Author's Notes: First How I Met Your Mother fic. Robin/Barney is ADORABLE. I almost can't handle how legen- WAIT FOR IT- dary this pairing is!
are you bro enough?
I. Love. Barney. Stinson.
"Scherbatsky," Barney says, looking deep into her eyes, "No matter how this turns out. I want you to know. I don't regret having sex with you."
Robin blinks, sort of startled by the serious nature of the comment and the tone, especially considering that the worst that could happen is that they don't advance to the next round of the All Out Laser Tag Championship (which, okay, might actually be a really big deal to Barney), but she smiles at him anyway. "Uh, thanks, Barney," she mutters, sort of touched despite herself.
They are crouched behind the Giant Tuba (at least that's what they've been calling it; Robin isn't sure what it's actually supposed to be) while her vest recharges. She'd tried to get him to go kick some ass for her while she recuperated from the ambush, but he was having none of it; no bro gets left behind, especially not one who leapt in front of a laser for him. Barney Stinson would not leave her to defend herself while he basked in laser tag glory.
The moment wavers a little and Robin blurts, "I'm sorry about Ted," without meaning to. Ted is not a fun subject. Ted should not taint the sacred walls of laser tag. "I probably should have been clearer on who seduced who, it's just—I'm sorry."
"Scherbatsky," Barney says sternly. "Let me make one thing clear. Barney Stinson was not seduced. I just let you believe you were seducing me so that should you decide to play a harmless game of Battleship instead, I wouldn't have to worry about the bare pickle thing again." He snickers to himself. "That was the plan right until I sunk your battleship (what up?)"
Robin rolls her eyes but laughs with him anyway, because it's Barney and she's Robin and they aren't ever, ever—ever—going to be BarneyandRobin but she sort of likes Barney-and-Robin. As long as there are dashes. Significant ones. Perhaps outlined in some sort of flashy color, to emphasize their existence.
She thinks about what he said last year, during what they have since termed the Bare Pickle Incident, about how they were both looking for the same thing, and how they got along so well, and how—well, and how they're… Barney-and-Robin. Teetering dangerously close to BarneyandRobin.
And this is all making great sense in her head, but she doesn't bother to try to explain it to anyone else. She can just picture Lily's face now, translating "Yeah, so, there have to be these dashes, see…" into "Um, yeah, so, Barney and I are soulmates."
Because they are not. Robin Scherbatsky is not Ted Mosby. She doesn't want to get married and have 2.5 children and be like Lily and Marshal, telling each other every little detail about everything—and she means everything—that happens during the day. She wants… she wants someone to just… hang out with, and watch stupid movies with, and… and…
And play laser tag and Battleship with. Oh God.
"You're hot," Barney says.
Robin chokes. "What?"
He rolls his eyes and points at her vest. "Your vest, Scherbatsky. You're hot. We can keep playing." He leans in conspiratorially. "And I say we attack that little bitch with the pigtails. She so has it coming."
"You come in from the East, I'll circle West and we'll get her from both sides."
"All systems are bro, Scherbatsky. I'll see you on the other side."
There's a beat before either of them stand up. She's four steps away when she turns back, shouting over the loud techno music (oh, God, they aren't… they are. Robin Sparkles. "Lets Go To The Mall". She wants to die. Right now. Please.) "Barney!"
He runs back to meet her, face close, noses almost touching (because seriously, with the flashing lights and loud music it's impossible to hear otherwise). "I don't regret having sex with you either."
Barney beams. "Of course you don't," he tells her with a wink. "Bro's don't regret sex with bros." Then he surprises her with a distinctly non-sleazy smile and says, "Let's get that little pigtailed menace."