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03 April 2010 @ 12:34 pm
Fic: Becoming (PG-13, 5/9, gen, HIMYM)  
Title: Becoming
Author: bananacosmic

Author's Email: bananacosmicgirl@hotmail.com
Author's Home Page: CosmicUniverse.net

Fandom: How I met your mother
Word count: 22 700
Chapters: 8 + epilogue
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Family, friendship, angst
Characters: Barney, cast
Pairings: None (previous Barney/OFC, Barney/Robin)

Warnings: None
Spoilers: Up to 5x17 "Of course"

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations from the TV-series "How I met your mother", created and owned by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Summary: “Apparently,” Barney said, stopping because his voice squeaked. He cleared his throat. “Apparently, I’m gonna be a dad.”

Chapter one | Chapter two | Chapter three | Chapter four

by cosmic

Chapter five

Ted stared at the text he’d just received. There was a picture attached: a picture showing an ultrasound image of a baby.

Barney’s son.

Holy crap.

Even though Ted had hoped all the while that Barney would wake up and realize that he should take responsibility for the child, the reality of things only hit him now that he was staring down at the tiny image on his cell phone’s screen.

Barney was actually going to be a dad.

Robin came out of her room. “What’re you doing?”

Ted looked up at her, slowly drawing his eyes away from the baby’s profile. “Barney’s gonna be a dad.”

“Yeah,” Robin shrugged. “He told us that like two weeks ago.”

Ted shook his head. “No, I mean, really a dad. Like, involved. He just sent me a picture and—”

He held out the phone so that she could see the image and read the text. He watched her as she took it in, her eyes widening and her mouth dropping open. Obviously, Ted wasn’t the only one who hadn’t thought Barney was actually going to be involved.

“So it’s a boy, then,” Robin said, voice at a slightly higher pitch than usual. “Barney’s having a baby boy.”

Ted gave her a small frown. “You okay?”

Immediately, the walls came up. She smiled and gave him back the phone. “Of course. Why wouldn’t I be? It’s great. Fantastic. Awesome.”

Ted held back a sigh and stopped himself from pointing out that her overuse of positive adjectives only underlined her unhappiness.

It wasn’t like she didn’t have reasons to be unhappy. The fact that Barney had gotten Marie pregnant very shortly after he and Robin had broken up, for example. That Barney was having a child. Barney, who’d been the only one in the group who shared her views on marriage and children, was now having a kid.

It would be weird if Robin was fine with all of it, even if she had Don these days.

But it wasn’t up to Ted to try to get her to admit anything. She obviously didn’t want to talk about it and no one was better at sticking her head in the sand and ignoring feelings than Robin Scherbatsky. She’d showed that excellently when it came to both Ted and Barney in the years they’d known her.

“He wants us to suit up,” he said instead. “And for once, I think the occasion merits it. You in?”

She grinned and it was only a little fake. “Of course.”

Ted shook his head. “Barney. A dad. Who’d’ve thought.”

Robin didn’t respond. Instead, she grabbed the phone. “I’m calling Marshall and Lily.”

Ted nodded. “We can all meet up at MacLaren’s in an hour.”

She nodded.

He went into his room, cell phone still in hand. He kept glancing at it in disbelief, but the picture on the screen didn’t change. Barney’s son was still there in tiny pixels.

He picked out his suit and changed.

Robin tried to avoid staring at Barney. It wasn’t easy.

At some point between last night, when they’d been sitting in the very same booth and Barney had been silent and sullen like he’d been in the last two weeks, and tonight, Barney had gone through a transformation.

Now he was grinning and joking and shouting catch phrases all over the place. He was wearing one of his most expensive suits and on the table, an opened and soon empty bottle of champagne costing a good deal more than her outfit stood, courtesy of Barney.

Barney’s cell phone with a photo of the ultrasound image was being passed around, not just among the five of them but among a bunch of the other regulars at MacLaren’s. Barney received congratulatory slaps on the back from all over the place.

When the hell did Barney Stinson become a man who was happy to be having a kid?

It hurt somewhere deep down inside of her. Barney had always – long before they got together – been the one in the group she could identify with the most. He lived his life according to his own rules with no intention of ever settling down with anyone, or getting married, or having children. Sure, the two of them had been engaged for a very short while, but that was when they’d been lost and adrift amidst some belief that they had to be Marshall and Lily, version 2.0, rather than themselves. Other than that brief glitch, they’d always agreed that marriage and children wasn’t something for them.

And now he was having a baby with some strange girl whom he’d taken home and slept with one night. It had to have been just after they broke up too, when Barney had returned to his serial dating with never-before-seen energy, going home with a new girl pretty much every night, if she was so far along already.

It had hurt then that he didn’t seem to be in pain after their breakup. And it hurt now that he just accepted this and decided to be a dad.

But if there was anything Robin Scherbatsky was good at, it was pretending. It scared her sometimes, how good she was at faking smiles and ignorance.

Don was another one in the line of people who slapped Barney on the back. “Congratulations!”

Barney grinned. Robin couldn’t see anything fake in his smile. “Thanks. Champagne?”

“Certainly,” said Don. He wrapped an arm around Robin’s waist, dragging her closer to Barney. Don was aware that they’d been in a relationship and had been a little hesitant around Barney before, but apparently that uncertainty had passed in the face of Barney’s impending fatherhood. “Robin, would you like some?”

She liked the way Don looked at her. Like she was his world and like he lived to make her smile. She’d found she smiled more often these days. They didn’t fight, not like she’d done with so many of her other boyfriends and certainly not like she’d done with Barney. There were occasional irritations, but their relationship was running smoothly. In a way, Don reminded her of Ted; he was steady and safe, always loving and nice.

“Already got mine,” she said, smiling a little too widely and picking her glass off the table.

She caught Barney watching her, eyes suddenly not glittering as they had done all night since the moment he entered MacLaren’s.

She pulled away from them both, uncomfortable. Barney had a disconcerting tendency to look straight through her. She didn’t want him to see her feelings and call her out on them. She knew she didn’t have the right to be hurt about this – they had broken up, they had moved on, and the baby thing had been an accident – she didn’t need him to tell her as much.

She went to the bar and Carl gave her a fresh, cold beer. She was nuzzling it when Barney slid up to her.

“Hey,” he said.

She glanced at him. “Where’s your champagne?”

Barney motioned over at the table, where Don was sharing what was left of the champagne with Ted, Marshall and Lily. Don somehow fit quite nicely into their group. She didn’t know how that had happened.

“You wanna go outside for a smoke?”

Robin raised an eyebrow at him. “Isn’t it time for you to stop smoking now, daddy?”

He shrugged. “Baby isn’t here yet.”

“But soon.” She tried her best not to sound bitter.

He placed a hand gently on her arm. “Come on.”

They weaved through the crowd and went outside. Despite it being summer, the late night air was a little chilly and when she rubbed her bare arms, he handed her his ridiculously expensive suit jacket without hesitation. She smiled in thanks.

They lit their cigarettes and she inhaled deeply. She knew it was completely unhealthy and really kind of gross, but it calmed her in a way few other things did. Well, sex calmed her too, but she didn’t feel like dragging Don upstairs right now.

“So,” she said when her nerves weren’t buzzing quite so much anymore, “You’re gonna be a dad.”

He gazed at the street. “Yeah. Unbelievable, I know.”

They were silent for a few moments.

“What made you decide?” she asked.

He glanced at her. “She called me and told me, wasn’t much I could do about it at that point.”

“Stop playing stupid.” Robin glared at him. “You know what I mean.”

“Yeah.” He took a long drag of his cigarette, blowing out the smoke slowly. She remembered those lips on her own and wondered what it would’ve been like if he’d gotten her pregnant instead. If they’d been celebrating their coming baby instead of his and Marie’s.


“It’s stupid,” he said. “But I saw a crib and then I went to see her. And it just sort of happened. She showed me the ultrasound picture and I—I don’t know.”

“You saw a crib,” she said, deadpan. “So what, if I show you a ring, are you gonna drop down on one knee and ask her to marry you?”

Of course, that was pretty much what had happened when Barney had proposed to her. A ring in a glass and they’d been too tired to think and she’d said yes. Only later, after they’d broken up had he told her that he really, truly didn’t know where the ring had come from. Only much later than that had Ted crept to confessions and admitted that he and Marshall had done it in an attempt to get them to break up.

“Are you angry with me?” he asked.

“No,” she snapped.

He turned to her, regarding her with irritating concern. “You are.”

“No!” She avoided his gaze, turning away from him.

His hand came to rest on her shoulder again. She could feel the warmth of his hand through the suit jacket – his suit jacket.

“None of this was ever done to hurt you,” he said earnestly.

She rolled her eyes, ignoring the heavy feeling in her throat. “I know. I know.”

“Robin, look at me.”

She turned slowly, eyes downcast. She was not going to cry. There was nothing to cry about and anyway, Robin Scherbatsky didn’t cry. They weren’t together, she didn’t want to be together with him, she was with Don and perfectly happy.

And yet it still hurt, because he was leaving her behind.

“I just thought,” she said, and her voice broke. She started again. “I just thought that it’d be you and me. Not—not together, but you know. You and me against the whole couple-dom-family-two-kids-and-a-picket-fence thing. When Lily and Marshall, and Ted and the future Mrs. Mosby all have their kids, I thought it’d be you and me. Without. Because we’re the awesome ones.”

He smiled slightly, eyebrows drawn together. “We’re still going to be awesome.”

She sighed. “Yeah. But you’re gonna have a kid.”

“I am,” Barney said. “It wasn’t my first choice, but, well. Things happen.”

She smiled wryly. “Obviously. And here I thought you were always so careful.”

He made a face. “I am. Guess the condom was old, or something. Trust me, it’s not going to happen again.”

“What, you’re going to stop having sex?” She had noted, a little curiously, that the amount of women he’d tried to hit on had lessened drastically in the last two weeks. The only woman she’d seen him take home in that time was the brunette, when Robin had been his wing-woman.

“Not likely, the Barnacle doesn’t do abstinence,” Barney said. “Two or three condoms on the other hand…”

He trailed off with a smile and she had to return it. He had the most beautiful smile; it was impossible to resist.

She put out her cigarette with the toe of her high heeled boots. “It’s going to be interesting seeing you with a kid, that’s for sure.”

“You just know he’s going to be the cutest thing ever,” Barney said and then he snorted. “I can’t believe I’m saying this stuff.”

“Well, it’s true. With your genes—”

“Are you saying you find me attractive, Miss Scherbatsky?” Barney leered at her.

She rolled her eyes. “You’re too full of yourself.” But she had no doubt that any kids Barney fathered would be very, very beautiful, just like their father.

He laughed, then sobered quickly. “But you’re sure you’re okay?”

“Don’t know,” she said. “But I have Don and I’m in a long-term relationship, so I guess I can’t complain. Just don’t expect me to ever baby-sit or anything.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it. Besides, I’m pretty sure Marie’s gonna have it covered.”

“Speaking of,” Robin said. “Are we going to get to meet the mother of your child?”

Barney made a face. “We’ll see.”

Robin chuckled. “Is she that stupid?”

Barney shook his head. “No, actually. Law student. Seems pretty bright and she’s always studying when I come over. Well, on the two occasions when I’ve been over, she’s been studying anyway.”

“Huh,” Robin said. “And here I thought all your girls – current company not included – had an IQ below eighty.”

“It’s more a correlation between state of inebriety, boob size and IQ, rather than just anyone of those things on their own,” Barney said, sounding perfectly serious but his eyes were twinkling.

She’d missed this. Easy banter with Barney, but also the meaningful conversations. Neither of them had an easy time opening up, so when they actually did, she was sure he realized just how much effort it took on her part. They appreciated it more than say Ted, because it was easy for him. Ted could tell someone he loved them on the first date and be perfectly serious about it.

Barney had always been different. Marshall and Lily told each other everything they’d done during the day every night, while Robin had a hard time expanding her answer beyond ‘fine’ when Don asked her how her day had been. Barney had been the same way. Heck, they hadn’t defined their relationship in over two months when they’d first started dating. Thinking back on it now, Robin wished they’d never defined their relationship. Things had been better before they did that.

Not that it mattered anymore.

She decided to be honest with him. “I missed this.”

Barney gave her a half-smile. “Me too.”

“Everything’s just been so weird since we broke up.”

Barney looked at her suddenly. “Let’s make a pact.”

She raised an eyebrow. “A pact?”

“Yeah,” he said. “A bro-pact. To hang out, even when I have a kid and you’re married to Don.”

She sputtered. “I’m not going to marry Don.”

It was his turn to raise an eyebrow. “I bet you twenty bucks he’ll propose to you before the year is over. And I’ll bet another twenty that you’ll say yes.”

She wrinkled her nose. “I’m not going to marry someone I’ve only been dating for a year. I’m not gonna get married at all.”

“And I’m not going to have a kid,” Barney said. “Oh, wait, I am.”

Robin rolled her eyes. “Fine. Twenty bucks says Don won’t propose. And twenty that I won’t say yes if he does. Which he won’t.”

They shook on it and she wondered what the likelihood was that Don was going to propose to her. She didn’t get why the guys she dated were so keen to get married.

She refused to think about the possibility of her losing the second bet.

“And now,” Barney said, “Another handshake to seal the bro-pact. That we’ll hang out, no matter what happens.”

She shook his hand again. “Just don’t make me hold the kid.”

He chuckled, then wrapped an arm around her shoulder in a half-hug. “I missed you too, Scherbatsky.”

“Hey, do I have to fight you to keep my lady?”

Robin and Barney both turned around and found Don standing a few feet away. Barney’s arm dropped from her shoulders. She missed the contact only a little.

Robin shrugged off Barney’s suit jacket and returned it. “We should probably go back inside.” She smiled at him. “Thanks for the talk.”

Barney smiled back. “Anything for a bro.”

“You know, there’s quite the party going on in there,” Don said. “Just thought I’d see if either of you wanted to join us again.” He nodded at Barney. “You are the guest of honor for the night, after all.”

Barney smirked. “And I’m sure there are a few girls who would love to be my ‘guest of honor’ tonight in there, am I right?”

He bumped his fist against Don’s as he went inside.

Don came over to Robin, kissing her gently. She liked the feeling of his lips against hers, his arms around her; he felt strong and safe. She didn’t know yet if it was what she was looking for, if this was what she wanted long-term, but for now she liked the sensation of him being close.

And besides, the sex was good.

They returned inside and her smiles weren’t as faked anymore.

Chapter six

Author's notes: Comments are very appreciated :)

Mood: stressedstressed
Otemps: HIMYM - BrOTPotempora42 on April 3rd, 2010 10:55 am (UTC)
Aww, I love how Robin's upset about Barney's kid. And I liked the that they agreed to stay friends. And, as much as I don't like Don, Robin being happy is nice.

And, since I'm totally cynical, I just keep wondering when Barney's going to realize what being a father actually means and completely freak out. :P

Anyway, can't wait for more!
cosmic: HIMYM: NPH sharpbananacosmic on April 3rd, 2010 11:04 am (UTC)
I'm trying to make some sense of the Robin/Don relationship. It's not easy - he's not exactly a full character. But for the purpose of this fic, I had to try to understand ^^

He'll be going back and forth between freaking out and not *g*

Thank you *hugs*
idioticonionidioticonion on April 3rd, 2010 11:37 pm (UTC)
I love how mature Barney was in this, how he helped guide Robin into the acceptance of the situation. You know, this is probably the most happy chapter!

You know I hate Robin/Don, but I think you write them believably, and there's something really sweet about the tone of this.
cosmic: HIMYM: NPH/CSbananacosmic on April 5th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
Like I said to otempora, I don't get Robin/Don either. But I had to try to write it for this, because whether I like it or not, she's in the relationship (*sigh*). I found it very hard to make it believable, though, because we don't know anything about them as a couple.

I like happy stuff. I can do angst, but dark stuff is pretty much beyond me ^^ I admire those of you who can do dark, though. A lot. :)
smthwallflowersmthwallflower on April 4th, 2010 06:03 am (UTC)
And the plot thickens!!! I'm getting really excited to read about Barney holding his kid for the first time.... unless you're completely evil and have decided to do something to the kid so he's not born/something.

Shoot, now I'm all worried...

I liked this chapter :)
cosmic: HIMYM: NPH sharpbananacosmic on April 5th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
Aww, don't think you have to worry too much ;)

Glad you enjoyed it *hugs*