by Sarah Eleven

Rating: PG

Pairing: Gandalf/Merry

Summary: Gandalf warms up a hobbit on a cold night.

Disclaimer: No rights, no income.

Beta: Nefertiti

The road from Gondor to the Shire was long. Gandalf had untethered the horse from the wagon for the night, unrolled all the blankets, and built a fire for cooking and warmth. There was a bitter chill in the air, which had the hobbits huddling as soon as their stew was gone. All four snuggled together in their blankets and fell asleep almost immediately.

Gandalf watched them, smiling fondly. They were still several days from reaching their destination, and the weather would get worse as they traveled. There would be rain, frost, possibly even snow to accompany the cold wind. Their heavy outer clothing would become necessary.

He wrapped himself in a blanket and sat before the fire, snoozing lightly for a time. The half-moon had risen high in the sky, and in the distance, an animal wailed.

One of the hobbits sat bolt upright, his heavy breaths creating fog that looked like a gloomy ghost in the flickering firelight. He was obviously experiencing the after-affects of a nightmare. Gandalf woke and said calmly, "What is wrong, little one?"

"N-nothing," came the quivering response.

"Cover the others, and come sit beside me a while," Gandalf said, opening his blanket in invitation.

Merry hurried to join the wizard in his blanket, shivering as he was folded in. "My toes are cold," he said.

Gandalf chuckled and touched the hobbit's hairy feet. "Oh, I can feel that they are quite cold!" he said, clasping the freezing digits and lifting them into his lap. "Let me warm them." His hand radiated heat that soon thawed the toes. "And I thought hobbits' feet were supposed to be impervious to cold!"

"I think they are--but someone forgot to tell my feet!" Merry said, nearly mewling at the heat. "Oh, Gandalf, you don't know how good that feels!"

Gandalf pulled him closer. "Will there be anything else I can warm for you tonight, Merry?"

Merry looked up at him provocatively. "My lips seem to be a bit chilly, too," he said softly.


Merry nodded, eyes wide and lips pursed to confirm their temperature.

Gandalf's eyes were tender as he bent to cover the hobbit's cold lips with his own warmer ones. Merry's arms lifted and encircled the wizard's neck, his icy lips parted to encourage the kiss to deepen, and his small body pivoted so that he was sitting in the lap of his companion. Closing his eyes, Merry sucked lightly on Gandalf's tongue, then pressed his own tongue into the wizard's mouth. The desired heat was achieved.

After a few sweet moments, Gandalf pulled back from the kiss, and gazed into the amorous hobbit's adoring eyes. "Oh, Merry," he whispered.

"Gandalf, can you tell that there are other parts of me that need to be warmed, too?"

Gandalf nodded, and kissed him again. "Very well, my dear. I will not stop until every part of you is toasty warm," he murmured. "Now, where shall we begin?"