Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lord of the Rings belong to their respective creators, Joss Whedon and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Author's Warning: major AU. Absolutely non-canon. Seriously, I am not kidding.
“The Shire isn’t the whole of it, my girl,” said Bilbo.
Buttercup turned her head to look at him, her hand falling from her chin. She was sitting by the window, the gray light of early morning cool on her skin. The arrowheads she had been sharpening were gathered in her lap with the whetstone.
Bilbo was standing next to the chair. Buttercup tried to judge how long he had been there, looking at her, but had been herself too lost in thought, staring out into the growing light, her elbows still on the sill.
“Of what?” she asked instead.
“Why, the world, Buttercup,” he answered.
Buttercup looked away, out the window again. Her hair was loose that day, thicker and longer than ever before, and she wore her new spring dress, delivered by the seamstress just the other day.
There were a few moments of comfortable silence. Buttercup was looking out the window again, down the road and over nearly the whole of Hobbiton, watching the Sun rise over the town. Bilbo joined her, turning to gaze out over the Hill.
“You’ll never be happy here, Buttercup,” he said then, breaking the stillness. His voice was kind. “Perhaps someday, when you are old and tired and in need of some peace, like me, but right now, I imagine you are feeling as bored and stifled and desperate as any young adventurer I have ever seen.”
Her hands clenched.
“No,” continued Bilbo, “right now, you’re not like me at all. At your age, I was extremely content to be where I was, at Bag End with my pipe and my mail. I used to be a very proper gentle-hobbit, you know. Hadn’t a thought of going off and traipsing around after Dwarves and Dragons, for which I entirely blame Gandalf and his bad influence. But even the properest of the gentlest of gentle-hobbits could see that you aren’t at all like that, my girl.”
Buttercup could feel it coming—that quick, breathless feeling, the restlessness that was welling up inside of her despite all her attempts to smother it. And, with it, that silly, inexplicable urge to cry.
“I don’t mean to, Uncle,” she said quietly. “I wanted to be happy. I wanted to be like everyone else.”
“Oh, Buttercup,” said Bilbo, and she felt his hand rest lightly on her shoulder. “Don’t you know that I love you just the way you are? That to be anything else would be to become less? There’s nothing wrong with wanting more. Home will still be here, whenever you need or want it.”
He left, then, his pipe in hand, trailing the heady smoke of pipeweed, and she heard him in the study, sitting down to his writing table, and the shuffle of parchment in his hand.
Buttercup turned back to the window. The light was warm and golden now, the promise of a perfect spring morning.
“What I mean to say,” shouted Bilbo from his study, “is that I am quite inclined to go and see my friend Balin this summer. I understand he’s gotten into a holding of his own now, someplace called Moria. I’m quite anxious to see it! And I sh’ll visit Beorn on the way, to see what he's been up to.”
Buttercup sat, staring in the direction of the study, mouth open. There was a moment of silence.
“Of course, you’ll have to come with me,” called Bilbo. “Else I’m like to come home and find not one of my good teacups intact.”
If he had anything else to say, it had to be postponed, for Buttercup chose then to rush into the study and hang on his neck smothering him with kisses, which embarrassed him quite a lot.