood for a ghost story," said Pearl.

"This is not a ghost story," said Frodo through gritted teeth. "So just sit down and I'll explain it to you."


Fifteen minutes later Pippin and Pearl were sitting in stunned silence on Pippin's bed trying to process the information they'd just been given.

"So you're saying that me and Merry have broken all known natural laws because of some inherited curse and that my mother is not really my mother?" asked Pippin.

"In a word, yes." Answered Frodo

"And that Pippin is in fact pregnant?" said Pearl

"Again, yes."

"Does our mother know about all of this?"

"Of course she does, she must have noticed that she didn't give birth to one of her children."

"But there is one good thing about all of this, at least father isn't going to disinherit me because I'm crazy enough to think I'm pregnant." Pippin looked pleased with this bit of logic.

"So what happens now?" asked Merry.


That night Merry and Pippin sat hand in hand in the grounds of Great Smials, watching the moon rise over the hills. That afternoon some hurried talks had been conducted and Pippin's suitcases had been packed ready for them to leave for Buckland the next morning, where they would stay until the babies were born – the midwives there had quite a bit of experience in their unusual situation. Pippin's father hadn't really been in any position to object to what had happened, but seemed a little guilty that certain pieces of information hadn't been passed on before and his mother seemed pleased with the idea of more grandchildren once she'd got used to it and was already knitting baby clothes.

"You know what, Merry?"

"What Pippin?"

"We should get married."

"But we can't get married, we could only get married if one of us was a girl, and I don't think either of us would like that very much."

"No, I suppose we wouldn't, so lets just promise to stay together forever and pretend like we're married."

"You know what Pippin?"

"What Merry?"

"I love you."