A/N - This chapter is a little shorter but it was a sweet, yet common story I wanted to tell. It once again shows how much the Summers' sisters adored one another as children. I'd like to ask you guys if you have any stories for later chapters to message me or tell me in a review. I'd love to include them. Enjoy.
"I WANT MR. NOODLES!" Dawn was wailing as Joyce drove her home from this afternoons play date. This noise had been bursting Joyce's eardrums ever since her daughter had climbed into the car and it was getting to the point where the mother was feeling slightly helpless.
In the backseat beside Dawn, Buffy was trying to comfort her little sister and in the passenger seat beside Joyce sat poor old Mr. Noodles with his head lying next to him.
From what Joyce had been told by Davie Robinson's mother the two children had been playing perfectly happily with Mr. Noodles until they had decided they didn't want to share him anymore. Despite the elephant being Dawn's toy Davie had decided it was his right to play with the animal alone. In the shuffle of events that followed somebody had pulled a little too vigorously and off Mr. Noodles' head had come.
Now he lay sadly, stuffing leaking out onto the seat.
When the Summers' women arrived home a patient Buffy led Dawn to her bedroom where Dawn immediately threw herself onto the bed. "I want Mr. Noodles" she cried, head buried in a plethora of stuffed animals.
"You don't need Mr. Noodles" Buffy reasoned as Joyce hovered in the doorway, watching. "Look!" she held up a lopsided piglet even though Dawn wasn't looking. "You like Piggy, right?" Instead of responding to the question the youngest Summers' let out a muffled whimper.
"Polly?" Buffy held up a second piglet and little Dawn looked up simply to give her older sister a pained look. "Fine" Buffy sighed. "Ariel, then?" she held up a dolphin toy that Hank had picked up on his fairly recent trip to Australia. Dawn simply shook her head, burying it once again in the pillow of animals.
It was now that Joyce stepped in, walking into the room and taking a seat with her daughters on the bed. "Dawn, honey" she said, putting her hand on Dawn's back and stroking it softly. "Mr. Noodles' life might be at an end. I could try to fix him up for you but I doubt he'd be the same elephant you knew."
"I want Mr. Noodles" Dawn repeated, but with less anguish. She sat up and leaned her back against the stuffed collection instead. "I miss him. I hate Davie!"
Joyce sighed quietly. Being the youngest child Dawn had learned quickly to rely on other things to help her through life. Buffy had been the first and Mr. Noodles the second. Dawn always said she couldn't go anywhere without Mr. Noodles, just as she preferred not to go anywhere without Buffy. Perhaps one day she might grow out of her dependent behaviour.
"Okay Dawnie" she said, patting her youngest daughters shoulder and making her way out of the room. As she left she heard Buffy continue to pull out toys, being as helpful as Dawn was making it possible.
Once she was out of the room and the door was closed Joyce headed to her sewing machine and took a seat, Mr. Noodles in her hands. It was going to be a tough job and it was doubtful that he would look exactly right when Dawn got him back but with her youngest miserable it was worth a shot.
An hour into her labour of trying to get the elephant exactly how he was Buffy ran straight past her and toward her own bedroom. Joyce only wondered briefly what her daughter was up to but she was concentrating far too hard to really focus. A few seconds later Buffy was rushing back towards her sisters' room.
"Dawn, here! I've got a present for you!" she was calling as she ran and Joyce paused in her task to listen.
"Look!' Buffy was saying and Joyce heard movement on Dawn's bed. "She's a bunny rabbit. She's cute, right?"
"I love her!" Dawn replied. "Is she for me?"
More excited movement.
"I'll name her Carrot!"
A small smile crept across Joyce's face. Of course, this made absolute sense. Mr. Noodles had been a present from Buffy for Dawn's second birthday. Her very intelligent eldest must have figured that if she gave Dawn a new present it would make her happier.
Smile still etched on her features Joyce tossed Mr. Noodles into the trash can below the desk. Now they simply had to make sure nothing life threatening happened to Carrot.