Chapter 1

Hi guys, I hope you enjoy this story. This story was inspired by my h20 fic Mermen of the Gold Coast Season 1, I'm really into the merpeople genre so I'm going to write more stories like this. I have also posted it on archive of our own: /works/10785066/chapters/23949534.

The past always has a way of coming back to haunt you, no matter how hard you try to run from it. This was the thought going through Ted Mosby's head, as he entered a Starbucks and saw the last person he wanted to see, Linda Denman. Just as she had taken her coffee and was about to turn around, Ted ran out the shop all the way back to his apartment. Frantic thoughts running through his head on the way. How had she found him? Did she even know where he was or was it just a coincidence? When he reached his apartment, he slammed the door behind him and leaned heavily against it trying to catch his breath. Robin was sitting on the sofa watching something on the TV, and gave him a look that was a mix of confusion and concern.

"What's wrong Ted?"

"N-Nothing, I just…ran into an ex", Ted lied.

Robin gave him a sympathetic look, "Ah, want to talk about it?"

"Thanks, but I have things I need to do", Ted said and ran to his room before Robin could ask any more questions. Ted paced his room, if Denman knew where he was then he would have to run but he didn't want to leave his life behind. He couldn't leave his friends, they were like family to him. But he reasoned to himself, that if Denman caught him he wouldn't be allowed to have a life and may never see his friends again. Ted sighed, just as he got his go-bag (which he always had ready in case something like this happened), an idea hit him he could just go somewhere like Chicago for a while and ask his friends if Denman had come looking for him and if she hadn't and after waiting for enough time for it to be safe, he could come back. Part of him knew this was just wishful thinking, but that didn't stop him from hanging on to that hope.

When Ted walked back to the living room, Robin was still watching TV. Ted felt a wave of sadness, there was a good chance he may never see her again. He wanted to give her a hug, but knew that if he did she would realize something was very wrong, Robing knew him too well. After one last look at this apartment, Ted tried to leave without Robin noticing but was unsuccessful.

Robin turned around after seeing Ted about to leave, and was surprised that he had a go-bag on his back, "Where are you going?"

Ted sighed, "I'm just going to visit a friend for a while".

"Oh, where?"

"LA, I'm not sure how long I'll be there but I'll let you know when I'm coming back", Ted said, he was actually going to Chicago. But he couldn't risk Robin knowing, in case Denman asked where he had gone and tricked Robin into telling her.

"Okay, I hope you have a great time".

"Thanks, bye", Ted said and left before he could change his mind. When Ted closed the door he sighed, he wanted to say goodbye to Marshall, Lilly and Barney but he couldn't risk running into Denman. As he made his way to his taxi that was waiting for him, Ted thought about his life in New York. He had tried not to get attached to it, but he had made the fatal mistake of making friends that became family. Every time he moved, he had a rule not to get close to people so that he could easily run. But he had broken his rule. He got inside the taxi, which took him to the airport. On the way, Barney had rang him probably wanting his help with hooking up with a girl. Ted so badly wanted to pick up, and pretend that this wasn't happening but knew he couldn't afford to so he declined the call. The moment he arrived at the airport, he knew that he may never see his friends or family again and that this was the price of his freedom.