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The Companion Hobbit

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AN: This was written for a prompt on the hobbit kink meme, requesting Bilbo as the Doctor's companion. Also, this takes place in some nebulous time between Asylum of the Daleks and The Angels Take Manhattan.

Bilbo sighed as he glanced again at the entrance to Erebor. He wanted to return to the dwarf city, wanted another chance to try to explain and apologize to Thorin, but he was unwilling to risk facing Thorin's wrath at violating his banishment. Which left him wandering outside, trying to stay out of everyone's way while he decided what to do next.

He sighed again, running a hand through his hair and tugging lightly at a curl. He knew what he was going to have to do next, he was just unwilling to admit it, even to himself. The only thing Bilbo had left was to make his way back to the Shire and return to his old, ordinary life. The life that seemed so dull now that he'd finally given in and had a proper adventure. An adventure that had ended with him banished from his friend's kingdom, true, but at least everyone had survived.

Bilbo had almost convinced himself to go and find Gandalf to let the wizard know that he was leaving when he heard the strangest sound coming from over the nearest hill. It was a bizarre sort of grinding noise, completely different from anything he'd ever heard before. And before he could even stop to think, Bilbo was heading for the noise, one hand going to the pocket that held his magic ring.

He ducked down when he got to the crest of the hill, trying to stay out of sight while he peeked over the edge. For a long moment, all he could do was stare.

There was a large wooden box, painted a rather lovely shade of blue, sitting in the middle of the open ground with a thin trail of smoke rising from somewhere on the back. While Bilbo watched, a door opened in the front of the box and someone that Bilbo assumed must either be a man or a wizard stepped out. He looked to be as tall as Gandalf, with floppy brown hair and wearing an odd sort of woolen jacket with very skinny trousers.

He was also dashing in circles around the blue box, knocking on the sides and muttering under his breath while waving some sort of glowing stick around.

He was probably another wizard then, as they seemed to behave rather oddly, at least the two that Bilbo had met did. And this stranger certainly seemed like he would fit right in with Gandalf and Radagast.

"Oh, what's wrong, old girl? River didn't rewire you again, did she?" The stranger was crouched on the ground in front of the box, patting the door with one hand while the other continued to wave the glowing stick at it.

He sounded so concerned that Bilbo couldn't help himself. He pushed himself to his feet, tried in vain to straighten his clothes and brush off the dirt, and made his way down the hill. "Excuse me, is there anything I can do to help?" He almost couldn't believe his daring, Took blood or not, but he couldn't just stand idly by while someone needed help. Not even if they were a strange wizard.

The stranger looked over towards Bilbo, then down a bit as he took in Bilbo's height. "Hello, there. I'm the Doctor. And who might you be, short little being with no shoes on?"

And for no reason that he could discern, for the first time since Thorin cast him out Bilbo smiled. "Bilbo Baggins, at your service."

The wizard who called himself the Doctor grinned, then dropped to one knee and extended a hand for Bilbo to shake. "It's very nice to meet you, Bilbo Baggins. Might I ask just what race you are? I don't actually believe that I've ever met anyone matching your description before."

Bilbo shook the offered hand before pulling back and trying yet again to tug his clothes into some sort of proper order. "I'm a Hobbit, of the Shire. And you, Doctor? Are you a wizard like Gandalf and Radagast?"

The Doctor laughed as he hopped to his feet. "I haven't been called a wizard in quite a long time, Bilbo Baggins. And I'm not familiar with anyone called Gandalf or Radagast, though if they're wizards of any sort I'm sure they're quite interesting. Right now, though, I'm just someone trying to fix his ship."

"Please, call me Bilbo." He blinked, looking between the Doctor and the strange blue box. "Surely you don't mean that this box is some sort of ship, do you?"

The Doctor grinned again, reaching over to pat the box fondly on the side. "Of course I do. She may not look like much on the outside, but the inside is a whole other story." He paused, grin widening almost alarmingly as he stared at Bilbo. "Want to see?"

At any other time, Bilbo's answer would have been a firm but polite no. He was a smart Hobbit, and he could fairly easily see just where the Doctor's offer was going to lead. But he couldn't bear the thought of heading back to the Shire just yet, and he wasn't going to return to Erebor against Thorin's orders. Which really left him with one choice.

So Bilbo pulled up the Tookishness that had grown so strong during his adventure and nodded firmly. "I'd love to."

The Doctor laughed, clapped his hands and spun around in a quick circle. "Excellent. I know I've only known you for a few minutes, but I'm positive that you'll like her." He raised his hand and snapped his fingers, and the door to the blue box swung open. "Go on, have a look."

A moment later Bilbo was poking his head into the box. "Oh my." He jerked his head back out, and for a moment just stared at the grinning Doctor with wide eyes. Then, almost without any conscious thought, he looked back into the amazing magic box. He slowly walked inside, only absently aware of the Doctor following him and closing the door behind them.

"So, Bilbo, what do you think of her?"

It took Bilbo a long moment to find his voice, and even then it was low and breathy. "It's amazing. I don't think even the Elves couldn't create something so wonderful."

"Oh, I knew you were going to be amazing." The Doctor sounded terribly pleased with himself. "So now that you've seen her, want to take a little trip? Absolutely anywhere in time and space."

Bilbo wasn't really sure just what the Doctor meant by time and space, but there was no way his Took side was going to let him back out now.

"Yes. I'm not quite finished adventuring yet."

"Splendid." The Doctor dashed over to what looked to be some sort of control mechanism and began spinning knobs and pulling levers. "Now where to? Woman Wept is lovely, but probably not the best location for being of bare feet. Kellos VII is always a treat, so long as you avoid the Twenty-Year Revolution."

There was a sudden screeching noise, and the entire room shuddered. "Or possibly we'll be going nowhere because somehow the TARDIS isn't fixed even though I fixed her." The Doctor pulled out his glowing stick again and began waving it around, eventually coming to a stop with it pointed directly at Bilbo. "It's you. Or more likely something on you. Have you got anything in your pockets?"

Bilbo frowned, then reluctantly pulled out his magic ring. "I've just got this, really. Well, this and a bit of string, a pair of gloved that Ori knitted for me and my pipe."

"Oh, it's definitely this very interesting ring you've got here." The glowing stick was making humming noises as it waved back and forth in front of the ring. "There's a bit of something alive in there, or at least almost sort of alive, and it's trying to talk to something out there. And it's somehow interfering with the TARDIS's systems."

Bilbo blinked, then stared down at the ring in horror. "There's something alive in it? I just thought it turned you invisible."

"Oh, I'm sure it does. I'm just concerned about what else it does," the Doctor answered absently, most of his attention focused on whatever information he was getting from the glowing stick. "Luckily, whatever it can do, the sonic screwdriver can do better." Then, after a long moment the Doctor grinned, tossing the sonic screwdriver into the air and then sliding it into his pocket. "There. All taken care of."

For a moment, all Bilbo could do was stare down at the suddenly lighter-seeming ring in his hand. "So you took the whatever it was out of the ring? It's just an ordinary ring now?"

The Doctor laughed as he jumped back over to the control mechanism. "Of course not. Whatever it was, it was old and entrenched, not something I'd want to try to remove willy nilly. I have, however, blocked it off from trying to communicate with anything or anyone outside of itself. It should still turn you invisible, though. Fairly impressive work, if I do say so myself."

Bilbo couldn't help but laugh at the picture the Doctor made, looking so proud of himself as he tugged at the lapels of his jacket and puffed out his chest. "I believe you did say so yourself, Doctor."

For an instant the Doctor pouted, before shaking his head with a grin. "Should have known you'd be one of those. No one wants to let me be impressive this time around."

"I'm sure you'll be properly impressive later, Doctor. After all, we haven't known each other very long at all." If the Doctor weren't so very tall, Bilbo would have liked to have patted him on the shoulder to make him feel better, but without a step ladder it was quite impossible. Then, to Bilbo's embarrassment, his stomach growled.

The Doctor's smile widened at the noise. "A bit hungry, are we?"

Bilbo flushed, but nodded. "I'm afraid so. It's just that I've already missed both second breakfast and elevensies, and it's coming up on time for luncheon. Besides which, I'd just started to get back on a regular schedule for meals after the journey."

"Well then, Bilbo Baggins, you're first trip will be to the TARDIS kitchens, and then to the amazing markets of Kandor." He flipped a final switch on the console, and the room lurched. "Now that we're finally moving, off to the kitchens. I think you'll like them."