Only The Joy. G, Peeta/Katniss, Mellark babies, post-MJ.
"You should've known we'd have the most annoying kids ever."



"Daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy..."

Peeta felt himself be pulled from sleep by the familiar, squeaky voice and an insistent tug at his shoulder. He took a deep breath, his nose half-buried in his wife's hair, as he was holding her to him, her back to his front. He opened his eyes and looked to the window at the side of the room, noticing that it was still dark outside. He almost sighed. And he'd been sleeping so comfortably, for once.

"...Daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy..."

He felt Katniss shift in his arms, and he knew she, too, was awake. Only she had her eyes closed tightly, as if refusing to part from sleep. He almost made a comment about it, quipped that she couldn't pretend she was asleep forever, but the tugging was getting kind of annoying by now.

"...Daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy!"

He threw his head back on his pillow and looked over his shoulder, to find a small head full of blonde curls bouncing up and down by the side of the bed. Well, someone's excited, he thought. Not that the incessant "Daddy"-ing hadn't already given it away. "Ryland," he started, his voice scratchy from sleep. "Good little boys don't start running around until the sun has come up," he muttered, hoping he was managing to sound more authoritative than drowsy.

"But Daddy!" the three-year-old interjected, gray eyes wide and more alert than anyone had a right to be at that hour of the morning. "It's the first snow! It's all white outside! You hafta come see!" And then there was more tugging.

Peeta let his head fall back against his pillow and stifled his groan against his wife's shoulder. He just wanted to sleep. "He seems more hyper than usual," came Katniss' comment. She still had her eyes closed, like opening them was just too much effort.

He shrugged. "I have no idea why. I mean, it's not like I gave him sugar cookies before bed or anything," he quipped, trying to sound completely innocent as he burrowed his face against her hair again. Maybe if he followed his wife's example and feigned sleep, Ry would get bored and go back to bed on his own?

Of course, he had no such luck. "Daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy..."

He saw Katniss' lips crinkle at the corner of her mouth. She chuckled a bit, then finally opened her eyes, so much like their son's. She turned her head toward him and gave him a look. A look that clearly said YOU got him like this, now YOU deal with him.

He exhaled, resigned. "Fine," he said, finally giving up. After dropping a kiss against her neck, he pushed himself up and off the bed. Ryland started to positively glow when he saw his father was really going to come watch the snowfall with him. "Come here, you little misfit," Peeta exclaimed when he finally stood up, picking his son up by the waist like he was a sack of flour. His action was received with a squeal of laughter from the boy.

They went down to the living room, because the windows were bigger down there and they had a better view. They sat there for a few minutes, watching the white speckles fall all over the ground at Victor's Village. Ryland was so marveled at it that Peeta had to keep reminding him he'd end up with a cold nose from pushing it so hard against the glass. The boy kept pointing out how the snow fell on rooftops, on trees, on fences, each one like it was a completely different, beautiful phenomenon.

Peeta smiled, content. He still wished he could be sleeping, but sitting here with Ry, sharing together the beauty of nature was well worth an hour or two of sleep. Watching an innocent child, his son, look at the world with wonder and joy was worth the pain of a thousand Hunger Games, a thousand rebellions.

Eventually, when the kid finally crashed from the sugar rush, Peeta carried him up to the room he shared with his sister. He tucked him in carefully, dropping a kiss on top of his mop of blond hair before walking out of the room and back to his own.

"He asleep again?" Katniss asked him, once again with her eyes closed, as he took off his slippers and settled himself under the covers again. He responded with an affirmative as he wrapped his arms around her. She hmm-ed, turning around in his arms so that she could lay her head in the crook where his neck met his shoulder. "I hope you learned your lesson," she said, amused. "Never give Ry sugar before bed. It's a bad idea."

He wished he could honestly say he had learned it, but he knew he'd be back to handing out cookies and cupcakes and sweet rolls to both his kids soon enough. He was a sucker for the big, bright smiles they gave him whenever he did. "Even without the sugar, he'd do stuff like this," he tried to input, in his defense, as he ran a hand through her hair lightly. "He has all my glee and all your drive," he added, something they both knew to be true.

She exhaled heavily; almost like a sigh, but not quite. "You're the one who's been daydreaming about us getting married and having kids since we were five," she said. Her voice sounded a bit muffled against his skin, and he knew that meant she was on the verge of sleep. "You should've known we'd have the most annoying kids ever."

He had to chuckle at that. "Just imagine when they're teenagers and start wearing your trademark scowl day in and day out."

She wisely chose not to respond to that- or perhaps she just fell asleep again. Still smiling, he pulled her closer to him and closed his eyes, hoping they could now catch up on their much needed rest without any further interruptions, at least for whatever long was still left of the night.