I got this idea after watching the Buffy episode where Dawn talks about a birthday party at the carousel. Short and sucky. But whatev. 1st season.

Dawn was slouched on the bench, sobbing like an incoherent child. Joyce had her arm around her, trying to comfort her youngest daughter.

"No-nobody's here." Dawn hiccupped.

"Oh, darling, they're just late." Joyce whispered. She knew no one was coming, and she hated the idea of explaining that to aeleven year old.

"When's Buffy coming?" Dawn looked up, her eyes wet with tears.

"As soon as she can, sweetheart." Joyce really hoped that Buffy would keep her word.

"Good." Dawn sighed.

They sat there for another twenty minutes. When Joyce stood up, signaling to Dawn it was time to leave, a voice came up from behind them.

"What? Leaving already?" Buffy asked comically.

"Buffy. I need to talk to you." Joyce's face was grim.

"Mom, I brought my friends!" Buffy replied, almost pleading "It took awhile to get them."

"Oh. Okay." Joyce settled and Dawn ran over to where Buffy stood.

"Hey, Dawnie! Happy birthday! I'm sorry we're late." Buffy hugged her little sister. Pulling away from the hug, Dawn saw the handsomest guy she had ever witnessed. "This is Willow." Buffy pointed to her redheaded friend. Dawn waved. "And this is Xander." Buffy pointed to the man of Dawn's dreams. Dawn hugged him.

"Here. I come bearing a gift." He blushed a little and handed her a stuffed teddy bear.

"Thanks Xander!" Dawn beamed.

"Here, Dawnie." Buffy passed her sister a box wrapped in shiny pink paper.

"Thanks Buffy!" Dawn hugged her sister again.

"Are you kids ready to ride the carousel?" Joyce asked. "It's rented until nine. And, we have cookie cake."

"A carousel ride and cookie cake?" Xander rubbed his stomach "Count me in."

Willow, Buffy, Dawn, and Joyce laughed. The carousel started up.

After a few carousel rides and 2 pieces of cookie cake, Dawn smiled. "This is the best birthday ever."