For Comfort

Author's Note: Birthday mathom/Token of my gratitude for danachan. I'm forever in your debt, sweetie, and not quite sure this hobbitpile of yours turned out alright. I hope it'll do, at least for the time being...

Frodo had never completely recovered from the burden he had to carry for so long. It had marked him, changed him in a way that could not be undone, not even by a quite life in the peaceful Shire. He pretended that everything was the way it used to be, but underneath it, there always lay a pain, a bone-deep weariness that he could not shake.

Sam looked after him, together with Rosie, and Frodo loved being a part of their family, especially after little Elanor was born -- but even surrounded by their love and support he still felt as if a part of him had been forever lost. He was alone and felt himself fade away, with no one to hold him back.


Surprisingly enough it was Pippin who noticed it first. People tended to think that Merry was the perceptive one of the two, but sometimes Pippin was amazingly perceptive, and Merry was one of the few who knew that. Which was why he only paused shortly, when Pippin told him about his observation one night in bed, before pulling Pippin closer and planting a tender kiss on his forehead.

"Frodo is lucky to have a friend like you, Peregrin Took."

Pippin smiled up at him, pleasure hot in his cheeks. Merry loved that a compliment from him could still affect Pippin so much, after all that had happened.

"So you're okay with this?" he asked, relief apparent not just in his face and voice, but in his whole body, which relaxed against Merry's, all tension leaving it. Excitement took over, and Merry could almost hear the wheels in his mind start to turn.

"Yes, Pip, I am. I love Frodo, too, and I want to help him just as much as you do." foreseeing an interruption from Pippin, he overrode him by lying a hand over his mouth. Which of course got him a wet tongue, but Merry was used to that and simply ignored it. "And yes, it's not just that -- I have wondered about how it might be, too, as you very well know, Impling!"

Having gotten what the assurance he wanted, Pippin then proceeded to show Merry his satisfaction with this night's events. A smug Pippin was always a very exciting thing, so Merry was more than content as well.


The perfect opportunity to set Pippin's plan into action arose when Frodo came to visit them at Crickhollow in order to give Sam and Rosie the opportunity to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Of course Sam had protested, but Frodo had simply smiled and made the necessary arrangements to stay with Merry and Pippin for a couple of weeks.

They welcomed him with open arms -- Crickhollow still belonged to Frodo, after all, as Merry said reasonably when Frodo made protests against being put into the master bedroom. Which had the biggest bed, as Pippin slyly pointed out, grinning at Frodo in a way that would have alarmed him normally. But as it was he was exhausted from the journey -- his shoulder hurt again, a cold pain spreading all over the left side of his body.

He was simply grateful for the warmth and love Merry and Pippin poured out over him. For once he didn't have to put on a brave face, because Merry just looked at him and shook his head, smiling gently, while Pippin, less subtle, sent him off to bed to rest himself.

"I don't care what you tell Sam to spare him worries, Frodo Baggins -- you're tired and in pain, and not just from the journey." Those were the last words Frodo heard before he found himself tucked into a warm, comfortable bed, warm sunlight streaming in the open windows and peace surrounding him.

He could have all of this in Bag End, too, of course, but there was something in him that didn't want Sam to know that he was not well. He had been such a burden to his faithful friend, he did not want to spoil the happiness with his family. Naturally Sam noticed changes in Frodo, but Frodo did his best to hide how deep they went.

That was not necessary now, and Frodo let out a content sigh and relaxed into the pillows. Sleep came to him, this once without dark dreams.

When he woke up it was dusk. Slightly disoriented he tried to figure out what had woken him, and suddenly realized that he was not alone in the big bed anymore. In fact, what had interrupted his slumber was Pippin climbing on top of Merry to plant a line of kisses down his neck.

Frodo was confused. What was going on here? But before he could come to a decision, Merry's eyes met Frodo's over the top of Pippin's curls. There was reassurance in that look, and almost despite himself Frodo felt himself relax a bit. It was just Merry and Pippin, after all, being, well, Merry and Pippin.

"Pip, stop for a bit -- our guest is up," Merry said, his voice soft and warm, conveying a love Frodo had suspected but never seen from so close up.

Pippin interrupted his task and grinned at Frodo. "Hullo, cousin Frodo! Don't look so frightened, there's no need to -- Merry and I decided that you needed some special love and attention, so we thought we'd invite you into our bed and make you feel good."

Merry smiled at Pippin's bluntness, and added: "To be fair, it was Pippin's idea." Then he became serious. "You can kick us out, Frodo, without hesitation. But I think Pippin is right, and there's something gnawing at you, eating you up. And I know that we can't make it go away -- no one can, probably -- but maybe we can make you forget about it for a while."

The shock and outrage Frodo probably should have felt at the unconventional offer were completely absent -- instead he felt curiosity, gratitude, and a warmth settling in his groin and spreading from there over his body, making it come alive again.

"I think I'd like that," he finally said simply. "Thank you. Both of you."

And before he could say anything else, Pippin was over him and kissed him, a gentle kiss, full of love and care. Frodo hardly noticed strong hands undressing him, so lost was he in that kiss.

He knew that this was only a temporary peace -- but with Pippin's lips on his and Merry's hands on his body, caressing, easing away tensions Frodo had not even been aware of, that didn't seem to matter.

As they finally came up for air, Pippin said matter-of-factly: "You are beautiful, Frodo Baggins, and we have both dreamed of being with you. So maybe it's us who should be grateful."

Frodo might have protested, but just then Merry's lips covered his, his kiss much less chaste than Pippin's had been, and Frodo gasped instead. Every thought, every pain, was forgotten as two pairs of hands roamed his body and Pippin found another place to kiss.

"Yes, just like this... Just let go, Frodo, let Pippin and me take care of you." Merry's voice was deep and velvety in Frodo's ear, and he simply obeyed, feeling a place that had been dead coming slowly alive again. At least for the time being.