Alright, I'm writing another Mario fic. Woo. And it's got some Bowser/Peach in it, so if that's not your thing, then scram instead of being an ass and flaming. Bowser/Peach just interests me WAY more than Mario/Peach does. Mario's awesome, though :D Pwns Sonic without even trying...in my opinion, anyway... *has been playing that Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games thing*

Disclaimer: This one doesn't own any of the characters mentioned in this fic D: Nor does this one own Super Mario...woe!

Summary: Having your children decide to join you and your new wife in bed at night is perfectly normal, but Bowser can't help but wonder what's up when Roy comes along as well.

Childish Display of Affection
By: Saya Moonshadow

It really wasn't all that uncommon for his two youngest children to join him and his bride in bed. Larry and Bowser Jr., both under the age of ten, loved to cuddle and be warm, and there was no one warmer than him, their dad, King Bowser Koopa of the Darklands. It was all the warmer in his bed now that Peach called it her own as well. Perhaps four nights a week saw one or both younger Koopalings snuggled up between them.

That day, it had been storming and raining horribly, making Bowser irritable as could be. He hated the rain and the cold it brought. And to his displeasure, it persisted all throughout the day. He had ordered Kamek to make it stop, but the old Magikoopa had insisted he let the weather run its course. The land needed the water. And besides, it would last only a day or two at the longest, surely he could wait it out.

Grumbling, Bowser had been forced to concede. The land DID need water, and as its king and head of its economy, he knew that better than anyone else. Rain gave the crops and all other plants water, not to mention replenished the lakes. Overall, it was good.

Just not for him.

True to their lineage, his Koopalings took after him and hated the rain as well, although his beloved bride absolutely adored it. She had tried to convince him to take a walk outside in it (with an umbrella, of course), but he had refused (although it had been a very near thing; her smile did things to him he would never admit).

They had been married scarce a month, and their time together was sadly spent mostly apart or in the company of others (not that he minded when said company was Kamek, Kammy, or one or more of his eight children). More than anything, he wanted some REAL time alone with her, and was actually beginning to REGRET not taking that walk with her. At least they would have been alone.

He was always glad for the nights when neither Larry nor Junior decided to have a bad dream or some other excuse and come join them in bed, because that meant they were ALONE. They had time to be together, just them and only them. It wasn't just the...grownup activities that made him wish for more of it; he genuinely enjoyed her company.

That night, the storm worsened, sending thunder and lightning through the sky every couple of minutes. As Bowser had expected, within minutes of the designated "lights-out" time, four-year-old Bowser Junior was scurrying in and burying himself firmly between them, shivering and eyes wide as tea saucers. Larry wasn't too far behind, although it took him a good thirty minutes to get scared enough to need some parental reassurance. He shoved Junior out of the way and burrowed into the covers, pressed up against Peach and nuzzling her, obviously much more scared than his greeting of, "I'm gonna sleep with you guys now, K, King Dad an' Mama Peach?!" would make it seem.

That was OK. He'd expected them to come.

He WASN'T, however, expecting Lemmy to come barging in a half hour later, wrapped in a blanket and wailing like the proverbial banshee about the thunder. Sighing, Peach disentangled herself from Larry and went to go get the second-oldest Koopaling, picking him up (blanket and all) and depositing him on the bed as well. He settled down just behind Junior, closer to the warm body heat of his father, and sighed. Much better. Safe now.

Bowser sighed and patted the sleeping Junior on the head, careful not to wake him. There went his and Peach's private time. Again. Not that he exactly minded; after all, his kids were scared and needed him. He just hoped that would be the last interruption of the night, he was bone tired and just wanted to sleep.

Naturally for these things, it wasn't to be. Less than ten minutes after Lemmy had joined them and when Bowser was JUST about to drift off, Morton quite literally fell through the door, landing on the ground with a THUMP, and babbling through the carpet in his mouth (he'd had the carpet installed with Peach in mind - she didn't like the feel of stone beneath her bare feet).

"King Daaaaaaaaaad it's raining and it's cold and there's thunder an' lightning and it's LOUD AND I CAN'T SLEEP AND--"

"Morton, shut up and just get over here," Bowser growled, and Morton shut his mouth with a snap, hurrying to do just that. He jumped up onto the bed, landing on his father's chest and knocking the wind out of him. Scowling, Bowser shoved him off and poked him into position next to Lemmy (all the while thanking whatever gods might be up there that Larry and Junior hadn't awoken, although Lemmy was staring curiously) and went to lay back down.

Morton gave a few mumbles and grumbles as Peach's hand went out to caress his head, but eventually managed to make himself comfortable by using her stomach as a source of heat and settled down with a sigh.

Bowser's hand went up to rub his now aching head. That was four of the eight...and if the other four knew what was good for them, they would stay firmly in their OWN rooms for the night. He didn't think he could deal with another interruption like that one...

After a few minutes of tense waiting, he conceded that perhaps it was FINALLY over and snuggled deeper into the sheets, caressing Peach's face lovingly with one hand. To his pleasure, she smiled and gave a small murmur, arms tightening around Larry as she did so. Good. Now they were all comfortable. Morton was snoring, as was Lemmy, Junior was snuffling quietly, curled up against his father's chest, and Larry was so silent he might as well have been dead. Only the rise and fall of his small form as he laid there belied that statement.

Finally...sleep...

Such a pleasant dream...alone time with Peach, and they could be alone for however long they wished. He didn't know how he knew, but he just KNEW that Kamek and Kammy wouldn't come bothering them with papers to be signed or some urgent meeting or any other such emergencies that required immediate attention. No one else would disturb them either. He reached out and took his wife by the hand, reveling in the radiant smile she gave him at that. He leaned in closer and she did too, so close to each other--

"K-King Dad...?"

Of course, just because Kamek and Kammy weren't going to bother them, that was no guarantee certain OTHERS were privy to that as well.

"Nnnngh?" he groaned, jerking awake suddenly at the small hand that was shaking his shoulder. What NOW?! He lifted his head, fully prepared to chew out whoever the hell had dared disturb him at 11:32 PM--

And halted when he was met with his daughter's teary eyes. That alone was enough to make him stop in his tracks, and he blinked, taking in the rest of her; uncertain posture, hands gripped in front of her and wringing nervously, head bowed slightly. It was rare for Wendy O. Koopa to cry for anything other than crocodile tears when she wanted something (which he was actually pretty good at spotting, having used the same tactic many a time himself). What had bothered her so badly right now that she was about to cry?

"What is it?" he asked, not unkindly, and Wendy bit her lip.

"He...he, uh, dumped me just now, on the phone," she admitted finally, sniffling a little bit. Bowser knew who she meant immediately - that one Koopa, What's-His-Name, that she was dating, and whom Roy had likened to a cross between a milk carton and the Antichrist. They'd only been dating for a short while - only about as long as he and Peach had been married. Hooked up during the wedding reception, in fact.

"Want me to roast him?" He couldn't let this cretin get away with breaking his only daughter's heart, after all.

Wendy giggled a little, wiping her eyes. "No...I can do that myself." Although Ludwig was still the only one who could successfully blow more than smoke, she knew she was close to a true flame. She could feel it getting brighter every day. And then she bit her lip, looking uneasy. "Can I...can I, uh, sleep with you and Mama Peach? I...it's OK if you don't--"

Bowser sighed; he just couldn't win, could he? What the hell, what difference would one more make? Honestly. "Yeah, yeah, whatever, climb aboard," he snapped, and Wendy's smile returned at his gruff tone as she climbed over him to snuggle down on his other side and using his hip as a pillow.

Within minutes, she was asleep, a few stray tears glistening just past her eyelids. Wordlessly, he wiped them away and gave an exhausted groan to Peach, who was smiling tiredly at him. "Are they ALL gonna come in here?" he asked exasperatedly. "All we need now's Ludwig, Roy, and Iggy, and we'll have a full house."

Peach grinned a little bit. "The bed's big enough," she pointed out, and he growled a little bit, which made her laugh.

Please let them leave me alone now... he thought, feeling Junior shift slightly against his chest. I can't TAKE it anymore!

He'd literally just fallen asleep when he heard something else clambering around on the bed and opened one fierce red eye to see his fourth child step carefully over Peach's head and onto the space between it and his own head. Iggy gave a small start when he noticed his father looking at him, but Bowser merely snorted and the Koopaling curled up on the pillows. "I couldn't sleep," he whispered to his father as he got comfortable.

"Neither can I," Bowser replied badtemperedly, "with all you morons scampering around me all night!"

Iggy giggled nervously and closed his eyes, ironically to his first statement falling asleep almost instantly. Bowser gave a small snort of amusement and reached over to pluck his son's glasses off of his face, placing them on the bedside table. Never having worn glasses himself, he didn't know what it was like, but he was still fairly certain that wearing them to bed was not a good idea.

All they needed now was Ludwig and Roy, he thought, and thank God he didn't have to worry about either of those two deciding to cuddle up with the parents at night. At fifteen years of age, Ludwig von Koopa was well on his way to becoming the next King of the Darklands, and also happened to be extremely mature for his age. Heck, Bowser wasn't as mature as he was, and he was his father. As for Roy? Only thirteen and already tough as nails, a true Koopa through and through. Roy could easily be called the toughest of the Koopalings; no mere storm or nightmare would send him scurrying to his parents' bedroom. It simply wouldn't do for the "definition of cool", as the third Koopaling had often described himself, to be seen climbing into bed with his mother and father.

They were too old to do that kind of stuff. Then again, Bowser reminded himself, he had his second-oldest, who was a good fourteen years old, curled up against his lower chest right now. But Lemmy was a special case, he was willing to admit that. Not that he let the kid's slight "problem" put him off any. He just didn't...develop as fast as the others. But he was still strong, and despite everything, Bowser had to admit that he was proud of him. The kid tried hard, after all.

They just had to wean him off his love for snow. No proper Koopa liked snow and the cold THAT much.

There was a polite knock at the door, and he gave it a sleepy glare. Who the hell was it NOW? Probably Kamek or someone, judging by how they had bothered to knock instead of just barging in like everyone else had. "What?!" he hissed, just loud enough for whoever it was to hear but not loud enough to wake up his sleeping family. Despite this, he saw Peach raise her head up yet again, blinking sleepily in the gloom. He reached and petted her hair as he waited for whoever it was to come in.

When they did, he was nothing less than shocked to see that it was his oldest son, who was shuffling and rubbing blearily at his eyes, blue hair messier than usual. He'd never seen Ludwig look so...normal. Usually, the fifteen-year-old was proper and upright, the perfect picture of a Prince and looking to be every inch of a miniature version of the King he would one day be.

"Ludwig? What's going on?" Bowser asked. Shock. That was the only way to describe what he was currently feeling. Was Ludwig, THE Ludwig von Koopa, Heir to the Dark Throne, really coming to sleep with his parents?

...nah. He was probably working on another musical piece and wanted an opinion on a note or something, Bowser thought, rolling his eyes. He really needed to wean that kid off the music. Sure, music was great for the education and all, but Ludwig's love for it didn't just border on obsession. It WAS an obsession, and Bowser knew it. That couldn't be good for a person, or a Koopa, for that matter. But to Ludwig's credit, it wasn't as if he were shirking his princely duties or how-to-be-King lessons.

"Um...if it is not too much trouble, Father..." the Koopaling began, and Bowser prepared for a long explanation on the piece he was working on and how he wanted to know his musically-challenged father's opinion, despite KNOWING that he was musically challenged. Still, a small part of him was glad his son trusted him enough to come to him about that kind of thing. Not that he'd ever admit it out loud, of course.

"Well?" he said testily when Ludwig hesitated. He glanced at the clock and suppressed a groan. 12:10! MUCH too late to be dealing with this crap!

"Er..."

Just what the heck was the kid so nervous about? He was NEVER this nervous about gaining an opinion on his music, so what was the problem? Maybe he was worried he'd REALLY screwed it up, so bad that even his FATHER could tell at a glance or something.

Whatever it was, it could wait at least until the sun came up.

"Ludwig." he said. "If you don't just spit it out, I'm gonna send you back to your room and take away your piano for a week."

Before he could go on with his threat, Ludwig hurriedly babbled out, "Iwannasleepinheretonight!"

Bowser blinked, nonplussed. "Huh?"

"What is it, dear?" Peach sat up a little bit, stroking Larry's head to settle him back down as he shuffled a bit. "Is something wrong? Did something happen?"

Ludwig's cheeks were practically as red as his eyes by now. "N-no, Mama Peach...I..." He faltered again, shuffling his feet, wringing his hands nervously, biting his lip, and glancing nervously away from her.

Peach smiled knowingly and beckoned him over. "Would you like to stay in here tonight?"

Wordlessly, the Koopaling nodded, and it was with even more shock than ever before that Bowser watched him scamper over and hurry to find a comfortable place, as though he were afraid of getting kicked out if he didn't do it fast enough. His oldest son grabbed part of the comforter, draped it over himself, and then laid his head on Peach's hip, giving out a small sigh and curling up like a large, scaly cat.

Helplessly, the King turned to his Queen, faltering when she winked at him and not knowing what to say. Just WHAT was going on here?! Ludwig von Koopa...wanting to sleep in HERE? With his PARENTS? At HIS age?

"Who are they, and what have they done with the REAL Koopalings?!" he growled out, and Peach laughed and leaned over to kiss him on the nose.

"Those ARE the Koopalings, every one of them," she assured him, and he suppressed the urge to cross his arms and pout. "They just need some...reassurance, is all. Let them stay. They're not doing any harm, and it's actually warm now that they're here!"

"As if I weren't warm enough for you," he sniffed, but couldn't resist smiling when she laughed again.

So that was seven of them. Seven of eight. This was unheard of. Never in their LIVES had Lemmy, Morton, Wendy, Iggy, and Ludwig joined him before now, and the fact that all five had chosen to do so on the same night unnerved him a little bit. OK, more than just a little bit. A lot. Just what was wrong with those kids? If he wasn't so bloody tired, he would have woken them up and forced it out of them, but fortunately for them, he WAS exhausted. Almost to the point of just dropping off and not waking up again, he was sure.

In the morning, he'd ask what had compelled all of them to randomly decide to partake in one of the most childish of activities. In the morning. Preferably after breakfast and several cups of coffee. And some extensive alone time with Peach. He was starting to go nuts without it, and it was a wonder he had ever survived without her before.

To his surprise and disgruntlement, he couldn't fully fall asleep after that little shock. He was so TIRED, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't, although his wife and children all slept peacefully, snuffling, murmuring, and snoring around him. His hand stroked first Junior's hair, then Iggy's, then Lemmy's, then Larry's, then went down to Wendy's head and from there, to Morton's. Lastly, Ludwig's messy blue mop came under his attention, and he had to stop and extricate his claws from his oldest child's hair after they got stuck, being careful not to wake him.

Finally, his hand strayed to Peach, and she smiled under his touch, snuggling deeper into the mattress with Larry clutched tightly to her chest and Morton's snoring muffled by the fact that his face was buried next to her stomach. He couldn't suppress a smile at that; even in her sleep, she was glad to be touched by him. She was willing to welcome his nutty children into the comfort of their bed without a moment's hesitation. And best of all, he knew she loved all of them. She loved HIM, too. That fact alone made him happier than any every would - or could.

He was still stroking her cheek and thinking forty-five or so minutes later when a small shaft of light momentarily blinded him. Shielding his eyes, he squinted badtemperedly at whoever it was who had opened the door, and blinked when the light was suddenly cut off and the door clicked shut. Heavy feet tramped across the carpet, and suddenly, he was confronted by a pair of blue eyes that he knew very well, despite the fact that they were usually concealed by a pair of red-rimmed sunglasses.

"Roy?"

"Hey Pops." the third oldest of the Koopalings said, and Bowser actually sat all the way up, taking care not to wake any of his other children. Or Peach either, for that matter.

"What are you DOING here?!" he hissed, and Roy blinked. "What are ANY of you doing here? Well, except Larry and Junior because they're ALWAYS in here, but the REST of you--"

Roy's eyes had narrowed confusedly as he cut his father off. "Is...'s it a bad thing that I wanna come in heah?" he asked, and Bowser stopped talking to stare at him in shock.

Ludwig was one thing; he'd always suspected that, deep down, the oldest Koopaling harbored at least SOME feeling of nervousness about his future Kingship and the duties that would one day be fostered on him. He was bound to crack at SOME point.

But Roy? Roy was the self-proclaimed toughest of the Koopalings; some could even say that he was just as tough as his father was. Roy was strong enough to give MARIO one hell of a run for his money. Even Bowser himself had a hard time keeping up with him sometimes.

"No..." he said cautiously. "There's not." His eyes narrowed suspiciously. "But this isn't like you. Spit it out. What the hell's gotten into you? Are you kids planning something?"

"NO!" Roy snapped, and his father blinked, taken aback. The magenta-shelled Koopaling bit his lip and glanced at his father almost shamefacedly. "I - I just thought it'd be nice ta, y'know, do somethin' I ain't never done b'fore! How was I s'posed to know all these other dumba--"

"Language!" Bowser hissed, and Roy rolled his eyes but tried again.

"--dorks were gonna get tha same 'zact idea 's me?"

And indeed, how could he have known? He hadn't spoken to his siblings all day, having stayed the entire morning, noon, and afternoon in one of the work out rooms, coming out only to eat lunch and dinner and to get some water. He wasn't about to admit it to his dad, but he'd been steeling himself for this all day.

And then, of course, his stupid siblings had to go and BLOW it for him, by all piling in here and making their father both irritable and more than just a little on edge and suspicious.

None of them had ever gotten into bed with their father before he married Peach. They loved their father and always had, it was just...well, he actually didn't know. Even when his real mother, the former Queen, had been alive, he had never bothered with such a childish display of affection. It embarrassed him to be doing it, and he just wanted his father to give the OK so he could freaking get it OVER with already. It was hard enough standing there in the dark without his shades under this scrutiny as it was, and he wasn't so sure he could put up with it much longer.

's not fair, he thought sullenly. I'm prolly gonna get kicked out, an' he didn't do that ta any-a THEM! Crap, even Ludwig's here! And so's Wendy...what the hell's goin' on here?

For the first time, he cursed the toughness he had been born with. He'd always taken it as a gift before; it meant he was always the strongest one and could handle anything, but it also meant that dealing with affection wasn't exactly an easy thing to do. At the age of thirteen, he could count the number of times he had hugged his father on one hand.

Mama Peach, on the other hand...well, technically, SHE had hugged HIM each time, not the other way around. And it was always so out of the blue, too. But the fact remained that he had always at least TRIED to reciprocate, no matter how awkward it felt at first to be hugged in public. If he could wake her up, she'd MAKE his father let him stay and wouldn't let him send him back to his own room, where he'd have to deal with being the only one out of the eight Koopalings to not be immediately welcomed--

"Alright, whatever, get in here already."

"Huh?" Roy's head came up again, eyes widened to a point that was almost comical. Bowser rolled his own eyes, speaking gruffly.

"What's the matter, brat, didn't you hear me? I thought you WANTED to sleep in here tonight, or did I hear you wrong?"

"No!" Quick as he could, Roy leaped onto the bed, landing in between Junior and Larry and jarring everyone else awake as he hit the mattress.

Peach jerked upwards, a yawning Larry still clutched in her arms, as Ludwig almost fell off the bed from the force of her sudden movement knocking him askew. "What--"

Bowser rolled his eyes once again and covered a furiously ranting Morton's mouth, pushing Junior back down again as he did so. "It's nothing, Peach, just another visitor." He jerked his head at Roy, who stared haughtily at his siblings, each one of them giving him a sleepy glare for waking them up.

"Looks like we've got yet ANOTHER guest," the Koopa King said to his wife as Roy began to make himself comfortable between his two youngest siblings. "A full house."

Peach chuckled, patting Roy's head lightly. "Nice of you to join us, Roy. Now we've got everyone here!"

"Too many," Wendy muttered, blanching when her father gave her an appraising look. She settled back down, grumbling a bit, but otherwise kept herself quiet.

"The bed's more than big enough; it was designed with ME in mind, after all," Bowser informed her. "If need be, you'll all just have to move around, although I DOUBT that'll be necessary." He shoved Junior down again as the Koopaling made to get up. "Now, we are all going to SLEEP," he snarled, and each of his children cringed at his tone. Their father was smarting over the lack of sleep he had suffered, and one more interruption was likely to set him off. Which was something none of them wanted to happen.

"But I gotta pee!" Junior protested, struggling under his father's hand, which was nearly as big as his entire torso. At his words, more hands shot up as his message was repeated.

"Me too!" That was Lemmy.

"I think I gotta go too, I feel a kinda PRESSURE right down there--"

"Ew, Iggy, no one wants to hear that! There are LADIES present!"

"As in plural? Mama Peach's the only LADY here, Wendy, you're still just a kid!"

"Uh yeah, Pops, I kinda forgot to do that b'fore I came in--"

"As much as you are all seeming to enjoy this conversation, I am rather certain that Father and Mama Peach do not appreciate being forced to partake in the fact that you all need to urinate!"

"I don't gotta go, Mama Peach, so don't lemme go, K?"

"Yeah well, I gotta go more than ALL-a you guys COMBINED! I gotta go so bad it's like a--"

"SILENCE!" Bowser shouted, and his eight children all shut their mouths with audible snaps, staring at him nervously. He glared at them and jerked his thumb at the bathroom door on the far wall. "Line up and go, then come back. Junior first."

This, of course, set them all off again.

"That's not fair, why does HE get to go first?"

"Yeah, I gotta go more than him, I bet!"

"...I just said that I DIDN'T have to go..."

Another scalding glare from their father sent each one who was in need of a toilet scampering for the bathroom, lining up outside of it, Junior in the lead. The youngest Koopaling quietly shut the door behind him as Bowser sighed dramatically, leaning back into his bed and Peach stifled a laugh, Larry now playing with her hair and Ludwig leaning his head back down on her hip.

Within minutes, each one had done their business and were back in their original positions: Junior against his father's chest, Lemmy a few inches below him, Morton's face buried next to Peach's stomach, Wendy leaning on Bowser's hip, Iggy back in his spot between their heads, and Roy between Junior and Larry, who was still in Peach's arms.

For a moment, silence reigned, and then Roy spoke.

"No one better roll over on top-a me, or I'll pound ya good, ya hear me?"

Bowser snorted, shifting slightly. "You do more sleep-rolling than anyone else in this family, so follow your own advice. Now go to sleep. Or ELSE."

The look in their father's eyes was enough to make each one put their heads down and close their eyes, determined to fall asleep as fast as they could. Not surprisingly, considering the so-late-it-was-early hour and all the excitement of the past few minutes, it really didn't take as long as it otherwise might have. Within a few minutes, each one was fast asleep.

Finally. Peace. And quiet. Bowser looked over at his wife, who had also fallen asleep on her side with a smile on her face, and felt himself smile as well.

OK, so maybe this really wasn't so bad, the fact that his eyes felt like they were about to fall out aside. It was strangely...comforting to be surrounded by his children as they slept, and he reached out to stroke Lemmy's head as the rainbow-haired Koopaling mumbled something in his dream.

He was still wondering just what had possessed them all (particularly Roy, who was snoring loud enough to rival Morton) to come seeking parental reassurance all on the same night, but for now, he settled for letting himself drift into sleep. He'd deal with everything after the sun came up, when he was actually fully awake and coherent, and not dealing with a severe lack of rest, energy, and private time with his wife.

X x X

END.

X x X

AN: Bwa. Replaying Super Paper Mario, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario World really DOES things to you. This seems kinda sappy to me, but I tried to keep everyone in character. Hopefully you enjoyed reading it.

As usual, if the Bowser/Peach pairing or the idea of Peach being motherly towards the Koopalings isn't something you particularly like, I'm going to have to ask you to keep that to yourself. I'm here to please those of you out there who DO like those things, and to do nothing else. As well as to get out a plot bunny that's been gnawing at me for a while now.

Review, please!