Robin stood by the window staring down at Ted.
Barney walked to the window and stood beside her, "Look who I found hiding in the elevator." Barney said holding up a rather small yorkshire terrier puppy.
He looked up, out the window and saw Ted, and waved. "Not again." He said quietly to Robin. "Hey come on up buddy." Barney said gesturing with his free arm. Ted gave a short wave back.
"I couldn't get the door to work, I can go down and met him." Robin said softly to Barney.
"Well he's holding another replicate of the French Horn, I think you better. Text me if you want me to come down." Said Barney.
Robin kissed Barney on one check and patted him on the other. She took her keys and went out the door.
"OK guys, time for din din." Barney addressed the happy pack of dogs.
Robin made her way out of the building's door. "Hey Ted. Is it our anniversary already?" She smiled at him and took his arm. "There's a new place around the corner."
They said nothing on the way. Ted opened the door for her and they stepped into a low light Indian restaurant that only had a couple of late diners sipping on some tea in the far corner. They sat by the window and Ted placed the French horn on the table next to theirs.
"How are you doing?" Robin asked Ted.
"Oh you know, I'm great, really." Ted responded.
"Well no, clearly you're not, or we wouldn't be here again." Said Robin.
"No, clearly I'm not. BUT how are you? Are you guys hooking up again?" Asked Ted.
Robin half smiled at him. The waiter came over. "Two brazil nut chais" Robin ordered.
"I'm sorry, I know you don't like hearing this. But for me it was different. I will always have a special place in my heart for you, but going beyond that point ended a long time ago for me." Said Robin.
"I just don't understand how you kept going back to him." Remarked Ted.
"I can't help it, I don't know if I ever will be able to help it, I was lost for a long time, scared of spending everyday of my life with someone I feel so much for. I kept trying to run away, and when that didn't worked I pushed, hard, so hard it broke him and me, and the marriage." Said Robin.
"That was a sign." Ted pointed out.
"It was, to stop running, to let it happen, to allow myself to trust that it is ok to love someone that much, and that he will love me back as much in return." Responded Robin.
"But how can you trust him? A guy like that?" Asked Ted. The waiter brought over their teas.
"How many women have you loved over the years? Just in time I've know you, there half been half a dozen great loves of your life. For him and me, we've only ever really had each other." Said Robin.
Robin patted him arm, and took a sip of her tea.
"We've been living together for six months now." She said.
"What!?" Ted exclaimed.
"I'm sorry, we didn't want to tell you, until we knew we were sure. I had been coming to New York more and more, and I always stopped by and saw him when I was in town. Then I started staying at his place, just as friends, just because I had given up my apartment and it was easier than a hotel room. Friendlier, happier. And then one day I didn't want there to be all these walls between us."
"Are you going to marry him again?" He asked.
"No, well I don't know, he hasn't asked, and after the last wedding I'm not sure we should. I do know my life is different now, funnily enough I feel more married now than I did when we were actually married. I like knowing he's going to be there when I come home at night, we walk the dogs, pick up dinner, watch tv, talk, nothing fancy or exotic, just everyday." Robin was smiling to herself now. Her phone buzzed.
"Is that him?" Ted asked.
"Yeah, he's asking if you're ok." Robin said.
"I'm ok, I'm sorry I came." Ted said.
"It's alright, you needed someone to talk to, you miss her, not me, I was never right for you. I was one of the reasons you met your wife, it's scary losing that person. I know it's not the same but I was lost for years, I lost him for years, and I've come full circle and found that what I really wanted, where I belong was right where I was. I know you'll find it again someday."
"Just not with you." Said Ted.
"I'm sorry. What made you try again after all this time anyway?" Robin asked.
"Something the kids said…" Said Ted.
"You're going to go around listening to teenagers, Mosby really?"
"I know, they're kids, what do they know?" Ted said with a smile.
"They know I love you, and that you need to be out there, and I will be your wingman any day, and Barney would jump at the chance. Just you know, not with me."
Robin pulled out her wallet and laid some cash on the table. "It's on me tonight."
Ted, "Wow, that's a rarity."
"Just this once, since it's our anniversary and all." Said Robin.
They stood and walked out of the restaurant, leaving the blue horn behind.
1 year later
A large bar with a huge tv in the corner with all the patrons surrounding it cheering it on. Ted sat in a booth with a blue horn beside him. Barney sat on the other side.
"So still together then." Ted said sadly.
"This just isn't working out for you is it?" Barney said.
"I'm sorry to ask this, but are you really sure she loves you?" Ted asked.
"Hey that's my wife you're talking about." Barney said.
"Your ex-wife." Ted fired back.
"Actually, remember that weekend, a couple months ago I tried to get you to go to Vegas with me?" Barney said.
"What? But that's why I'm here I figured you broke it off with her." Said Ted.
"She proposed, we got the first flight out in the morning. Lily and Marshall came." Barney said.
"So a lavish Vegas wedding then?" Said Ted.
"Actually it was really quite small, we did it fancy the first time, this time, it really was more a formality. For me at least, I have never been so calm in my life, she was all excited, it feels different somehow." Barney said.
"I'm very happy for you." Ted forced out.
"I wish you would be, I understand it's hard. I know what it's like to lose her. Far too many times, but this really is it." Said Barney.
"Yeah sure." Responded Ted.
"You should come over sometimes, I mean more than when you think we've broken up again. She misses you." Barney said.
"Does she?" Ted asked.
"Yeah, of course she does. I do too." Barney said.
Ted look down at the French Horn beside him.
"I should go." Said Ted.
"Stay, let's get another drink." Barney said.
"No it's ok, the kids are alone at home." Said Ted.
"Meet me here in a week. Let's talk." Barney said.
"Maybe, Maybe," Said Ted.
Ted left, without the French horn.
1 year later.
A french horn lay on the table of a friendly Italian cafe, Ted sat, running his fingers on the tubing.
Lily sat down on the chair opposite, a slight baby bump apparent.
"How are you doing?" Lily asked.
"How are you? You look great." Said Ted.
"Thanks, I think this is it though. I can't do this again. I'm getting a bit old for it." Responded Lily rubbing her bump.
"No you're not." Reassured Ted.
"So… you're here again." Lily said.
"Yeah," Said Ted.
"Why?" Asked Lily.
"The kids saw Barney in the park, he was with a pregnant woman, couldn't have been you, they would have know it was you."Explained Ted.
"Barney's pregnant, well they're both pregnant, well the surrogate is. That was Maria." Explained Lily.
"Oh, so they're..." Started Ted.
"I think Barney wanted full time kids." Explained Lily.
"Barney wanted…" Ted started.
"So Robin found Maria, she's experienced, as in helped out with that kind of thing before. They were at the park for pregnant yoga. We were all there actually, it's a partners encouraged kind of thing." Said Lily.
"One big happy family," Said Ted.
"You are welcome any time you know, come up to the apartment with me, Maria is over right now, they have these family dinners, only neither one of them can cook, so every week is more of an interview for the new housekeeper, but it feeds the kids, and gets everyone together. You should come, we'd love to see more of you and Penny and Luke."
"Right. I don't think. What about Robin though, you said Barney wanted a full time kid?" Asked Ted.
"She's adjusting, they've bought the apartment next to theirs, it's going to be a monstrosity. She's making over the nursery, she was just showing me, only they have to change everything round, just found out it's twins." Said Lily a little reluctantly.
"Twins?" Asked Ted.
"Yeah, I'm sorry. Ted you have to stop doing this, she really is happy you know." Said Lily.
"Is she? Babies who would have thought." Said Ted.
"I know, I know." Lily said.
Ted picked up the horn and held it while standing up, He then put it down and left.
1 year later
Ted sat on the park bench, clutching a French Horn. Marshall sat beside him.
"So who was that about then, why was she in family court, I'm guessing she wasn't getting divorced, not suing for visitation rights, since you're here instead of her." Said Ted.
"Barney got full custody of Ellie, it seemed number 31 was having some emotional problems, she had started taking it out on their daughter and a couple weeks ago she gave up her rights." Explained Barney.
"So Robin was…" Started Ted.
"She was adopting her," Explained Marshall.
"So she really is a mother now." Said Ted.
"Well, I'd say Barney is primary carer, he rules the PTA with an iron fist, have you seen his blog lately, it's called the brocode for family life now," Said Marshall with a smile. "But it's Robin who gets up every night and puts them all into bed with her."
"With her, So Barney and her...?" Started Ted.
"Wakes up every morning with a bed full of beautiful women. Women who love him. They're a family Ted, and I'm sorry, but they really are, a happy one. I was rooting for you, long after I should have, but I think this was the way it was supposed to be." Said Marshall.
Ted held onto his horn, clutching it tighter.
"Take home that horn, put it away, it was all very romantic at one time, but now. It's time to let it go." Said Marshall.
2 years 3 months later
Barney struggled a double wide stroller, six balloons were tied to the arms of the stroller. with one little curly haired blonde in a perfect cornflower blue dress asleep in the right seat with her head falling forward. Robin held the hand of an older girl, who was marching her into the butterfly house.
Ted was further on ahead at one of the monkey houses, he held the hand of a little girl, with blue eyes, brown curls in a perfected tailored pink dress. He was watching a monkey who was staring back at him.
The little girl spied an attractive woman squatting next to them, holding hands with a little boy holding a yellow balloon.
She looked up at Ted, then checked the ring finger of the attractive woman. Nothing.
She tapped her shoulder. "Have you met Ted?"