Pippin looked up to the ceiling, relishing these few moments when Merry would bury his face into Pippin's curls and wrap his arms around Pippin's waist, and Pippin could almost believe that Merry loved him.
He shook his head and scolded himself quietly. Merry would never love him, could never love him. Not that way in any case.
But, some other part of his mind argued, if Merry did not love Pippin, then why had he spent more than one night with him? Why had Merry been here, in this very bed, making Pippin cry with pleasure as his hands and lips had been everywhere, *everywhere*.
'And you didn't stop him.' His conscious was getting involved now, a little voice inside his head that tended to always say what Pippin didn't want to hear. That was it, Pippin told himself, he didn't stop Merry; that was why Merry came back.
He wasn't strong enough to stop Merry. He didn't want to stop Merry. Because when Merry was there, touching him and holding him, then Pippin could convince himself that Merry felt the same, that he loved him. Because every time Merry gave him that glance, the one that could only mean one thing, Pippin forgot all the lonely nights he spent like this one, debating with himself over something that one had one answer. All the nights when he knew that Merry was with someone else, in someone else's bed. And maybe Merry was deceiving that lad or lass as well, or maybe he did love whoever he was with tonight, but none of it mattered to Pippin because all he wanted was for Merry to be with him.
He wanted Merry to be there. The bed was too big, so empty without Merry, so cold. He turned over onto his side and miserably pulled the quilt closer around him, shivering a little. He felt so lonely he thought he might as well just die. No one loved him anyway, or if anyone did leastways it was not Merry, and if Merry didn't love him then life was not worth living.
He could not stop his tears now, they came big and fast, rolling down his cheeks on their suicide route, along the side of his nose, over his lips, dripping down onto the pillow were they were soaked up and disappeared. His pillow became wet and soggy and a few stray tears trickled close to his ear, but he took no notice. He was too caught up in his own heartache.
Merry found him like that, his miserable form shaking with forceful, quiet sobs. Merry quietly came over to the bed and sat down, touching Pippin's shoulder briefly. "Pip?"
Pippin only cried harder, trying to shrug away from his cousin's touch. Merry pressed his shoulder gently. "Pip, what's wrong sweetheart?"
"Go away!" Merry flinched at Pippin's cold tone. "Leave me alone. I don't want to talk to you." Anger was welling up now, and Pippin hiccupped as the tears subsided. "Go away."
Merry stayed sitting on the side of the bed, moving his hand and running it gently through Pippin's curls. "No, Pip. Tell me what's wrong."
Pippin sat up abruptly. "You!" Merry blinked as Pippin leant close to him. "You. It's all your fault. I don't want to see you anymore!"
Merry flinched away from him now, seeing anger flash in his cousin's green eyes. "Pippin? What did I do? I thought you wanted to-"
Pippin interrupted him with a bitter laugh. "Oh, I wanted to, Merry. I love you."
Merry blinked and swallowed. "So, what's wrong?" He reached out to touch Pippin's cheek but Pippin slapped away his hand.
"Don't Merry." Pippin shook his head and blinked against the tears that were returning. When he continued his voice was quiet, so quiet Merry could hardly make out the words. "All I ever wanted was for you to love me." With that he lost the fight with his tears and buried his face in his hands as he cried.
"Oh, Pippin…" Merry didn't know what to say. "Oh, honey," he carefully put his arms around Pippin's shuddering body and pulled him close. "I do love you, of course I love you."
"Not the way I want you to." Pippin said, burying his face in Merry's chest, welcoming the warmth and comfort.
"Oh, Pippin, can't you see I love you just that way? I love you so much that I couldn't live without you. So much that you're the first thing I think off when I waked up in the morning and the last thing before I go to sleep. Just that way, Pippin."
Pippin sniffed. That was just the way he wanted Merry to love him. "Really?"
Merry gently rubbed his back. "Of course, stupid. I love you more than anything."
"But, then, why do you spend the night with other lads and lasses? Why do you do that if you love me?" Pippin snivelled, drying his nose with his sleeve.
Merry sat back a little and looked at him. "Where did you get that idea, Pip? I never, ever spent the night with anyone else but you, not since you first came into my bed. I would never do that."
Pippin looked up at him. "No? I just heard Pearl and her friends talk, and they do talk a lot, and they said things, and…" Pippin stopped short and blushed, realising how stupid he had been.
Merry slipped his arms around Pippin's waist, and pulled him close, burying his face in Pippin's cinnamon curls. He inhaled the scent of his cousin, that distinct scent that was Pippin, and he realised just how much he loved him, he loved him more than he had ever thought possible. And Pippin cried tears of happiness.