He had loved his suit room dearly, with each of his suits in its spot, the temperature and humidity both set to perfection so that no harm would fall upon the garments. There had even been a point where he'd considered naming each of his suits, just to create an even more special bond to each of them.
And yet none of that compared to the way he loved his son.
He'd been surprised at first, that that first wave of love crashing down upon him in the hospital as soon as he set eyes on his son hadn't dissipated once the baby had started screaming an hour later. Somehow, the feelings had stayed strong – and even now, three months later, they hadn't changed.
If anything, they had grown.
With each new milestone they crossed, the pride bloomed in his chest a little more.
Kyle Joseph Barnaby Stinson North.
Joseph after Marie's father, Barnaby of obvious origin. Kyle because they'd agreed on it. It had taken a while to find something they both liked, to say the least.
Both last names, because he was a little bit of both, although he'd go by his mother's name in official dealings.
There were moments when Kyle tested his patience, though. Like right now, as he tried to squirm his way out of his father's arms, screaming unhappily all the while.
"You're going to make daddy deaf," Barney muttered.
Kyle screamed in agreement.
The microwave oven pinged finally and Barney got the bottle out, testing it against his wrist to make sure that it wasn't too hot. What had been awfully scary the first few times – what if he'd made it too hot? What if he scalded his child? What if, what if, what if? – had now become routine.
"There," Barney said, pushing the bottle's nipple into Kyle's mouth. "Happy?"
The baby hiccupped and started drinking, accepting the bottle quickly. Sometimes it took a few tries; obviously not tonight.
Barney didn't want to know what time it was, though if he had to hazard a guess, he'd say three, maybe three-thirty.
A year ago, he was probably having sex with some random chick.
How things changed.
Barney carried Kyle back to his room. The rocking chair in the corner had proved invaluable – while the baby preferred being walked to sleep, he would also accept being rocked to sleep and the latter was definitely preferable at ungodly hours of the night and morning. Barney sat down and righted the pillows so that they were both comfortable.
Silence filled the room, the only sounds heard being Kyle greedily sucking milk from the bottle.
Barney closed his eyes.
He hadn't wanted any of this. He could still remember the panic and horror he'd felt when Marie first called to tell him. He remembered the subsequent drinking and gambling and jail and—well, there had been a lot of stupid stuff.
He still feared he'd screw his son up. He had no doubt that he would get a few things wrong – but he was starting to understand what Lily had really meant when she said that being a father was about being there for the child. It was about being there. It was about bout loving them, no matter what.
He could do that.
He gazed down at Kyle.
He could definitely do that.