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Glitter in the air

By SkyeNova

Humor / Romance

Part one

She never believed in anything.

All this talk about true love and miracles; she never understood any of it. Nothing miraculous had ever happened in her life. And true love… well, let’s just not go there.

“A miracle took place today!”

Marshall had always been the optimistic smurf. To him, feeling blue wasn’t being depressed, nothing made him depressed. Miracle, my ass, she thought, Ted was just plain lucky.

She was happy, hell, elated even, that Ted didn’t have a scar on him. She had been terrified to receive the phone call from Lily. She couldn’t imagine having any fun days without Ted Mosby, Lily or Marshall. She never had friends like this, friends whom with she shares everything; from the most wonderful moments of her life, to her most embarrassing. They are the people with whom she can throw some of her pride away and just be her weird and slightly broken self.

She had a weird argument with Marshall about Barney and a pencil in his nose that happened to not be a miracle, when Lily stilled. “Speaking of Barney, I should give him a call.”

Barney Stinson. If there is anyone who was as weird and broken as her, it was him. However, he was the spice that gave them great stories for life.

“Why? We are not friends anymore.” Ted complained like a teenager and Lily looked at him with her mothering eyes. “You’d want to know if this happened to him.”

Ted’s anger towards Barney had not subsided. They were both too proud to be the first one to make the first step forward. Worse than an old married couple, they were.

The conversation between Lily and Barney was short; the redhead announced awkwardly that he had hung up and wasn’t coming. Robin was disappointed. Right now would be a great moment for these two to come back to each other and yet, Barney’s pride had stepped in. She just wanted for everything to go back to the way it was before. She wondered, however, if it was even possible. Even if Barney and Ted went to being themselves, Robin wouldn’t be able to look at Barney like the friend he used to be.

She couldn’t help but feel responsible for this rift between Ted and Barney. Yes, sex is something that takes two to tango and Barney really did something there; something really good. But she had to admit that she had thrown herself at him. He had been so kind in his own way when she was down and crying at the bar.

That moronic Simon, her ex-boyfriend from her teenager years, came back into her life to use her and dumped her all over again. She had held up in front of the others, but when Barney arrived, over an hour later, she just opened the gates. He laughed with affection and came to pass an arm around her shoulder, holding her close for comfort. “You want to be sixteen again? This is the stupidest thing that ever got out of your mouth, Robin Scherbatsky. You were totally lame back then, but now look at you!”

Barney had spent 3 full days trying to find her second music video of her time as a teen pop star. She decided to show it to him that night. She had been a bit scared to watch Sandcastles in the Sand with him. He could laugh at her forever over it. It was like giving a weaponized atomic bomb to a dead driven monkey, but he deserved it. He had brought back her pride and esteem and he looked for this video so hard. It couldn’t be much worse than watching the actual video itself.

Surprisingly, she had had the most fun in quite some time. He had genuinely enjoyed every second of it. He had made some comment about how lame it was at one point, but his tone had a small affectionate laughter that made her shiver and glow. He wasn’t being mean, but affectionate in his own bizarre way. She suddenly felt glad to be Robin. She wasn’t hiding, he was looking and everything was fine.

The horrible caricature of a French kiss came to view for the third time and that vibrating laughter she had discovered that night came out deep from his throat. Her mind had given up on thinking and she had forgotten what she was supposed to watch. She was looking at him.

It was only after a couple more viewings that all her resistance crashed. He had laughed out loud again at her robot companion and turned his head towards her, his blue eyes sparkling, his smile wicked and his smell dazzling. She had gotten dizzy as if on a weird drug buzz and kissed him with all she got. She didn’t stop to think about that kiss or if it felt like in those Nora Roberts novels, but when his lips had left hers for breath, her eyes fluttered open slightly, her eyelashes touching his, and she saw glitter in the air. She didn’t have time to process the mirage before his lips found hers again and she let the taste of brilliance swallow her whole.

What had started on the sofa, finished in her bed. Little did she know, the first ray of morning had travelled through her curtains. Her eyes fluttered open and glitter was still in the air. She batted her eyelids again and again; to try and get rid of the remnants in her eyelashes; and it all disappeared in one gust of wind as she took sight of him. Lying on his back, he was staring awkwardly at the ceiling. The morning-after hit her harder than she had expected. They had The Talk, promising this would never be talked about again and to anyone, most of all Ted. Despite this, 12 hours later, everyone knew, including Ted.

Ted kindly forgave her in a heartbeat, but his anger towards Barney didn’t seem to subside. She would have helped them get their friendship back together if she didn’t feel so guilty toward Ted. After all, having sex with your ex-boyfriend’s best friend wasn’t the smartest of moves. Plus, Robin had a small feeling that Ted still harbored some feelings for her, even though he was dating someone else right now. But strangely, Ted seemed angrier toward Barney than her. No matter how much she said it didn’t mean anything, every time Robin saw or thought about Barney, she could clearly see glitter in the air. It seemed that he was more addictive that she had anticipated.

She did always wonder how sex would be with Barney Stinson. Yes, he was a womanizer, and she always thought that he would never go back to the same woman twice. So, he could bang a girl like a selfish dog, only doing it for his own benefit and no one would know. He could be the worst bang ever. That’s what she told herself every time she felt the temptation. Until she met Darla Stone, that is.

Darla was a beautiful blonde woman in her forties, with green eyes, and a gorgeous body. She could be with any man she desired and yet, chose Barney. She was a very intelligent and important marketing manager for Vogue magazine and found herself too busy to date. That was how her path crossed with Barney Stinson. Stone secretly admitted to Robin that Barney and her were simply having sex when their stress levels were getting too high. In the practical sense, Robin realized that they were each other’s booty call. She couldn’t help it but ask, out of dying curiosity, like her friend Lily would have, the question that everyone in the group had been asking themselves for years. She asked in a more subtle way than Lily would have, of course.

“Couldn’t you get a better booty call than Barney Stinson?”

She looked at Robin as if she was somehow growing a second head. “You obviously have never been with him, honey.” Robin stated that they were only friends with a laugh of much higer octaves than usual.

The conversation stopped there and Robin never met Darla ever again. Now that she had a taste of what that woman had, on any night she desired, Robin felt jealousy course through her veins. She would lick her lips again and again in hopes of catching a taste of that night. She shivered to think of his hands on her and hated herself.

Barney Stinson was a walking, breathing, talking mistake enveloped in a tight and expensive suit. Nothing good came from letting him under your skin. He had a stash of porn bigger than Hugh Hefner and always left her drinking alone to go flirt with some bimbo. He would talk about his conquests like a farmer talked about his cows and he was ruder to people than anyone she knew. He may know exactly what she secretly desired in bed, but chemistry doesn’t mean anything. Although…

With his porn collection, he had a stash of her favorite cigars that he doesn’t mind sharing with her when it’s just the both of them. When he came back from flirting with a girl (successfully or not) he always brought the kind of scotch that she needed. Not once, would he mention the night they spent together to the others and kept secretly between themselves. He may be rude to her now and then, but the challenge it brought her lit her up like thunder and he just knew it.

Barney was the worst man in the world. Yet, sometimes, he felt like the perfect man for her. It was the most frustrating situation that Robin had ever been stuck in. Being attracted to Barney was the last sign of her now lost sanity.

Ted had decided to save his relationship with his girlfriend Stella and was getting ready to leave the hospital when the call came in. Barney had been in an accident right in front of the building. It seemed that after Lily’s call about his friend in the hospital, Barney had hung up, stopped his meeting with the North Koreans, and ran from his office in Manhattan to get to where his friend needed him. Right in front of the building, a public bus crashed into him and now, everyone was waiting in front of the surgery door.

Robin thought about pointing out to Marshall that it’s what happened when you preached about miracles all the time, but she felt herself barely able to speak. Maybe she still had a stretch of decency left in her… or she just could bear to see the leftover glitter of the night fall on the floor.

Ted grasped her hand. The glitter disappeared again. “I feel so horrible, Robin. I was so angry at him for sleeping with you that even when he said he was sorry, I couldn’t swallow the fact. Now he might die thinking I hate him.”

She held his hand too, trying to give comfort that she didn’t have. Maybe that’s why she didn’t say a word in response. Ted just filled the silence himself. “I know you said it didn’t mean anything and that it was just a stupid mistake, but don’t let me being an idiot for ruining what happened that night. As much of a mistake as it was, there might have been a reason for it to happen, right?”

The goddamn glitter, that’s why, she thought. It blinded her after that kiss. It made him glow and shine to her eyes. It’s like when you’re a kid and you play with colors at school. Then, one of your school mate takes a fist full of glitter and throws it into the air. For a second there, you are mesmerized by it. It floats like a magical cloud in space and for the second that it’s in the air, time stops.

Her heart had been young again that night. She just wanted to taste the magic on his lips. And how magical Barney had been; forever a moment. The breath before the kiss, the first ray of light before the sun really rises, the first gulp of air when you get out of the water, the first shiver of cold announcing the winter, the second when the leaf detaches from the tree to fly away. Barney was instants, brief but full of impact. But how can she explain it to Ted, or to Lily and Marshall who were intensely waiting for her to say something. It’s not that they could really get it. To them, Barney was a creepy sociopath with no respect for women in general. To her, he became so much more in one kiss.

“I – I don’t know.”

Lily showed some exasperation but kept her thoughts to herself. Ted just grasped her hand tighter. Marshall opened and closed his mouth for a second before deciding to say it. “Well, maybe Barney knows. When he gets out of there, and he will, just ask him.”

She wanted this conversation to stop, so she answered with what he wanted to hear. “Ok.”

It was at that moment that the doctor came out to see them. He explained that the injuries were mostly broken bones. Both legs and one arm were severely broken and he would need some rehabilitation. He was, overall, quite lucky considering the circumstances. He had a punctured lung, but the surgery fixed it.

Marshall wept at the news, cuddling his wife who was smiling like the world had been lifted of her shoulders. Ted just stood still, absorbing the information. Robin was the worst friend ever, because now, she would have to look at Barney in the eye and ask him why he was always surrounded by magical glitter. She couldn’t do this in a smooth way, could she?

Thankfully, she was able to evade that conversation. Everyone forgot what happened in the waiting room when Barney and Ted finally became brothers again and everything when back to normal. A month later, Barney’s bones had healed and the time came for him to start using his arms and legs again. Lily, Marshall and Ted were taking turns helping him for his rehabilitation and Robin skillfully made herself busy enough with work so that she wasn’t even seeing the sunlight. Yes, she was coward, but if her friends noticed, they didn’t mention anything.

The actual moment that they all became friends again had been quite happy. She didn’t feel any awkwardness with him, not even glitter in sight. He was back to being her friend Barney and she was so relieved. The mistake was just that: a mistake. And now normal life was back on track. Until two weeks ago. Two weeks ago, glitter was thrown into the air.

She decided to pay a visit to Barney at his place after she finished work. Since walking was still difficult for him, he was stuck in his apartment, bored to death. He would call any of his friends, at any hours of the day (or night) to complain and beg for some excitement. It was becoming annoying to everyone, but they all acted as if they were happy to hear from him. Everyone, except Robin. The night before, when he called her at one in the morning, she unceremoniously hung up on him after crudely telling him to let her sleep, threatening to come to his apartment with her 9 mm and shoot him.

She did feel horrible about it the next morning, so she texted him her apologies while waiting in the makeup room. By the end of her broadcast, he had still not replied. She felt even worst and took the first taxi she saw out of her workplace to go to Barney’s.

It was Ted who opened the door when she arrived. He greeted her nicely, saying he came early because Barney had been moody on the phone when he called that morning to ask how he was doing.

“He was saying he was fine, but he sounded like Marshall losing his sugar high. I thought he must be bored out of his mind, so I came here with my Stars Wars DVD collection.”

He let her enter and like he had just mentioned, Barney was sitting on his sofa in front of the enormous screen that he called a TV, watching Han Solo get frozen solid. (Well, she believed it was happening anyways.) For someone who was never seen without a suit, he didn’t seem that uncomfortable with his T-shirt and jeans. It made Robin feel like someone had stolen Barney and replaced him with a bad alien replica. He rudely ignored her and yelled at the TV about something very Star Wars like. Ted gasped like a sixteen year old. “Oh! That scene always gets to me!”

He rapidly went back to Barney’ side on the sofa and the two of them clutched each other’s arms like school girls watching the Backstreet Boys disbanding. Robin was completely invisible.

“Barney should exercise a bit, not do the slouch potato on a sofa watching Gremlins.”

If stares could kill, she would be dead. Ted scoffed, offended, like he always did. Barney just stared at her like she had said some monstrosity in a church. “They’re not Gremlins, they’re Ewoks and they’re not even in that scene!”

Ted always had to be right, which was a trait she found very annoying, especially when he was right. She rolled her eyes, hoping to surf the wave of her embarrassment to safety. Thankfully, Barney stepped in. “She is right thought. This movie is almost finished, give me 25 minutes and then I’ll exercise.”

Ted sighted, admitting defeat. For her part, she gloated. In your face, Mosby! She put her purse on the sofa and decided to serve herself a drink from his collection of scotch while they were finishing the movie. 20 minutes and 3 glasses of scotch later, the movie was finished and she was a bit tipsy.

“So, I will go back to work, Barney. I’m sure Robin can help you with your exercise routing. Right, Robin?” She raised her glass in recognition and Ted bid his last farewell (Stay strong, Buddy!) and left. There was a weird silence for a minute or so before Barney stood without using his crutched. Robin rushed to his side faster than a tipsy girl should have. “Wait, what are you doing?”

“If you’re going to shoot me with your 9 mm, I would like to go standing if you don’t mind.”

He smiled as he said that, but she could see the hurt in his eyes. She awkwardly sat him down again on the sofa, positioning herself at his side, her hands on his forearms. He let her do so without a word.

“I’m sorry about last night, you know that. Haven’t you read my text?”

His eyes were sharp as he stared at her. “You called that an apology?”

“What else could it be?” She was getting annoyed again.

“You wrote, and I quote…” He held his cellphone in his hand to read her text.

“Sorry for last night Barney, but you shouldn’t have called in the middle of the night. Next time you’ll know. R.S.” He used a very high-pitched voice to read, making her scoff.

“First, I don’t speak like that!” He rolled his eyes. “And how did you expect I would react exactly at 3 in the morning?” She asked, he voice stronger than she anticipated. Oh God, she thought, they were starting a fight.

“You, not threatening me with your 9 mm!” His tone of voice became stronger too, challenging her. Typical. Barney always hated to lose.

“You know I’m grumpy in the morning, why the hell would you call me?!” She was already yelling by then, so she decided to stand, hands on her hips. “You could’ve just called Ted.”

“Well, I wanted to hear your voice, not his!” He stood too, but his legs wobbled under him and he fell right back onto the couch. He let out a groan of anger and hit the arm of the sofa really hard with his fists. “Freakin’ legs!”

Her hands fell to her side at the sight of Barney, helpless. She took a deep breath and sat near him, caressing his shoulder and arm. She wanted to say she’s sorry, but it didn’t fit her personality. She wanted to comfort him, but then again, not her thing. She was slowly learning with Lily at her side. She didn’t have much faith in doing it herself, though.

“Why are we arguing about that? I don’t even have a 9 mm.” She whispered into the silence. His breath caught in his throat and he stared at her in perfect silence. The air was heavy and she didn’t know where to look to; she focused her eyes on her hand that was still stroking him.

“I mean, I do have a shotgun. Could kill a bison at 3 km in the tundra, that thing. But not a 9 mm, I don’t own one.” After a few seconds, she gained courage to look at him in the eyes.

He was still staring, jaw clenched firmly. She wondered if he was going to explode into a fit of rage and yell at her to get out of his apartment. Then a shadow of a smile drew itself on his lips, his eyes twinkling. Her mouth followed the same pattern. They looked at each other for quite a while, before he started to laugh. She felt her heart released from something she didn’t know was there and everything was fine again.

“You own me one there, Canada.”

Laughter was still in his voice, the blue of his eyes sparkling. She agreed and helped him get up. She had come here just to check on him, but guessed she could help him do his rehabilitation as well now that she was here. Except that his legs weren’t really strong just yet and he fell on her. Her back touched the cushions, her hands gripping the back of his T-shirt, her eyes shut close. She felt his laughter like a vibrato going through her body before she heard it. She looked at him. She had to look, didn’t she?

His smile was a simple tempting line and his eyes three shades darker. He didn’t smell like his cologne as usual, but of fresh soap and shower. Her eyes lost focus and she stared at his throat where she could see small stubble that he forgot to shave. She unconsciously licked her lips.

His breath caught in the air. “You are so full of temptations, aren’t you, Scherbatsky.”

His voice was low, coming from deep within him. It made her shiver. With him, she never knew if he was playing or if he was serious. He was a huge puzzle and she had only half the pieces. When she thought she had him cornered, he would slide out of it on ice, unscathed. Sometimes, he was as weak as a child, and some other times; he was a force of nature. Right at that moment, he was the ocean and she let him swallow her whole when his lips collided with hers. Under her close eyelids, a storm of glitter blinded her.

After that kiss, she had found a very pathetic excuse for leaving and she had not seen him since then. The summer passed slowly and Robin kept her head in the sand until Lily and Marshall finally confronted her, one night at MacLaren’s. “O.K. Robin, I have been patient.”

We have been patient.” Interjected Marshall, wanting to be included in this conversation. “Yes, we have been patient, but we had enough, what the hell is wrong with you?!”

She took her scotch glass and emptied it. “Nothing! I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Great, her Canadian accent just clicked in. She knew it didn’t help her cause.

“You have been working like crazy all summer, Robin, we almost never see you! I demand an explanation.” She opened and closed her mouth like a fish. For a moment there, she was tempted to say it all, to let go of this thing that was eating her alive. Maybe, once she shared it with her friends, she would realize how silly she was being, that it was just a phase. Just a stupid high school girl crush on a boy simply because he was gorgeous, funny, a great kisser and a great lov---Damn it! She took a deep breath.

“Fine! I’ll tell you!” Marshall and Lily sang “oohh” in harmony, advancing themselves on the table, all ears. “But you have to promise that you will not judge me or - or laugh at me. In under no circumstances!”

They both “aww”-ed together. Lily used her most maternal voice. “We would never do that Robin. We love you no matter what.” Robin closed her eyes, took a deep breath and: “I kissed Barney again.”

“Are you crazy?!?!” Robin looked at her friend like her head had exploded.


“Lilypad, we talked about this; no name calling anymore.” Marshall added, caressing his wife arm in a calming manner. “It is utterly crazy of her, but you can’t call her that.”

Robin’s eyes rolled into the back of her head and she signaled to Carl, the bartender, for another glass of scotch. “I don’t see why I am crazy. You are the one who told me to figure out that night when Barney and I had sex.”

“Yes! Because I thought by doing so you would realize that Barney is a sociopath.” Marshall cleared his throat and looked at her intensely. “I mean a sociopath that we all love and respect. But damn! He is a sociopath, Marshall!”

She was going to argue, but the waitress came with her scotch and her argument died on her tongue. There was a moment of awkward silence and Robin continued: “We didn’t even talk about it anyway. I just ended up kissing him by accident.”

The married couple both scoffed in unison and she found the need to justify herself. “Really! He was near me, he smelled good, the glitter was everywhere...” She let the rest of her thoughts go. She didn’t know exactly why she was looking for approbation from her friends. She didn’t even know why she was talking about it.

“Glitter?” Lily asked, suddenly very interested by this conversation. Robin rolled her eyes. “Sure, you would stick on that part.”

The couple looked at each other like they knew something Robin didn’t. She hated when they did that. “Oh Robin, you are definitely not crazy, honey.”

Lily was looking at her with all the maternal instinct she could probably possess and Robin became quite uncomfortable. She had no idea why Lily and Marshall were acting like this, but she could smell the danger of this conversation from the North Pole. “Nice of you to say, Lily.”

Marshall and Lily shared another look and then turned back to Robin, sparkles in their eyes that scared the shit out of her. She would battle for food against wolves, deep into the forest, to evade whatever was coming. She took hold of her glass and drank.

“You’re in love with Barney!”

Robin swallowed her scotch badly and almost choked herself to death. She stared at her friends, both looking more and more like Chucky and his fiancée. “Are you crazy!?”

Marshall sighted loudly, exasperated. “God, I did say no name calling, guys! Work with me here!”

Luckily for Robin, this conversation had been cut short by the arrival of Ted and Barney and was never brought up again. The rest of the night was a bit weird for her, stealing glances at Barney. She left early, before really starting to feel like a creep. After that, everything went back to the normalcy of what she knew. Barney never talked about that second kiss and Lily and Marshall never mentioned any “love” thoughts to her.

Time passed and Robin took an offer to go work in Japan. Most of her friends had cried like babies. Well, mostly Marshall and Ted. Lily held her so hard that she almost broke her back. Barney bought her a great bottle of scotch and told her to make Japan awesome. She was sad to leave them behind, but travelling the world as a journalist had been her dream and the main reason she moved to NYC in the first place. So, she swallowed her feelings and left without looking back. (Although, she did hear Marshall weeping like a girl.)

The first days in Tokyo were mind-blowing like she imagined they would be. Everything in Tokyo was different from New York and she loved every second of it. Everything seemed exotic and strange. Robin still had a hard time remembering to take her shoes off all the time and she was amazed by the fact that such a in big city, with so many people, no one bumped into each other. Those Japanese people were weirdly agile in a crowd. In any case, after 3 or 4 days, Robin was already in love with Tokyo and had completely forgotten all about the Big Apple, until Barney phoned her in the middle of the night.

“I know, you want to hunt me down with your shotgun, but I need to speak to someone who makes sense!” She was still groggy with sleep and couldn’t figure out where this was going. She let out a weird sound that mostly meant: I’m tired, I don’t care!

“Ted is getting married in 3 days!” She sat up straight in her bed, half of her hair in her face. “Say what?”

Barney sighed on the other end of the phone. “Stella’s sister’s wedding fell through and everything was ready, so Ted and Stella decided to make use of it all and get married. He will call you later probably to invite you.” She thought of mentioning that it would have been the courteous thing to do for him too, but she let it slide when he sighted again. “This is the worst, Scherbatsky. Help me there!” Robin sat more comfortably in her bed. “Barney, you wanted Ted to get married, remember? You were happy about it.”

He scoffed. “Please. That was all an act. I’m all for Ted to realize his long term life dream to get shackled to a woman and loose his balls - -” Robin wanted to laugh but revised against it. If she encouraged him now, there would be no end to his smugness and she was way too tired to handle that. “– just not with Stella. She ain’t the one Robin!”

She snorted. “You don’t know that!” There was a silence for three seconds on the line before Barney said: “She wants him to move to New Jersey and he said yes.”

O.K. Now she was wide awake. She had forgotten about that. If there is a place in the world that Ted Mosby hated more than anything, it’s New Jersey. “Typical Smosby!”

He laughed quietly. One of those laughs that came from deep within his stomach. The one he used only when she was the one making him laugh. Something inside of her vibrated like an old harp cord that had not been used in months. She stayed silent, enjoying this feeling that had not come in a long time. His voice came back ringing in her ear, more quietly.

“Will you comeback for the wedding?” He seemed hesitant to ask and somehow a part of her understood. She was on the other side of the world and they’d been talking on the phone as if she were in her apartment in NYC, just a 20 minute cab ride from his place. This...thing they had, this chemistry, she didn’t always understand it. But coming to Tokyo had not diminished any of it.

“I – I don’t know if I can.” To tell the truth, she didn’t want to. Now one wants to be the ex-girlfriend of the groom at a wedding. It would be horribly weird and awkward. They were a couple a year ago and even thought she was not in love with Ted anymore, she still felt a bit hurt that he decided to get married so fast. It was mostly her pride, she admitted. Plus Ted, the eternal romantic, was disappearing into this relationship, into this wedding. He wasn’t Ted anymore and she wasn’t sure she wanted to be there to see that.

Barney didn’t say anything for a few instants. She heard the sound of his keys and the door of his apartment opened and closed. They stayed silent for a long time, his breathing in her ear. She heard the sound of the silk of his suit when he took it off. She closed her eyes and tried to remember how he looked like when he did so. She breathed in, hoping to catch the smell of his spicy cologne, but only the smell of Tokyo’s humidity and her room’s tatamis caught in her senses.

She opened her eyes, shocked. “I should go back to sleep; early job and all that.”

He stayed silence for a moment and then said: “If you decide to come to the wedding, Lily and Marshall would like you to stay at their place. They miss you and all that sappy stuff.”

She smiled. “Great. I miss them too, I guess. Well I would, if it were in my personality to do so.” She did miss them a lot, he knew that. She missed all of her friends. He didn’t say a thing about it.

He laughed. “Stay awesome, Scherbatsky.”

“You too, Stinson.” He didn’t miss a beat. “Always.” And he hung up.

She stared at the phone for a couple of minutes after that and then went back to sleep.

The next morning, when she looked at her apartment, it was suddenly so very small. It always had been, but that day, it was especially so. She walked to the station and the announcement coming from the speakers every 2 minutes drove her mad. The rush hour was crazy, people crashing her into the door of the train and she thought that she was freakishly huge compared to everyone else.

She did her job as usual, with the best professionalism she could muster. Pros were pros and even whilst telling the news with a monkey, Robin Scherbatsky was a pro. During the commercial, she looked around her and she decided that she hated Tokyo. She hated Tokyo and she missed Barney. More than she thought she should. Then her phone rang, it was Ted Mosby, inviting her to his last minute wedding, just as Barney had predicted.

“Come on, you have to come! It’s my wedding!” She was a bit too busy to deal with emotional Ted right now. “I can’t Ted, I’m in Tokyo. It’s my first week on the job. I can’t just take off. Plus, I’m finally doing some serious news.” Who was she kidding? She was sharing her screen time with a monkey. She hated Tokyo.

“It’s my wedding, you have to be there!” The smallest Japanese guy she had ever seen signed to her that it was time to go back on air. “Ok. Ok. I’ll come!”

She hung up.

She wanted to think that she left Tokyo to be there for Ted, but the fact that she quit her job and left Japan with all her stuff was screaming something else.

Later in the afternoon, before the wedding, Ted admitted to her that Stella thought it was weird that his ex-girlfriend was there and she would like her not to be. Robin was relieved. But her relief got away from her and she ended up telling Ted to not get married, along with the other thoughts she had about this. Barney was right, she was not the One and Robin tried to make him understand. He stormed off, angry as hell at her and she decided that she should get drunk. But things don’t always go as planned. She headed to Barney’s room where she could seek company when Lily came to her like a tornado. Many things happened from then.

Stella left Ted at the altar to go back to her ex-boyfriend who was the father of her child. Robin went from wanting-to-get-drunk to I’m-gonna-kill-that-bitch. Lily asked if she could go get Barney and join them in Ted’s room. She agreed somewhat against her will. She and Barney didn’t want to see this marriage happen, but it was Ted who was supposed to understand that. He was supposed to have a sort of enlightenment and let go of Stella. Now she had to face Barney and tell him that wishing too hard was not such a good idea in the end.

Robin went to get Barney from his hotel room and ended up interrupting him while he was in the middle of two things; two girls, actually. She ignored the slight jealousy she felt. Leave it to Barney to score two girls before the wedding ceremony. He looked surprisingly flushed, embarrassed from being caught by her. True, they had had sex before, but they never promised each other anything. And, she had been away in Tokyo. He had slept with a bunch of bimbos since that night.

However, it was the first time she saw him since she left and she had hoped for a better reunion. She didn’t know why, but she did imagine them, running towards each other in a slow motion, until he banged her brains out. Ted was rubbing off on her and she didn’t like it much. She’s Robin Scherbatsky, she didn’t do romance.

Barney ignored the girls calling him back in and smiled at her, trying to break the awkwardness. “I would ask you to come in, but it’s kind of a mess.” He stated.

She smiled too. He was forever Barney. She could steal instants of magic with him, but he was too ephemeral to be a real thing. It was the most beautiful thing about Barney Stinson, and the most heartbreaking.

His embarrassment disappeared with his smile, when she told him the news of Ted and Stella. He muttered to wait a bit and two minutes later he was out of the room, suited up and ready, leaving the two girls behind. Barney and her both joined Lily and Marshall in Ted’s room and they stood there in silence, at his side.

Later, they all went back to Manhattan, where they all cuddled up in their MacLaren’s booth, together. Barney was sitting right in front of her. She was doing the best she could to focus on a heartbroken Ted, but he was slowly slumbering into an alcoholic coma and Barney smelled heavenly. She did feel ashamed to focus on this when all of her attention should be on her friend who was definitely in pain. She should have stopped focusing on Barney, even more now, after catching him half naked, surrounded by two hot girls. It should have destroyed any desire she had for him. It should have disgusted her forever, but she felt hypnotized by the thousands of sparkling glitter in the air, sticking to her hair and eyelashes. She missed him in Tokyo. She wanted him, now.

Marshall helped Ted to get on his feet and he and Lily brought him up to his apartment, leaving Barney and her alone in the bar.

“Not exactly what I expected of today.” Barney was nursing his fifth glasses of scotch on the rocks and an air of defeat surrounded him. They were both a bit drunk, in that state of blur, where everything was a bit warmer and shinier. She reminded him that he was quite against this marriage in the first place, as was she. He smirked, drinking more. “Still sucks.”

She had nothing to say about that. Of course, it sucked. Even though she did believe that the wedding was not right for Ted, he loved Stella so much and was left at the altar. No one should have to go through that. Stella should have asked herself why she was so against her ex being at her wedding. Why she was so scared. Instead of confronting it, she let it happen, and Ted got his heart broken. Barney broke her angry thoughts with something she didn’t understand.

“Sorry?” He smiled. “I said: not exactly something you wanted from your vacation time. How’s Tokyo?” She stared at her drink and admitted under her breath: “I quit.”

He sat straight in the booth, advancing his body toward her. “Say what now?”

She took a deep breath and spoke louder: “I quit it. I just quit it.”

He looked perplexed. He was going to say something but she closed his mouth by a sign of her hand. “I hated it, Barney. I did succeed to delude myself for a couple of days and it hit me back in the face. It was a horrible job in a horrible city.” She finished her glass in one shot. “God! Everything is so freakishly small there!”

He laughed loudly. For many minutes, he just laughed. Her heart felt lighter for the first time in a week. She had been scared she was taking a too rash a decision. She mentioned it to Ted earlier, and he didn’t react too well, but they had been fighting about his wedding and personal choices. Not the greatest timing for advice. But suddenly she knew that she would not regret it. It had been horrible and she was glad to get it out of her.

Barney argued that he loved Tokyo. “It’s the best sushi in the world after all! And they have these great clubs with hot girls paid to find you funny and attractive.” She let him tell her stories about hostess clubs and sumo match rigged by Yakuza. She thought that maybe, the reason why she had started to hate Tokyo, was because she had no one to share it with.

After his excitement about Japan hit the bottom and his drunkenness hit a higher level, she changed the subject. “Too bad you had to leave your two naked girls earlier.” He shrugged with an air that said he didn’t care. “Tomorrow, I will regret it and blame it all on Ted, but today... Bros before hoes, Robin.”

She smiled flirtatiously at him and he crooked his eyebrow. For a second she wondered if what she wanted to say was such a good idea. It probably wasn’t, but then, he advanced himself at the edge of the booth, a seductive smile on the thin lines of his lips. His spicy smell, that she had tried to imagine in her room in the middle of the night two days ago, came to tickle her nose, making her feel like a cat on catnip. “I don’t have anywhere to sleep tonight. Can I come to your place?”

Robin let her question fully enter his mind, and in less than a second, his hand crossed over the table and found her neck, his thumb circling her pulse point, his other fingers slowly caressing the back of her neck. His hold was firm and possessive and he could probably have snapped her neck if he wanted to. Maybe that’s why she was turned on. He leaned over her, his lips tickling the lobe of her ear.

“I only have one big bed, Scherbatsky.”

Glitter exploded in her mind. Her whole body felt a tremor of desire coursing until it reached the tip of her toes. Tears came to wet her eyes like something was filling her instantly and it was too much. She stubbornly didn’t let them out and looked at him with all the desire she possessed for him.

“I know.”

By the next day, Ted had already started to move his things back into his old apartment above MacLaren’s and he weirdly sounded all too chippy. He mentioned that he had moved on and was ready for the next step. Lily, Marshall and Robin were certain that he was doing badly, but Barney stated his own theory about the fact: that Ted was actually fine. “He escaped marriage, guys! Best thing that could have happened to him!”

The weeks went on and on, Ted repeating that he was fine and nothing really happened, until they went to this new tapas place and saw the one and only, Stella. They all ended up hiding under the table to avoid meeting her and all came to make confessions about people who they absolutely wouldn’t want to meet again. Barney mentioned this woman in prison who kept sending death him threats.

“We had the perfect relationship. She was not allowed, by law, to call me more than once a week and if she got too cuddly, the security would take care of her.”

Robin talked a bit about her father, raising her like a boy, never really loving her for being a girl. She thought this was much more embarrassing than her following years as a teenaged Canadian pop star. Everyone felt sorry for her, except Barney, who somehow found it hot. I guess they were both a big mess and it would probably take a lot to destabilize him. He would search sex in the arm of a prisoner and she still felt hurt by the fact that she didn’t always feel feminine because of her own father issues.

The gang ended up following Stella’s cab after Ted realized that he wanted to confront her. But when he saw her again, nothing happened. He changed his mind and walked out. He said something about having done the best thing he could have done; he didn’t yell at Stella, he let her go. They all went back to MacLaren’s where they shared drinks.

Barney came back from the bar with a new beer for Ted and a full glass of good smelling scotch for her. He smirked at her and brought back his attention to his cell phone, which was ringing. The conversation was short and direct before he looked at everyone. “Everyone, I’m might become a dad.”

Many things happened at once after this. Barney stated that it wasn’t his first pregnancy scare and there was a big chance that it was a false alarm. However, her mind exploded with feelings she could not identify. Maybe this could explain why she accepted Ted’s proposition the next day. She went to live with him.

They were simply roommates and let’s admit it, Lily and Marshall couldn’t live with her anymore. She had occupied their apartment long enough and it was time for her to have her own place. Without a job, it was hard to pay for one and Ted’s offer was perfect. However, she admitted that for a second, she regretted it. Now that she would be living with Ted, he would ask her where she was going all the time, looking out for her in his most annoying way and it would be hard for her to spend some “alone time” with Barney, even thought she was somehow ignoring him recently.

When Barney announced proudly that he was not a father, Robin danced in her mind. He was commitment free again and the fact that he didn’t impregnate a woman was a relief. She realized she had been angry at him, but sleeping with nameless bimbos was his thing and she knew. She was just another number on his list and even thought they had great fun (repetitively), he wasn’t hers.

Just like the very first time it had happened, Robin and Barney never talked about that second night they spent together after Ted’s failed ceremony. She had felt lonely and needed affection and maybe that was why it just went the way that it did, but every time she would close her eyes, she would see the smile he made when she climaxed under his tricky fingers. His eyes, three shades darker, boring into her when he finally joined her, the small scar of her teeth on his left shoulder that she had made when he brought her up high another time. All of this was burned on her retina, her eyes imagining glitter in the air.

There was just one little problem. The night that she came back from Japan had been the last time Barney and her had sex and since then, not once had he shown an interest in repeating it. Thus, months passed through and Robin dated here and there, looking for a nice relationship, her friendship with Barney became just that, a friendship.

On a weird day when Robin had been a bit needy and Ted had been angry, they slept together. They had been fighting all the time over simple things. Being roommates wasn’t easy and they were both trying to get used to the quirks of the other. They surprisingly realized that they stopped fighting when having sex and decided to keep this “friends-with-benefits” relationship going.

Of course, the second it happened, the whole gang became aware of it. They all talked about it, Ted and Robin promising it was just some sex to make things better in the apartment; everything was left this way. Until Barney started to buy way too many TVs, that is.

When passing near MacLaren’s, Robin noticed Barney in the alley, taking a TV from the huge dumpster and throwing it angrily to the ground. She did always find an angry man to be attractive, but her curiosity was more powerful this time. Barney re-entered the bar by the alley’s door and she came through the front. He was whispering to Lily, a fake smile on his face.

She didn’t mention anything at the time and just let it slide. Barney had probably gotten angry at Lily for some reason and went outside to vent. Her curiosity died and she forgot about it all. Until the very next day, when she saw it again. And then the next day, and the next. One day, she actually saw him enter an electronic store, buy a TV and bring it to the alley to crash it against the ground. Something was seriously wrong with Barney and Lily. She decided to talk about it with her best friend the same night. Maybe Lily wasn’t aware that she was making him losing it.

In the bar, she joined everyone who were already there. She sat on the booth next to Ted, Lily and Marshall in front of them. Barney came back in, as if nothing had happened, took a chair and sat at the end of the booth with them.

“Robin! I was telling Lily and Marshall how great our peace thing was going.” They realized that the more sex they had, the more peace and quiet moments they had. It was quite miraculous, since Robin was getting a bit sick of Ted barging in on her personal time.

Barney took a large sip of his scotch and cleared his throat. “Are we still talking about you and Robin banging? Delightful!” His tone was higher, like it always is when he’s uncomfortable. Robin’s eyebrows knitted together.

Lily sighed loudly, drawing all the attention toward her. “I still think it’s a bad idea, someone always gets hurt in those situations.” Ted laughed, reassuring Lily that it was perfectly fine. Then, to prove his point, he mentioned that morning, when she had joined him in the shower because he was taking too much time.

She was going to fist him hard in the arm for talking about those types of things, when Barney stood straight up like a violin string and excused himself. She saw him going through the door that lead to the alley and followed him. He took the same TV as five minutes ago and trashed it hard.


He looked up to her, surprise drawn on his face. He put his hands into his pockets and gave one last kick at the broken TV. “What are you so angry at?”

She stepped toward him, but he stepped back. She stood there, quite taken aback by this subtle rejection. “Nothing. Really, I am just fine.”

His arms were stiff and his right leg had a tremor that he couldn’t control. Robin crossed her arms over her chest and stared at him. “You don’t look fine.” He scoffed. “You look down right pissed off.”

He sighed loudly, exasperated. “Seriously Scherbatsky, what’s with the British slang?”

She kept her arms crossed and shrugged. “Ted made me watch that sci-fi show of his. It’s British. And it might have rubbed off on me.”

He laughed, but to Robin it sounded so very cold and cynical. “Oh, so now, you and Ted are sharing pastimes and favorites! How delightful!”

Now, she was the one who was angry. What was his problem? They hadn’t been spending much time together and when they did, it was always with the gang. It was fine by her, after a couple of months “without-barney”, she had moved from of this attraction she had for him. Gone was the glitter she used to see when he was near her. She didn’t feel any tremor from deep within her soul when he looked into her eyes. Nothing.

“Barney, you can be angry all you want, but you can’t just launch it at me and Ted.” He looked at her as if she were the dumbest person he had seen in forever. She grew uncomfortable. She uncrossed her arms, and then crossed them again.

“I am angry at you.”

Her arms finally decided to fall to either side of her body; they probably would have fallen onto the ground if they hadn’t been so well attached to her body. “Me?”

He sighed, defeated this time. He put his head down and pinched the spot on his nose, between his two eyes that were shut closed. He then faced her and stood right in front of her at an arm’s length. She looked for his eyes and she found them, dark, pupils dilated. It was a shade she didn’t know, a shade that had nothing to do with desire. He really was angry at her.

“Why Ted, really?” She was so surprised by his question that she just stood there in silence. She believed that she was still stuck somewhere deep in the color of his eyes. “You could’ve found any beneficial friend anywhere and you had to go for my best friend and your ex.”

He waited for her answer and she had no idea what to say. Really, what was the right answer to a question like this? “You’re jealous.” She stated. It might not have been the best move.

He didn’t miss a beat. He never did. “Yes.”

Well neither did she. Not anymore. “Why?” He was going to answer before her, so she stopped him by waving her hands in the air, going backwards in a panic. “God, if you say you are in love with me –”

He cut her. “Damn it, Scherbatsky, I’m not Ted.”

She relaxed for a moment and started to breathe again. “But I have been trying to control myself around you and you go and sleep with Ted. Seriously Scherbatsky, couldn’t you find another stupid guy somewhere else?”

She put her hands in front of her, signaling him to stop and take a break. Her mind was reeling so fast that she lost control of every jumbled thing in it and it scared her. “I- - I don’t get it.”

He sighed and looked directly into her eyes. “I like you, Robin.” Now that was unexpected. She backed down and he stepped up. “I am not saying that I am head-over-heels in love with you, but I do like you. A lot.”

She begged the glitter to no come back in her mind, but there was no point in it when she caught the shine of one on his cheekbone. She took a deep breath. Her soul did not shiver. Her body did not tremble with desire. Her temperature was not really hot and Barney Stinson in front of her was not surrounded by magical glitter.

“For the first time in my life, I feel like I want the trouble of a relationship. You make me feel that the trouble is just not that much as troubling.” He admitted honestly, reaching for a part of her that was supposed to be dead.

She made commitment phobic Barney into commitment. Her! Robin Scherbatsky. She could have totally gloated about it, if she wasn’t so struck by his revelation. But then, for some unknown reason, except maybe her distress, she became really angry too. “You like me, but you were O.K. with me seeing another guy? And let’s not forget all the girls you’ve been with recently. How the hell is that liking me, Barney?” She yelled at him.

“I don’t know!” He yelled back, frustrated.

Robin crossed her arms again, shielding herself. Of course, he wouldn’t know. The poor man was a lothario, not a boyfriend. He hadn’t been a boyfriend for years. Who was she kidding? Barney just can’t do relationships. Really, he can’t. He doesn’t even cuddle after sex. He just looks at the ceiling, waiting for his blood to flow back into his brain and then leaves.

The last time that they were together, she must admit that she was the one who left. They were at his place and once she was satiated, she took her luggage and went to Lily and Marshall’s. He had kindly offered her a stay for the night at least, but she refused. He followed her to the door and bid her goodbye nicely, with a kiss on her cheek. He had been exceptionally kind to her that night and then it hit her. Damn it! She thought. Barney liked her.

“Listen, Robin. I am not good at this. I mean, the last time I cuddled someone out of affection was my gay brother, James, at Christmas 5 years ago when I had too much eggnog. I have not one ounce of romantic fiber in me. I don’t even know what really happens after sex with a girlfriend. Do guys just really talk about it?” A small smile drew itself on her lips and she hid it by looking at the ground. But he saw it. He pushed his body closer to her, trying to gain back eye contact.

“But I know that I don’t like you with other men. I hate you with Ted. I just don’t want to share you. Even Lily’s lesbian tendencies that normally turn me on, just... piss me off.” He smirked, she laughed.

“Bloody British.” She said, locking her eyes into his. “I am not really good at this either, Barney.” His index went to caress under her chin just for a second. She thought she would shake apart if he did it again. His smile was endearing and all she thought she had forgotten hit her like a powerful heat wave.

“We don’t have to be girlfriend and boyfriend. That’s something un-awesome people like Lily, Marshall and Ted do.” She laughed. “But I don’t want you to be anyone’s girlfriend or friend with benefits.”

She smirked. “This casual thing with Ted is driving you nuts.”

His hands gripped her shoulder and he looked at the night sky in a very overdramatic manner. “Please. The guy thinks your left knee is an erogenous zone.”

She laughed and her hands went to reach his face, her fingers caressing his jaw. He looked a bit scared and insecure and it was probably because of the seriousness of her expression. Her heart leaped for him. “I like you too, Barney. But I don’t think it’s in you to be exclusive.”

He looked so sad, his eyes the clearest blue she had seen. Her hands, still on his face, started to shake and her whole body followed. Why, of all the men she knew, womanizer, sociopath Barney had to be the one who shook her armor to the very core. She felt his hands reached for her hips, slowly moving to the small of her back, pushing her towards him; her curves fit like puzzle pieces against him. Her hands left his face to go into his hair at the base of his neck.

“You don’t know that. Let me try, Robin.”

She shouldn’t. It was evident that this relationship, or whatever else they might have called it, would crash and burn, leaving ashes in the air. She should’ve seen and knew all of this, but the glitter in his eyes blinded her again and when he kissed her with everything he had, she thought she wanted to try too.

Tickling fingers near her hips, his breath on her neck, his entire body enveloping hers, it made Robin feel incredibly hot. He would whisper words of passion; some dirty and some sweet and she would tremble underneath him, grabbing his shirt helplessly. He was hot like a fire, burning her inside out, the pressure of his body pinning her down aroused her more than she felt comfortable admitting.

“God, you are beautiful...” he whispered against her collarbone. He dropped kisses on her skin, unbuttoning her blouse with a quick excitement. She sighed and her nails scratched the back of his neck.

His hands went for her tights, lifting her pencil skirt high and she lifted her knees, installing him between her legs, where she wanted him. He moved up from her to get her blouse and bra out of his way and she used this moment to take off his shirt. He backed down to kiss her and when her breast crashed into his chest, she grasped his shoulder desperately, loving the contact. He laughed against her lips.

“Are you laughing at me?” She tried to look insulted, but the dark shade of blue in his eyes made heat pool in her stomach. He smiled wickedly, his hand unzipping her skirt.

“You are just so needy, it’s like you haven’t been touched by a man in years.” He teased. She pouted her lips and he kissed it away, sliding the skirt off her legs. Once freed, she hooked her legs around his hips. “Are you complaining?” His tongue found a nipple and she arched her back forward. “Nope, no complaints here.”

She found his belt and undressed him. The sound of the belt getting undone heated her up and she swore that she could see glitter stuck to the skin of his shoulder. “You really want to do this on a couch? The bed would be better.” Her hand found him below and she gave him a slight pressure that made him close his eyes in delight, a growl resonating in his throat that made his Adam’s apple move.

“The bed is far away.” She whispered, while his hands hooked on her underwear and removed them. He laughed; his lips against her belly. “So are the condoms.”

She breathed “Damn it.” And he chuckled. He surprised her by standing up in one swift motion, completely naked. He didn’t show one ounce of shame in his state of nudity.

“You know, you would look gorgeous tied up to my headboard.” On this, he left for his bedroom. She watched him walk away just to stare at his buttocks, and just before disappearing through the door, he turned around, his erection proudly showing. She licked her lips and left the couch faster than ever before.

Hours later, satisfied and exhausted, she was resting her head on his chest, her fingers playing with his nipple. She was still feeling light headed, her vision blinded by the thousands of pieces of glitter in the air which were falling one by one onto his naked skin, making it shine. One of his hands was tracing patterns on her arm, while the other was caressing her bum languorously. He took her hand away for his chest to kiss the inside of her wrist, where they could still see a red mark.

“Sorry for that.” She chuckled and shook her head. “Don’t be, it was amazing.” His smile tickled her insides and his tongue went to lick her wrist.

“Well next time, instead of handcuffs, I could use my tie.” She was going to argue that she liked a bit of pain, but then she imagined herself tied up with his red tie and instead went to kissed his nipple, moaning. “God, yes...”

He let her wrist go to travel his hand through her hair, kissing her forehead. “I don’t know if we are going to succeed in this relationship thing, but we are going to nail the sex part.” She smiled happily and put herself on top of him, kissing his throat, his hands were on her back, caressing the side of the breast.

“I agree. Ted never wanted to play bondage with me.” He laughed loudly. “How unsurprising of him.” He said, his fingers finding her sensible spot between her legs. She moaned contently. “He said he felt emasculated.”

Barney bit her shoulder, making her body tense deliciously. “A real man never feels emasculated with a hot woman on top, he feels grateful. True story.”

She put her two palms flat on his chest and sat herself up, on his waist. She smirked, feeling so very powerful on top of him. He let his eyes wander over her body and she realized how much she loved how adventurous and engaged he was toward sex. Nothing stopped him from experiencing strange and new ways to reach pleasure and she felt free, as if wings had sprung on her back. In Barney’s arms, she could explore her desires and her deepest sexual secrets. She raised her hips and her hand experimentally reached him slowly, watching his blue eyes roll into their sockets, his head pushed back, and his mouth forming a silence “oh”. He let himself bask in the pleasure she gave him and she felt stronger and more desirable than ever.

“Then, how grateful should I make you feel?” She wanted to play cat and mouse, the mistress and her slave; she wanted to possess him like he possessed her.

His dark blue eyes met hers, his pupils were dilated and his breath shallow. Sweat was descending on his neck, reaching his strong chest, she wanted to lick it away, but restrained herself. She had the control now, she couldn’t give it back to him, couldn’t show him how painfully gorgeous he was. Barney’s hands reached her hips and held her so strongly that he carved his fingers into her skin.

“Make me beg for it, Scherbatsky.” And she did.

After three months, when Robin thought everything would come crashing down around them, they were actually still managing to make it work. They had been keeping it a secret from their friends. Marshall wouldn’t understand, Lily would press them to put a name to what they were to each other and Ted would probably try to dissuade her. In the light of all this, they kept organizing secret meetings, lying openly to their friends. Barney had always a new girl to go see when they asked him why he was leaving the pub so early and Robin was dating a string of hot and available men that they never met. “It’s so not serious enough for you to meet him, guys.” She had to admit it, lying turned them on. They would take two different taxis and meet at his place where they would make love like two adulterous lovers.

They knew that those sexcapades would not last forever. Sooner or later, they would get caught and then, they would have to have The Talk. Robin tried, to the best of her abilities, to ignore the feeling of dread that overcame her every time she thought of that moment. She was almost certain that this would be the moment where Barney would run for his life, leaving her behind. Everything in her didn’t want this to end. She was so used to seeing the glitter in the air that the world now seemed prettier. Even when she was apart from him, everything would shine; her skin would tingle, her smile never leaving.

Lily did ask her why she had been so happy recently. “You’ve been glowing girl!” Robin just dismissed it. “I guess I’m just well laid by my never ending carousel of men.” Of course, her carousel had only one horse to ride and God knows that he had enough in him to entertain her forever.

Once they had tried every part of Barney’s apartment, they moved their endless coupling to her and Ted’s place above MacLaren’s. She found it more practical since it was so close to the bar and she didn’t have to wait during a 25 minute of taxi ride to finally get her hands on him.

At first, she hadn’t been enchanted enough to go there. Barney had been begging for weeks to just go upstairs. “Ted is staying in here with Lily and Marshall; he won’t come up for hours. At worst, he’ll think you have a weird hockey player lover in your room who is very good at giving you orgasms.” She rolled her eyes and categorically said no. She didn’t want to get caught by Ted of all people.

However, the more they went to Barney’s place, the more she thought it was too far. Then one night at MacLaren’s, she was sitting at their usual booth, Ted at her side, Lily and Marshall in front of them and Barney, on a chair at the end. They were having one of their usual conversations together when Barney’s hand slipped under the table and found the gentle skin of her thigh.

They had not had sex in a week, Barney being surprisingly busy going to his mother’s because she had caught a cold that turned bad. They had talked on the phone every day, voices full of promises and she had missed him so very much. One look and they both excused themselves with their usual phonies and got out of the bar. Barney was going to signal the nearest taxi, when she grabbed his tie and brought him upstairs with her.

Ted had always been a clean freak, where everything had its place, and it always annoyed her deeply. In exchange, she once asked him to move his drafting table for his architecture design into his room. “This table is so old; it’s a sore for the eyes!”

He had scoffed with indignation. “It’s a classic architecture table, just like the greatest minds had. It’s staying in here; it gives some cachet to the living room.” If this statement didn’t make her want to strangle him, his utilization of the word cachet definitely did. But that night, she had her revenge.

This table that she had always hated so much and thought to be so unpractical; “Ted, it’s inclined. You can’t even put a cup of coffee on it. It is not a table!” became the next best thing when Barney lowered her back onto it while entering deeply, exactly where she needed him, hovering powerfully over her. A very evil part of her couldn’t wait to tell that to Ted.

After that, they mostly spent their night in her bedroom. They couldn’t really explore the endless possibilities of the living room and the kitchen in case Ted would come up unexpectedly, but the bright side was that she could keep him with her a bit longer before he would sneak out the fire escape. But everything changed one night and that night led to many other changes the next morning.

They were both out of breath, naked under her cotton sheets, big smiles on their faces. “Bravissiomo!” She breathed.

He chuckled slightly, putting his arms under his head. “Who ever thought that the old missionary could be this fun?”

Her laughter followed his and she turned on her side, her head finding the crook of his shoulder, her hand lazily tracing patterns on his chest. She hummed in contentment. She knew she had maybe thirty minutes or so before he’d skipped off through her window, so she focused on him completely.

He was the one who did the first surprising thing by holding her waist and firmly cuddling her against him. She thought it was quite shocking but he wasn’t finished throwing her off, because he then entangled his legs with hers, buried his nose into her neck, licking the red spot on her shoulder junction that he had strongly sucked and bit earlier. He hummed in contentment too. He never had before. Like, never. Heat pooled in her stomach and she gripped him harder, not letting go and she grinded her hips slightly against his leg that was resting between hers to satisfy the burning heat that had come back to her belly.

He chuckled, his mouth still on her neck, and he whispered quietly to her, his body vibrating, playing her like a violin. “Let me sleep here.”

She met his eyes, dark blue like the Pacific Ocean at night, near her old house in Vancouver. As a kid, she had thought it was the most beautiful sight in the world. Through his bedroom eyes, she was feeling it again. She smiled and he followed. He lowered his head to her and kissed her like he never had before. A simple pressure, lovingly caressing her lips and a storm of glitter shattered all her walls inside her heart.

“Yes.” She breathed into his mouth and he touched her with slow and lazy caresses, until she fell asleep against him, wrapped by his warmth.

When she first began to feel awake, the first thing she noticed was the sound of the city passing through her open windows. Lying on her belly, she nestled deeper into her pillow, enjoying the sun on her naked back. The cotton of her sheets felt particularly soft this morning and between all these clues she was driven to an evident conclusion; must be Sunday. And Robin loved Sundays. She was still bathing in the fun enjoyment of Saturday night, appreciating that she could stay in bed as long as she wanted and that today was a day of freedom. Sundays were great. Then, something happened, something that made her love Sundays even more.

She felt open mouth kisses on her spine, getting lower and lower, until that very skillful mouth touched the spot where her back finished and her backside started. Sharp teeth bit her and she gasped, half asleep, and then they licked the bite for a taste. Tricky fingers retraced her spine up to her neck and massaged it. Lips, these lips full of promises, tickled her ear. “Morning.”

Barney’s voice was rough, his throat still asleep, showing her he hadn’t been awake for long either. “Tell me it’s not late already. I want more of this bed.” She begged him.

He chuckled, caressing the crease between her bum and her tights. He kissed her shoulder. “It’s so very early that I thought we could use this bed a little more and then sleep all over again.”

She turned on her back, the sheets leaving her full breast for him to admire under the sun. His eyes got darker in a second and her breath got stuck in her throat. His mouth descended on her left nipple, her hands in his blond hair, her legs wrapping themselves around his narrow hips. He was made of fire and burning on her skin and she wanted more of that kind of pain that was just right. That wonderful morning was the first of many more.

“There is more maple syrup in your plate, than there is food.” He teased her.

She looked down at her plate. She had ordered scrambled eggs, bacon and sausages when she asked to the nice waitress if they had Canadian maple syrup. Normally, no brunch or restaurant in NYC had, but she always tempted fate. This time, at this brunch restaurant, they had it. Robin went crazy and put syrup over everything on her plate.

She had told Barney to do the same with his sunny side-up eggs: “That’s how Canadians eats breakfast, Barney.” He had made a face of disgust, but complied anyway. “The best is the bacon and sausages in syrup. It’s homeland heaven.”

He arched his eyebrows at her. “Even Heaven is cheap in your colony.” She rolled her eyes at him. “Canada is a country Barney. It’s actually bigger than USA.”

He gasped dramatically and muttered something like blasphemy and Robin smiled with affection. They both thought that having brunch was a total smutty couple-ly thing to do. Even when she used to go out with Ted, a part of her always thought it was ridiculous. The food was amazing, but the ambiance... They were mostly surrounded by old couples, grandmas and granddads, big families of five and it always annoyed her. Of course, Barney had to surprise her again.

He had found a nice brunch place in Soho were most of the people around them were young couples or group of friends having a blast eating exotic fruits and sharing weird mixed juices. It was young, energetic and very far away from the impression that Robin had had of a brunch restaurant.

“It’s really a nice place, Barney. How did you find it?” He smiled proudly. “I know a guy.” She laughed. “You have a guy for everything, do you?”

He shrugged and put his fork down to sip his cup of coffee. “Not everything. I don’t have a guy for you. I take my responsibilities toward your pleasure very personal.” His smile was a bit wicked, a bit dirty and his eyes were fixed on her, while he drank.

She bit the inside of her mouth, trying not to laugh. If she laughed, he would act even smugger than before and then he would start to flirt grandly, taking her to the bathroom stool and make out with her until she begged for more. Normally, she would gladly comply, but her breakfast was amazingly good.

“Shut up.” was all she said. He laughed and kissed her wrist.

Damn smug bastard, she thought.

Robin woke in his king sized bed. The room was still in the darkness, and when she glanced at the clock, she saw it was around 4 in the morning. She sat up and looked around for Barney but he wasn’t in the room. She borrowed his Hugh Hefner bathrobe and went to the living room. He was at the kitchen table, writing rapidly on his computer, wearing only a pair of Armani sweat pants.

“Whatcha doing?” She asked; her voice still heavy from the sleep and the screaming earlier on. He smiled at her for a second to acknowledge her but his eyes refocused themselves on the screen. “Just a bit of work, I couldn’t sleep and Rupert wants this on his desk tomorrow before noon.”

She finally could see it, what Barney did for a living. She slowly approached him and massaged his neck. He moaned in contentment but stayed focused. “Rupert is your boss?”

He shook his head negatively. “Nope. Just a friend in need. He can’t write this by heart and he doesn’t have a lot of free time, so I said I’ll help.”

Robin mmm-ed in response and looked over his shoulder toward his screen. There were a bunch of numbers and letters. It mostly looked like very complicated maths. “Are you doing algebra, right now, at 4 in the morning?” she asked, surprised.

He scoffed. “Please, that is not algebra.” She felt relief for a second there, unknowing of why her lover doing complicated algebra was so stressful. “That’s a programming of shield against computer viruses.”

Her hands that were still massaging his shoulders stopped. “Sorry, what?”

He shrugged, still typing. “Yeah, I don’t know why he needs it either, but NASA was walking around my work place last month. Well, whatever.”

he backed off from him and placed herself in front of the table to look into his eyes. “You know how to program an anti-virus by heart? What are you, Sheldon Cooper ?”

He just smiled wickedly and stopped typing just for a moment to meet her eyes and says: “Bazinga.” Then, he went back to work.

But then, it explained so much about her lover. She remembered the college Barney all of them had seen in that video he did for his ex-girlfriend. He had been a virgin hippy, waiting for marriage and wanting to save the world. She remembered thinking that he was quite skinny and geeky looking. Barney had been a little geeky boy, all about theories against world hunger and discovery of aliens. When he decided to become awesome, he probably hit the gym and started to hide his intelligence as the same as for his vulnerability.

Even so, the sensible young man was still threaded deep within him. She had never seen him punch someone or get in a fight; he was mostly the type to run away, scared to death, while she’d threaten them with her gun hidden in her bag. He had these crazy theories about super heroes and even though she would never admit it out loud; he was a freakishly good magician. Barney was an intellectual; someone who would try anything and do it repeatedly until success.

Robin took a deep breath. She didn’t know why she was stressing about this at all, but it was when she looked at him, all focused and intelligent looking, that she realized. She wasn’t stressed, she was turned on. Her! Robin Scherbatsky, who thought that the attractive muscles and scars of hockey players were worth the fact that they were completely stupid, was turned on by an intellectual pretty boy. Damn it! If her father knew, he would send her to the army.

She walked towards him and placed herself between him and the laptop. He backed off on his kitchen chair, a bit surprised, but he recuperated fast and his hands went to her waist in a matter of seconds. “That robe fits you.” All the intellectual focus was lost and his eyes became darker, his face showing passion.

“Maybe you could explain to me all the theory things, I’m quite curious.” It could have been a genuine question if she didn’t make it sound so dirty.

“I don’t really want to talk about science now.” He counter-attacked, his fingers opening her robe, revealing her naked body.

She sat on his thighs and shrugged off the robe. Her nailed traced his chest, leaving red marks. “I do. Talk to me.” She bit his earlobe and grinded against his hips.

“Robin, I have ADD, you can’t ask me to focus on two things at the same time when I find it hard to focus on only one.” He complained, but she ignored him and grabbed his pants elastic.

He chuckled under his breath, kissing her shoulder with an open mouth, his tongue drawing symbols on her skin. “I can’t believe it, a geek turned Robin Scherbatsky on.” She grinded harder against him and felt him growing hard between her legs. Not caring if she sounded desperate, she begged: “Shut up and do me, Stinson.”

He laughed openly and grasped her bum and lifted her up. He sat her on the table, pushing the laptop away. “Yes ma’am!”

She’ll never admit it, but when he started to whisper into her ears facts about the deep space, she flew higher and even today, she still felt a bit ashamed that she came when he mentioned the rings of Saturn. Were they made of glitter?

Everything seemed perfect at first, but sadly it didn’t stay that way. Some days, she would wake up in the middle of the night, hugging a pillow, while a half asleep Barney tried to sneak out throughout the window, his pants and vest on him, shirt in hand. “Barney, you can stay in bed.” She said loud enough for him to turn around. Eyes half closed, he smiled. “Right, dating. Not one night stand.” Like a zombie, he let himself fall onto her bed, still dressed. It wasn’t the last time that it happened.

The other day, she had had the most horrible day at work and was in her living room, crying with a glass of scotch when he came in. He did look concerned and asked what was wrong. She started to explain it when he shushed her. “What you need is to talk about it all.” She had smiled at him, happy that he was there for her until; “After you finish talking to Lily, you can join me downstairs at the bar for sex in the bathroom.” Then he left.

She learned something that day; Barney didn’t know how to be a considerate boyfriend. How to be a careful, giving, considerate lover, yes. Boyfriend? That needed some work. His habits of celibacy were so strongly carved into his very core that trying to change himself had been creating a weird ripple effect. Sometimes he would do the kindest things, like buying her a drink without her asking for it; taking her shopping on Fifth Avenue after she had seen an unaffordable dress, letting her get away with stealing his favorite cigars and acting like he didn’t know about it. Some other times, he would act like a free man, going to his favorite strip club, winking at a hot girl on the street, staring at another woman’s breasts.

He did realize it sometimes; Robin could see it on his face. Like the nights when he unconsciously tried to leave her room in secret, he would wake up in the morning, remembering what he had tried to do and he would say sorry, embarrassed. She would smile to him, saying it was fine; they would get used to this, but Robin was seriously wondering if they could. She realized she needed to see if this relationship was really that; a relationship. So she decided to face all of her fears of them and one night, at McLaren’s, before everyone else had arrived she said: “I want to tell the others.”

He looked suddenly uncomfortable and took a long sip of his scotch. She had been expecting so many different reactions, but all of them led to him running away from her. She had not expected this: “O.K.”

Her eyebrow rose up. “Really? You’re up for it?”

He shrugged. “I am freaking out right now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t look forward to their reaction to it. Probably thinking I’m ruining you or something.” She was going to disagree but he didn’t let her. “But if it’s what you want, making it official and all, well then, O.K. Let’s do this.”

And so they did.

“Woo hoo!” Robin and Barney backed off on their seat, eyes as big as their scotch glasses. Marshall looked around in the pub, giving apologetic eyes to everyone. He lowered himself over to his wife. “Lilypad, please! We are in a bar, use your inside whou hou.”

She looked guilty for a minute, but her wicked smile came back on in an instant. “Woo hoo.”

“Does Ted know, yet?” Leave it to Marshall to think about Ted at any moment of the day. Robin sighed and Barney rolled his eyes.

“Not yet, no. We are testing on you guys first.” Lily’s eyes looked like she was on a bad crystal meth high and Robin was seriously afraid for her own life. Barney seemed quite relaxed now, after the positive reaction. He actually chuckled. “And Lily seems perfectly fine with it.”

The woman in question started to jump in her seat. “You guys are finally a couple!” Robin took a second to realize what her best friend had said. “Finally?”

Lily ignored her grandly. “We could double date!” Robin tried to get her attention again, gesticulating like a mad woman. “What do you mean, finally?”

Again, Lily ignored her. “Oh! It is our first double date now! Oh Marshall this is so exiting!” Robin just gave up.

Lily began looking more and more like a kid on sugar and Redbull. This was definitely not the reaction she had been expecting from them, even though Barney had relatively calmed down by now. She supposed it was more Ted’s reaction that was scaring him and had to admit that she was not looking forward to that conversation either.

“Before you start planning the wedding of our future children, I need a drink, Lily.” Barney smiled and his hand went to massage the back of her neck. “Scotch on the rocks?” She was so swept by his attention and care that her two friends disappeared for a moment. “Thank you.”

He kissed her temple and stood up. “Coming with you, man.” Marshall accompanied him to the bar, leaving a very helpless Robin with the wolf.

Lily was smiling at her as if she were the one in love with Robin. “He actually did it.” Robin advanced her body toward Lily, reached for her arm on the other side of the table.

“Lily, stay with me here.” Lily eyes were moving fast under her excitement. “What? What?” Robin breathed in and took both of her friend’s hands in her own. “What do you mean, he did it?” Lily started to look guilty.

Her excitement dying, she bit her lips. “Oops.”

Robin had always found it slightly annoying that her best friend couldn’t keep a secret, yet, now Robin wondered how many secrets she actually succeeded to keep. “You are hiding something, tell me.” Of course, Robin saw all the signs; her pupils were dilated, her hands were shaking, her lips had a small tremor. She just wanted to spill the bean. She nervously looked toward the bar; Marshall and Barney were waiting for drinks, laughing together.

Lily gripped Robin’s hands hard and pulled towards her. “What I am about to say, Barney must never know.” Robin slowly nodded, preparing herself for something terrible. “Since his accident, Barney had been calling me at every hour of the day or the night. He couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat.”

She took a pause for dramatic effect. “He was thinking about you all the time.”

Robin batted her eyelashes, glitter stuck to them like confetti on a wedding dress. “He was in love with you. He was just too scared to act on it. No matter how much I pushed him.” Then, Lily retreated back onto her seat, glad to have spilled the beans. “I’m glad he had the courage.”

When Barney and Marshall came back, drinks in hand, Robin was still trying to swallow the information she had just received. Barney’s arm came to rest on her shoulders the second his bum touched the seat, balancing her glass of scotch over her. She looked at him and smiled, her hand blindly gripping the drink he was offering. She thanked him with a kiss. No matter how unexpected that had been, she was glad she decided to attempt this. It was rocky and Barney was adjusting with difficulty to this exclusive relationship thing. But he was trying and she was too blissful to care.

Three days later she decided that it was time to tell Ted. She asked Barney if she could talk to him alone. She didn’t want Ted to get mad at Barney for being an angry wolf and take pity on her like the last time.

“If I explain to him that it was my decision to go through with this and if you are not there to rub into it –“He scoffed, offended. “It might be easier.” He stared at her, looking for the right answer.

He sighed, giving up. “Fine. But if anything, you call me, I’ll be up in a minute.” She smiled and nodded.

He left the small kitchen of her apartment and said goodbye to Ted. “Going downstairs, bro! Stinson out!” He left in a grand way, like he did with everything. Robin went to sit near Ted, who was watching The price is right.

“I need to talk to you about something important.” Ted Mosby was the most sentimental man Robin had ever met in her life, along Marshall, of course. Ted hurriedly turned off the TV and turned his entire body toward hers. He took her hand. “I’m always listening.”

Robin looked directly into his eyes. She decided to go for the plaster theory, all in one go. “Barney and I are dating.” He sat there, her hand still in his, staring at her. “Ted?” He blinked once, and then twice; she gulped.

“I know.”

She stood up. “Say what?”

He laughed, looking at her as if she were the stupidest person he’d ever met. “You told Lily and Marshall. What did you expect?”

Robin stubbornly tapped her foot against the floor. “Damn it, Lily!”

He laughed more and she let herself fall onto the couch. “I had a speech all prepared. I even asked Barney to leave to evade a fight and you knew.”

He chuckled and bumped her shoulder. “I wouldn’t have fought Barney. I’m kind of happy for the two of you.” She was quite dubious about that and he saw it.

“I am! I was quite surprised when Barney came and asked me permission to go after you, but --” She stood again. “Say what?”

Barney busted into the apartment. “Ted, you promised you wouldn’t say!” Robin punched him in the arm.

“You were listening!” He moved on from the pain in his arm and threw her a look that meant that it was a given that he would. She rolled her eyes.

“I can’t believe you. I was so stressed about this and you actually went to ask his permission –” She stopped herself and looked at Ted. He guessed her thoughts and answered: “Six months ago.” She hit Barney again on the same very spot; he balanced back and fell to the couch.

Ted laughed and added: “He did a weird analogy about a Canadian double breasted suit that I had tried on that fit him better and he wanted to buy it.” She hit him again. He actually yelped this time.

Robin sat on the chair near the sofa and looked at both of them, exasperated. Ted was clearly laughing at her expense. “Stop laughing Mosby.” He laughed harder, telling her that she had to admit that the situation was hilarious. Why did she expect that Lily wouldn’t talk?

She became unreasonably angry at him. Her vengeance would be sweet. “What’s funny is how much you still pet that beloved architecture table of yours like a cat, even after me and Barney had raunchy sex on it.”

Barney smirked wickedly and Ted’s expression froze, unreadable. “I hate you, guys.”

Very sweet, indeed.

Robin had not been a romantic since her sweet sixteen. She outgrew any sappy feelings and became a woman of lustful desire, independence and strength. She always went for what she wanted, men included. She never really let them be all mushy with her (except Ted, because it would simply had been impossible to stop him) for the simple reason that she hated it. Men weren’t really good at it anyway, always bringing roses and chocolate when all she wanted was a good bottle of scotch and maybe a cigar. Lily always told her that you get what you wish for and Robin ended up getting it with Barney.

Barney was the man who she thought didn’t do (or know) romance. He wasn’t a Ted Mosby, he would not steal a blue French horn for her, or place a quartet in her apartment, and even less try to make it rain for her. Barney was the kind of man who would knock on her door, ask her if she was in the mood and without waiting for her answer, undressed her and took her right on the couch. Of course, he surprised her, like he always did.

They had lunch in the afternoon at an expensive sushi restaurant in Manhattan. They had to sit at a bar as they received their sushi piece by piece, the master behind the counter looking quite amazing. It had been delicious and Robin had been touched that he wanted to share one of his favorite restaurants with her, but she wasn’t in the mood. She had had a horrible morning at the TV station.

It was Barney who had found her this job after she had quit her other job in Tokyo. She had received a letter mentioning that she would have to go back in Canada if she didn’t find a job within the next week in her field. Not wanting for her to be expulsed from the U.S., Barney had found her a job as an anchor in an early morning show.

It was way too early and she had to wake up at 3 in the morning every day. Not only did she have to leave a warm and naked Barney in bed alone, her new co-star, Don, was a pain in ass. She wanted to be the pro she knew she was and Don was really acting like a jackass, not even wearing pants under the News table.

She knew Barney had brought her to this restaurant to cheer her up, but it wasn’t working much and he realized it. They left each other, Barney going back to GNB, Robin going back to her apartment to sleep.

Robin woke up around seven in the evening to the sound of water running. She got up, put her silk bathrobe on and followed the sound. She saw Barney’s suit vest on the couch, his shoes and socks randomly on the ground.

She supposed he was taking a shower (she didn’t stop herself to think why in her place and not his) and started to clean his mess when she heard him say: “I’m in the bathroom, Robin.” Obviously, she thought, but she went there anyway.

He was wearing his white shirt with his sleeves rolled up, no tie. Barefoot, sitting at the edge of her bathtub, he was filling it, a scent of eucalyptus blowing in the air. The lights were off, but he had lit up some candles on her bathroom counter. The shadows of the flames made his cheekbones sharper as his eyes danced on her. He was incredibly gorgeous to her all the time, but now, she just wanted to sit at his feet, her head on his leg, and bathe in him.

She found her voice. “What’s this?” He shrugged.

“You were so stressed at lunch and I didn’t know what to do, so I asked Lily. She thought you would like to take a relaxing bath.” He reached behind him for a bottle of 20 year old scotch resting at the other side of the tub. “But I put my personal touch into it.”

She smiled at him, her heart leaping toward him with her being unable to catch it back. “I thought of getting you a cigar too, but Lily said that the smell might clash with the scented oil she gave me.” He looked at her with an insecure expression.

“I love it.” It might have been Lily’s idea, but the fact that Barney did ask for help in the romance department touched her. And he did bring a bottle of scotch instead of roses.

He shut off the water and stood up; a wicked smile drawn on his lips. His arms found her waist, one of his hands playing with the silk string tying her bathrobe. He kissed her on the lips and as much as she wanted him to make her burn, he released her mouth. She moaned his name, a whisper on his skin like a breeze on a pacific beach. In silence, he tugged on the string, opening her clothes to him. His hands travelled up on her arms until his finger caught the side of the robe and let it slide off of her, pooling at her feet. She hummed in content as his fingers went to tease her nipples and his mouth sucked the sensible spot on her shoulder.

She was going to reach for him, refusing to let go until late in the morning, when he stepped back. She felt cold as ice, with his body burning so far away from her. “Go into that tub before I forget all my nice gentleman-like thoughts. Lily had been clear; no pervert sex things.”

She scoffed and leaned her body against him, feeling his every sharp curve. “Pervert sex thing relaxes me. Take it with me.” She begged in a breath.

A growl from deep in his stomach busted out of his lips, reaching her to the core, making her toes curl on the ceramic floor. “I’ll go get glasses for the scotch.” He left in a hurry, passing her by like a wolf, eyes roaming on her. When he was out the door, Robin smiled and finally stepped into the tub, warm water relaxing her muscles. She leaned in, closing her eyes, surrounded by the scented oil that Lily chose.

She instinctively knew when he was at the door again; two glasses in one hand, the other already working his shirt’s buttons. He put the glasses on the rim of the bathtub and she thought she should fill them with the bottle near her head, but her eyes were transfixed on him, stripping. The Barney she knew would have taken off his clothes faster than the roadrunner, but he, at that moment, took his time. While slowly undressing, he kept his eyes locked on her, observing every reaction she had.

His shirt reached the floor in silence and his tricky fingers went to his belt buckle. The sound of metal filled the bathroom with an echo that reached her deep within her thighs. He took the belt off completely before unzipping his pants. Once (finally!) naked, Barney stepped in the tub from the other side and sat, his legs intertwined with hers. She grabbed the bottle of scotch and served them their respective glasses. They locked eyes and clanged their drinks together, smiles on their faces.

Later, when Barney made love to her, it was slow and lazy, but full of sensuality like she wasn’t used to. When she came, him deep within her, in their final round, a firecracker exploded in her room, snow of glitter falling on his sweaty skin, making him shine under the moonlight. She knew at that moment. She loved Barney Stinson.

Sooner than she saw it coming, it had been a full year since Barney had trashed a bunch of TVs and they both had decided that they should give themselves a try, for the sake of the electronic world. She didn’t expect Barney to celebrate it with her and a week just before the actual date; she realized that he didn’t even notice.

Robin had never been the one to celebrate anniversaries. After all, there was too much of it. Lily and Marshall seemed to celebrate something about their relationship almost every month; first kiss, first date, first time having sex, etc., etc. She had once dumped a man who wanted to celebrate their first month anniversary. Thankfully, Barney had always agreed with her about it. He openly laughed in Marshall’s face when he announced that he and Lily were celebrating their first hand holding.

But since her relationship began with Barney, she found herself wanting to celebrate a bit more than before. Not as much as her friends, obviously, but the first year anniversary monster was whispering sweet nothings into her brain.

She voiced her concerns to Lily, Marshall and Ted, one night at MacLaren’s. Lily and Ted awww-ed at her and told her that it was sad that he had forgotten. They were both ready to pity her to no end, when Marshall scoffed in indignation. “Lily forgets all the time; I need to remind her of our wedding anniversary every year, a month in advance.”

Lily’s cheeks became bright red and she elbowed her husband. “What I mean, Robin, it’s that not everyone cares or thinks about anniversaries and it’s not a bad thing. You used to not care either.” Robin nodded, Ted and Lily feeling a bit guilty. “If you want to celebrate, instead of waiting for a surprise, do the surprise.”

She dug her brain out for days after this, trying to find a way to surprise Barney without being too mushy and romantic enough that he would laugh at her. Now, two days away from the actual day, Robin was still stuck. She was getting angry at herself and it affected her mood. Obviously, her boyfriend noticed. He asked her many times what was wrong, why was she so much on edge. She brushed it off, saying it was just working with Don that was annoying her to death. It wasn’t a complete lie so Barney bought it easily.

The day of the anniversary, Robin was still in her slump and when she woke up in the morning, the arms of her lover around her, she decided that she would simply buy a new negligee after work and bring some take out sushi from his favorite restaurant to his place. Her boyfriend did love her in a negligee, especially a dark blue one.-

After work, she went to the first shop of underwear she saw from her office building. After some browsing, a hand tapped her shoulder. Don, her annoying and non-wearing-pants at work co-worker, was there, looking at her like some sort of pervert.

“Getting hot and bothered, Scherbatsky?” She hated when someone other than Barney used her last name and from Don, it just made her cringe. “I don’t understand, Don.”

He laughed and put his hand on her arm. “Just kidding! Looking for a gift for that mystery man of yours?”

She scoffed, “He is not a mystery.” Don raised his eyebrows and laughed again. Robin was starting to wonder if he was really a happy person or if he was laughing at her. Her teeth clashed together.

“Robin, you have met two of my one night stands and my sister, while I don’t even know the big guy’s name.” Robin’s eyebrows knit together and she pouted. It was true that, apart from the gang, she didn’t talk about Barney much.

Many times she had been tempted to do so, like in the makeup room at the station, or at the restaurant, dining with the sexy researchers. They all gloated about their boyfriends or fiancés and Robin secretly prided herself that her lover was a hundred times better than those weird guys, but she never opened her mouth. She sinfully wanted to keep Barney to herself. Gone was the teenage idea of impressing people with her relationship. Barney was more amazing than anyone that she knew and she zealously kept him for herself.

“His name is Barney, he works at GNB and he is very intelligent. Satisfied?”

Don smirked. “No. He sounds like an ugly geek.” Robin sighed and started to ignore him, searching for a negligee that would fit Barney’s taste. The damn moron followed her around.

“Come on, there must be something more you could tell me. Why hide him, he’s not a North Korean spy is he?” She looked at him full of indignation.

“Of course not!” Then she smirked at her turn. “He just works with them.”

It seemed that her tactic worked out pretty well and she was able to finally leave a gobsmacked Don in the middle of the push-up bra section and leave the shop, deciding to just go on to Victoria Secret on 6th Avenue and 34th street; it was Barney’s favorite. After that afternoon, Don never asked about Barney ever again. That is until he finally met him, months later.

Robin finally found a sexy navy blue string of silk (she didn’t dare to actually call it clothes). It was in the entrance of the shop and Barney had been saying that he would love to see her in it every time they passed in front of the store. Satisfied with her purchase, she stopped at Barney’s sushi restaurant for a grand order. The chief (Master! Would have corrected Barney) assured her that she would receive them all in time and it gave her just enough time to get herself ready.

Just before six, Barney called on her cell phone. “Do you want to meet tonight?”

She smiled. “I’m already waiting at your place.” She swore she could hear his tongue click and the sound of his tongue licking his lips.

“Saucy little minx.” On this he hung up and Robin gave herself a last look in the mirror, sat on the couch with a glass of white wine and waited.

Barney entered his place, placing his keys on the counter near the doorway and finally got a look at her. His eyes grew three shades darker, making heat pool in her low stomach. She reached deep within her to find her voice. “Welcome home.”

He smiled wickedly and she shuddered. “Is that my negligee?” He asked voice low and a tad humorous. She smiled brightly and nodded. “Well, I want it back.” She laughed freely as he jumped on her like a mad man, freeing himself of his suit vest.

Later that night, they found themselves on the kitchen floor, Barney’s head on a couch pillow, completely naked, and Robin on top of him, still wearing her half of her lingerie, feeding him the sushi one by one. He laughed when she went to lick a drop of soya sauce that fell on his chest

“Not that I am complaining, because I will never complain about you in sexy clothing feeding me incredibly delicious sushi, but what’s the occasion?” He took the time to slowly lick the fingers that were feeding him the new piece of sushi and she smiled amorously.

“Today, it has been an entire year of our monogamous relationship.” His head hit the pillow and he stared at her, blinking rapidly.

Then after some consideration about what she had just said, he sat up, leaving her straddling him and yelled: “Fuck! That’s an anniversary of some sort, isn’t it?”

She hit him on the shoulder for his language. “It’s o.k.” She assured him but it didn’t seem to reach its goal.

“It is so not o.k. How can I keep failing like this?!” She cupped his square jaw in her hands, smiling.

“I don’t mind. I just wanted to do something to show that even after a whole year, I’m still hot as hell.” He looked deep within her eyes, looking for the lies, the sadness, and she knew that he found nothing when he finally relaxed under her.

He kissed her gently, his hands roaming on her back. “Well I do have a gift for you.” He added, his mouth leaving her. She raised her eyebrows. “I have been keeping it for sometimes now, wondering when I should give it to you.” She got really excited about that idea. She kissed him this time, showing her appreciation.

“What is it?” She was too dead curious to notice his eyes sparkling, his smile more adorable than before. One of his hands grabbed the back of her neck and his mouth slowly glided toward her ear. His breath was fire on her skin, making her feel as if she were hugging a volcano.

She shivered of desire and he whispered: “I love you, Robin Scherbatsky.”

A love confession from Barney, followed by amazing sensual sex, should have been the highlight in Robin's life right now. How many woman had Barney slept with who would actually give an arm for this? Yet, it was from that night that everything went sour. They always had fights then and there. They were both incredibly stubborn and one track minded, but they always ended up kissing somewhat and everything was always good again. She realized now that the ends of these arguments were mostly happening because Barney would just fold out his cards, giving up his arguments.

Now that she knew, she started to resent his weakness and he resented her stubbornness, as she was never giving up anything for him. “I gave up so many things for you!” Robin yelled at him.

He scoffed. “Please! You never did. You have been nothing but completely selfish in this relationship. I may have my fair share of issues, but I do put you in front of anything else.”

Her laughter would sound cold and sinister even to her own ears. “Name one time you did something selfless just for me.” He crossed his arms in front of his chest.

Barney never did that. Crossing your arms is a defense mode and Robin knew that Barney never needed this. He was stronger than people gave him credit for, his armor more solid than anyone else she knew. “I left in the middle of a conference with the Chinese President because you called me saying you were sick.” He stated, matter-of-factly, one eyebrow rose up. “I was!”

He sighed dramatically. “You had the sniffles!”

All of their fights just continued in this direction, neither of them giving up. Robin started to notice that her skin was colored gray and smiling was becoming a rare occurrence. However, she refused to admit that this relationship was going down, until she realized that most fights started because of his love confession a month ago. She was the reason they were fighting so much. She wasn’t ready for Barney Stinson to be in love with her. She wasn’t ready for love and like always, she was running away. She used every excuse to fight with him and she would purposely push him away most of the time, even when he was making great efforts to please her. Then, she saw that the beautiful eyes of her lover had lost their light and she knew that she was killing him.

“This is not working anymore, isn’t it?” Her voice was just a whisper sliding between the loud sounds of the sushi restaurant.

Her eyes met his in a final glance. She saw love, but she also saw sadness. “Robin, I’m not happy.”

She felt something stuck in her throat; but didn’t let it bother her. He continued: “I mean, I love you, I really do.” He sighed. “I just feel that you are unhappy and that makes me unhappy.” She held her chopsticks so tightly that the cheap wood was marking the skin of her palm. “I guess we are destroying each other.”

She wanted to tell him that it wasn’t the case. That he was not destroying her, she was destroying them. She never once told him that she loved him, not once did she show how happy he was making her. She was just sabotaging this relationship because that’s what she does, all the time. She had so much to say and yet: “Then, I guess it’s the end.”

His eyes became many shades paler, making his face sadder. Her statement was so final that it hurt way much more than she had expected. “Let’s see it like not two people breaking up, but two friends coming back together.”

He looked unsure for a moment and then smiled a little. “Awesome.” They finished the rest of the lunch in silence and she stole glances at him and wondered if the awkward moments would really cease to exist.

The same day, they met their friends together at the pub and made the announcement. Lily had looked quite crestfallen by the news and Marshall’s eyes were full of sadness. Ted had a worried look on his face and tapped Barney on the shoulder. “Wanna play Have you met Ted?” Barney shrugged and agreed. They both went to the bar together.

Later that night, Marshall got the idea to go and fetch the fedora hat and the whip they had given Ted for his new teaching job at the university. “Let’s make Barney the new Indiana Jones!”

The three men turned sixteen in a matter of seconds and left, running upstairs, Marshall yelling: “Let’s whip some stuff in the alley!” Even though the door of MacLaren’s was closed, they could hear Barney’s laughter and Ted yelling: “You so get me, buddy!”

Robin was left alone with a silent Lily and it scared her endlessly. She mostly nursed her drink, trying to ignore the insistent glance of her best friend. However, she could not ignore what she said. “I thought it would happen eventually.”

Robin was taken aback by Lily’s words and stared at her friend, a bit hurt. “I’m sorry?”

Lily sighed and adjusted her position on the booth, showing how uncomfortable she was. “I don’t mean it badly, Robin. It’s just that I could see that Barney was into this relationship way much more than you were.”

Robin scoffed, offended. “No. You are wrong.”

Lily made her motherly eyes and Robin’s thought of winning this staring contest flew away. “No, Honey. I’m not.”

These words made Robin feel sick, as if all of her feelings were battling to get out through her mouth. Lily grabbed her beer bottle and took a sip before saying: “I’ve known Barney for years and I have never seen him like this with a woman. He really tried his hardest there. You didn’t try as much; you know I’m not wrong.”

Robin lowered her eyes. “No, you’re not.” She sighed. “He tried with everything he’s got and I didn’t try at all.” She felt tears threatening to flow and she took a deep shaking breath. When she spoke, he voice was raw. “I just let things happen because a part of me always thought it wouldn’t last.” Her friend kindly grabbed her hand.

Lily knew her too well. Lily knew what was happening in her heart and it made her sad and angry. She had given up on this relationship before it had even begun. She had entered Barney’s life knowing that she would leave eventually and not once did she think it would last forever. They didn’t break up because they were making each other miserable, they had broken up because she never thought of it as something real. And if Barney ever realized this, she would shoot herself.

To be continued…

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