Disclaimers: The characters, setting, and surrounding story line don't belong to me. They're purely Tolkien's.

Summary: Frodo wakes up in a peaceful place after the destruction of the ring. This was written for the Middle-earth Express challenge prompt # 20: Comfort. I went back to re-read the events that take place after Sam and Frodo's rescue by the eagles and saw that we only see Sam's awakening at noon, not when Frodo woke earlier in the day, so I decided to write that moment.

A/N: Oh, and I didn't quite meet the 500 word limit with this one. It's about 70 words over the limit, but I couldn't bear to cut any of it.


Soft. That was the only thing Frodo could think. For the first time in longer than he could remember, he was lying on something soft. A fresh, clean scent permeated the room, driving out the memory of the foul scents that had surrounded them in Mordor. A small smile crossed Frodo's face as he snuggled deeper into the soft bed and pulled the blanket up to his shoulders. This seemed like a dream, a cozy, wonderful dream that he had no desire to wake up from.

The last place he remembered being was Mount Doom as they tried to escape the fiery death of that mountain after the destruction of the ring. If this was truly a dream, he wanted to stay here. Just thinking of the possibility of waking up back in that horrid place sent a shiver of fear down his spine, causing him to burrow almost completely under the covers. Hearing birdsong nearby, he relaxed into the amazingly comfortable bed. There had been no birds or natural life anywhere within the depths of Mordor. The song brought him a sense of comfort that he had not thought he would ever feel again. Life still existed in this place.

Wanting to see where he was, but fearing that he would wake to a reality he did not want to face, he slowly cracked one eye open, and saw a shaft of bright morning light illuminating his bed. That pure, wonderful sunlight had not shown in Mordor. Slightly reassured, he opened his eyes even further. Gazing upwards, he beheld the amazing sight of beech trees stretching far above his head, the sunlight filtering down through the branches. A soft snore caught his attention, and he turned his head to see Sam lying in a nearby bed, sleeping peacefully and quite soundly, by the looks of it. Frodo knew not how they had come to be here, wherever here was, but he would not dare to wake Sam. The poor hobbit had not gotten much sleep on their long quest, trying to keep watch over Frodo and be sure that Gollum or another enemy did not sneak up and attack them.

"So, you are awake at long last," a gentle voice spoke from Frodo's right.

Turning his head, Frodo saw Gandalf standing beside his bed. Frodo's eyes widened in astonishment, and he scrambled into a sitting position. "GANDALF!" he shouted, before clamping a hand over his mouth and glancing guiltily over at Sam's sleeping form. He needn't have worried, as Sam had not stirred at all. "Gandalf," he exclaimed more quietly in amazement. "I thought you had died. We saw you fall…"

"Worry not," Gandalf said as he saw the confused expression on Frodo's face. "I am well, as are the rest of your companions, save one."

A shadow crossed Frodo's face. "Yes, I had heard of Boromir's fall. It grieved me greatly." An expectant look lit his face. "But the others are all well?"

"Yes, they are," Gandalf answered, a gentle smile on his face. "Tales of their adventures can wait for another time. You should rest for awhile more, my friend. I will watch over you and make sure you are not disturbed."

Frodo yawned, not realizing until that moment how tired he felt. Reclining back against the pillow, he snuggled back into the covers, taking comfort in Gandalf's presence and the thought that his friends were well.