Summary: In a bedroom in Rivendell before the Council, Merry taunts Pippin with dessert. GAAAAAAAY

Note: If you're reading this you probably know this, but "mellon" is Elvish for 'friend'. And I like puns. You probably know that, too.

Thank you to Gamin and Genuine for the beta-read.

Why are Aragorn and Arwen like a muskmelon? Because they cantaloupe!

MELON FOR THE MELLON

Pippin stretched himself out across the enormous Elvish bed like a starfish, a picture of innocent selfishness trying to take up as much room as possible. "That's more like it! And to think, we spent last night on bare rock."

This morning, he and Merry and the others had caught up with the Elf who had brought Frodo to Rivendell, and the Lady Arwen had reassured them all that, thanks to her father's healing magic, Frodo was not going to die. With the removal of their greatest fear, the hobbits were then able to enjoy such creature comforts as hot baths, and square meals-although, to be fair, Sam had eaten most of his at Frodo's bedside.

"To look at you, anyone would think you meant to take up that entire bed all by yourself," Merry commented, still standing near the closed door of the room the Elves had given them.

"I bet I could, too," Pippin said lazily, making snow angels in the sumptuous white downy drifts of blanket.

"Lovely food they have here, these Elves," Merry commented, taking something out of his pocket, wrapped in a napkin. He opened the napkin and put something the color of a pale sunset into his mouth.

"What's that?" Pippin was instantly curious. All hobbits have a special relationship with food, but Merry and Pippin had both elevated it nearly to a religious experience.

"Oh, nothing much-just a little bite of something I pinched from supper."

"What is it? I didn't see anything like that out there."

"I didn't say *whose* supper." Merry helped himself to another bite out of the little pile in the napkin. "But it's not my fault if the Lady Arwen was paying so much attention to Strider that her eyes weren't on her plate."

"You stole off of her plate!" Pippin's expression was one of amusement, not chastisement.

"She was going to let it go to waste!" Merry's eyes flashed with righteous indignation.

"So you liberated it," Pippin spun. "Well-very good, then. Are you going to offer me some?"

"I don't know," Merry teased, but with a completely serious expression. "I think-I think we should play a game."

"What are the rules?" Pippin wanted to know, somehow managing to seem bushy-tailed and eager even from his repose on the bed.

Merry folded the napkin, put it back in his pocket, then suddenly leapt up onto the bed. "Oof!" Pippin squeaked under his unexpected weight.

Flowers started to bloom.

"The rules," said Merry, nose to nose with the other hobbit and pinning down both his hands so that he could not play pickpocket, "are that if you want any muskmelon, you have to *not* be hard."

"Wha-?" Pippin's face clouded with irritation, the first time that the smile had left his face for hours. His eyes darted around, beholding: Merry on top of him, Merry with his adorable weird nose and enormous eyes, Merry's five stone of solid male youth-"That's going to be impossible, and you know it. At this rate, you'd have to leave the room. And then you'd be taking the-what was it called? Musk melon?-with you."

"We can't have that," Merry pointed out. "It wouldn't be decent to have you running about the hallways after me with a tent in your breeches."

"Why are those the rules?" Pippin demanded. "You're hard, too, unless you also stole a marrow out of Elrond's pantry."

"Definitely right-that's Merry you're feeling there, not marrow-although, marrows grow on the same type of vine as the melon in my pocket. Anyway, they're the rules because I said so, and I'm the one who was quick enough to grab it."

"Well, how am I supposed to not be hard with you all-like this?" Pippin's eyes gestured around him.

"Dunno," Merry considered it for a moment. "Lobelia Sackville-Baggins?"

"That," said Pippin, "is like expecting the mention of rotten apples to put me off a full breakfast of eggs, bacon, mushrooms, and scones."

"I'm all that, am I?" Merry grinned.

Pippin grinned back and nodded.

"Well," Merry suggested, "how about self-control? Self-discipline?"

Pippin's eyes blinked in happy ignorance. "What are those?"

Merry sighed.

"Never mind," Pippin spoke up suddenly. "*I* know how I'm going to win this game." And he let his body do as it would, and danced his hips aggressively against Merry's. Cantaloupe or no, Merry danced back, They moved against each other quickly, fiercely, conversation on hiatus replaced by a duet in the language of breathing and gasping. Pippin let go and was very happy. Merry followed suit and collapsed on top of him for a moment, a sweaty dead weight. They were probably going to need a bath, but so what?

Then,

"I'm not hard anymore," Pippin pointed out jauntily. "So hand over my share of the melon!"