Surprise visit

Note: 473 word ficlet requested by thepychicclam, had to include the line "Merry, I do believe you're blushing." First time writing this pairing. Huh.

Frodo was completely caught by surprise when Merry stood on his doorstep. It was unusual for Merry not to announce himself before dropping in, although Frodo had told him on countless occasions that he should consider Bag End his home, just as much as Buckland. But Merry had always written before coming by, saying that he didn't have the opportunity to write a proper letter very often.

Yet what surprised Frodo even more was that Merry was by himself. No Pippin anywhere in sight. It had been a year at least since Frodo had seen Merry without his constant companion by his side - Pippin seemed to live more in Buckland than in the Great Smials. Not that Frodo minded, because he was very fond of the young Took, even more so as he turned from child to Tween. But sometimes he missed the quiet hours in Bilbo's study he used to spend with Merry.

So it was with a big hug and an even bigger smile that he welcomed him. When Merry did not offer an explanation for his appearance, Frodo did not question him, and they settled into a very comfortable rhythm, enjoying each other's company and spending hours reading and discussing anything from Elvish poetry to where the best mushrooms of the Shire grew. Sometimes Sam joined them when they talked, but most of the time it was just the two of them, and Frodo liked it that way.

He felt that Merry had a reason for coming, which for some reason he was embarrassed to mention. It was two weeks after his arrival that Frodo caught him watching him with a thoughtful expression in his eyes. It peeked his curiosity.

"So, Meriadoc, do you plan on ever telling me why you're here - without announcement and alone, both not very typical for you, as you know as well as I do."

With growing amusement Frodo saw Merry, who usually always knew what to say, squirm and stutter something about spontaneous decisions, having missed Frodo and wanting to just get away.

"Merry, I do believe you're blushing," Frodo laughed, pulling his cousin close and peering into his eyes, which were bright with... something. "Whatever it is, you can tell me." Getting serious, he held Merry's hands in his, feeling them tremble slightly.

Frodo smiled warmly, his thumbs drawing lazy circles on Merry's soft skin. "Or maybe you don't have to say anything..." With that he leaned in, making sure Merry had lots of warning. But instead of pulling away, Merry's eyes fluttered shut and it was him who closed the distance between them.

Frodo closed his eyes as he felt Merry's lips against his. This was not what he had expected when Merry had turned up at his doorstep. But he was quite happy with how this surprise visit had turned out.