AN: Welcome to the considerably longer alternate ending! About halfway through the regular ending I found myself writing something like this I stopped myself and managed to get back on track but this lingered in my head so I wrote it out anyway. This alone turned up to be fourteen pages or something, that is freakin' long! This was supposed to be like a three or four thousand word story tops, yeah, that worked out nice. But I got carried away and spent the time I could be using to study on this, awesome…
We're picking up from Ted's POV since that's where it all changes.
Ted was upstairs in his pajama's, he had just come back into the living room from brushing his teeth. He noticed from his room the kitchen light was left on and he went to turn it off when he noticed his cell phone was lit up. Curious he walked over and flipped it open.
One new message.
Knowing it could only be one person at this hour he flipped it open and read the short message. "Bar help". Groaning he quickly began to reply. "No. Going to bed."
He expected another message to come in a couple minutes but one never came, he checked the time maybe it was sent a while ago and he had already gone home with someone. If he did that then he certainly would have texted him back gloating about how he was about to get some, no matter how busy he was. Barney had been known to text someone while he was in the middle of tonguing girl to get the news out. Why wouldn't he reply back now?
Allowing his mother hen nature to take over he picked up his cell and dialed the number to the bar downstairs. After a couple rings the bartender picked up, her voice sounded a bit strained.
"MacLaren's." She answered.
"Hey, Taylor, it's Ted Mosby."
"I've worked here seven years, Ted, I know who you are." She answered and he could hear bottles clinking in the background. "It's actually kinda sad."
"Yeah well, did you see Barney leave with a girl? He's not answering his phone and usually he's pretty prompt with that sorta thing… unless he's purposely not responding, I guess, but I don't think this is one of those times."
"I saw him heading to a couple girls at the bar, I thought he was gonna get them some drinks but a couple guys from the bachelor party ordered a few more beers so I had to take care of them first. When I got back he was gone and the girls were ordering their last drink of the night."
"He didn't talk to the girls?"
"Nope, or I don't think he did, either he found different tail to chase or he decided to head home, though the second doesn't seem too likely." She mused and Ted heard her shift the phone presumably between her shoulder and chin, it sounded like she was fixing a drink.
"You sure you didn't see him leave?"
"No, sorry, he could still be here somewhere, I swear if he's in the bathroom sucking face with a girl I'll make sure he never picks up a girl here again."
"Bathroom really isn't his style, he tends to suck face in the open."
"You'd be surprised what I've seen in this place, enough alcohol would make the most civilized man have sex in the toilet, not that Barney's civilized, don't get me wrong." He heard a glass get set down on the bar and then the phone get taken away from her face for a moment, but he still heard her shout. "Last call!"
"Closing up?" He asked.
"Yeah, we don't close for ten minutes but wouldn't you know, half the people here decide to order a drink at one fifty nine." She yelled over the people around her. "Okay Ted, I gotta get going, everyone wants their last drink."
"Alright, thanks Taylor."
"No problem, hope ya find Barney."
"Yeah, me too." He said and hung up the phone before collapsing down on his couch. Tapping his foot impatiently he decided to try and call Barney again. And again, and again. After getting the voice mail for the fifth time in a row he tossed his phone down on the coffee table.
He began to pace the apartment. Barney wasn't drunk when Ted left, so he couldn't be stumbling drunkenly around New York, Barney didn't get drunk he realized, sure he got a little tipsy but no matter how many times he's seen him drink he never got sloppy. He couldn't have left with a girl, he was sure he would have gotten a text by now, especially gloating about how Ted could have gotten some too with the text Barney sent him. He was obviously asking for some wingman help… or at least he thought that was what he was doing. What else could it mean?
Ted walking back to the coffee table and flipped open his phone, going through the messages and finding the last one Barney sent. It said "Bar help" he wanted help picking up a girl in the bar. Then again, when did Barney ever need help in the bar, there were two girls, maybe he was thinking of him and wanted to give one of the girls to him. Maybe they weren't into a threesome so he had no choice but to get a friend. That was probably it, the girls weren't into a threesome so he wanted Ted to come back.
But then, wouldn't he have texted something else? That wouldn't be help, that would be… well he didn't know what it would have said but it wouldn't have said help. Glancing at the clock he saw it was nearly two. MacLaren's would be closing just about now. Realizing he was never going to get any sleep with this over his head he slipped on his shoes without socks and grabbed a coat, still in his pajama's he opened his door and slid into the hallway, grabbing his apartment keys and his phone as he went.
It took him a couple minutes to get down to the street and when he walked out of the apartment he saw Taylor just leaving the bar and getting into her car, since she usually worked nights and she got out around two, hailing a cab would take longer and she wasn't one to stand around waiting for a cab to come by, especially if the weather was bad.
"Taylor." He greeted.
She turned around before she got in her car and leaning on the open door. "Hey, Ted, nice pj's." She laughed. "You get in touch with Barney?"
"No not yet, I'm gonna look around."
"What do you expect to find?"
"Dunno." He answered gravely.
She paused and got up from her slouching position fiddling around with her key ring. "Here," she said taking a key off the ring. "It's the key to the bar, I have a spare, you find him and he was a dumb ass you don't have to take him all the way up to your apartment." She tossed him the key before sliding into the driver's seat.
"Thanks, Taylor." He said, wondering exactly what condition she expected him to find Barney in.
"No problem, give me the key back tomorrow and don't steal from the tap I'll know. Good luck."
"Thanks." He breathed as she started her car and pulled away into the considerably less congested street.
At first Ted didn't know what he was supposed to do or why he came down here really. So, with nothing better to do he walked over to the bar and unlocked it, opening the door. Maybe Barney left his cell phone somewhere and Taylor missed it when she cleaned up, he noticed when he walked in she didn't clean up very well, probably payback for Carl, sometimes if he left her the bar particularly busy she would give him payback by not cleaning up if she was covering the night shift and he'd be opening. Once Ted inquired if she kept doing this to Carl wouldn't he eventually fire her? She replied with "he'd never fire me" and then left to take care of some other customers, Ted wasn't sure what this line meant, but he didn't push the matter.
Looking around for the missing cell phone he called and waited for Barney's signature ring tone, he didn't hear it so that meant it wasn't here. He looked everywhere, even in the girl's bathroom. With one last ounce of desperation he unlocked the back door and pushed it open, you never knew what the hell Barney was doing maybe he went out there and dropped it in the alley. When the door was a crack open he heard the ring and smiled to himself but when he saw the alley the smile faded as quick as it had come. He was expecting to see the little blue light from the phone as it rang, but not through the expensive lining of Barney's suit jacket as he lay sprawled out on the ground unconscious.
"Oh my God." Ted gasped dropping his phone in the doorway. He was dumbfounded for a few seconds and the only thing that snapped him out of it was the door coming back and hitting him on the shoulder.
"Barney?" He asked quietly and fearfully as he bent down beside him friend, thinking the worst, taking in the sorry sight Barney was. His lip was split and blood was on his cheeks and chin presumably from his mouth, he must have been coughing or sputtering before Ted got there. There was a cut below his right eye and his face as red from a beating. There was just so much blood. "Barney?" He tried again putting his hand on his shoulder.
Biting his lip he bent down and put his head on his friend's chest praying for signs of life. They didn't come for a little while and he could almost feel the tears prickling at the corners of his eyes before the standard signs of life reached his ears. He sighed happily pulling his head away from him chest. "Hey, Barney, wake up, bro, c'mon."
It was soft and it the night hadn't been so quiet he wouldn't have heard it but he did, a low moan escaping his split lip. "T'd…?"
"Yeah," he cried happily gripping his limp hand. "It's me man, I'm here."
"I know," he choked out feeling a pang of guilt, he didn't text asking for help at the bar, he meant he was in trouble and needed help at the bar. "I'm calling an ambulance now, okay? You're gonna be fine."
"N' hospi'ble… m' f'ne."
"No, man, you're not." Ted felt around for his phone but then remembered he dropped it earlier, the door was some feet away and he wasn't quite ready to let go of him yet so he reached in Barney's jacket and pulled out the phone rapidly dialing 911.
"911 what's your emergency?" Came the woman over the phone.
"It's my friend, h - he's been mugged or something, I need an ambulance!" He cried hysterically.
"Okay, Sir, calm down, where are you?" She asked.
"The alley way next to MacLaren's bar," he took him a moment in his frustration and anxiety but he managed to rattle off the address scolding himself for stumbling on it considering how close it was to his own.
"Sir, I need you to stay on the line with me until help arrives. Is your friend breathing?"
"Yeah," Ted replied pinning the phone between his chin and shoulder and putting his other hand on Barney's chest to make sure it was moving. He had stopped murmuring his near incomprehensible sentences.
"Has he spoken?"
"Sorta." He replied once again taking in the mass amount of injuries, and when he moved his hand on his chest that was when he noticed the wet spot on his suit. It was dark but the moon was out creating a good amount of light for him to see his hand when he pulled it away, the tips of his fingers were red with blood. "Oh, no, Barney." He mumbled leaning over his chest and slowly peeling away part of his jacket to see. Through the white shirt there was a large red stain.
"Sir, what's wrong?"
"There's blood on his chest, oh God, I think it's a compound fracture," he moaned tears threatening his eyes once again.
"Calm down, Sir, help is on the way you're friend is going to be alright."
He barley heard her because at that point the phone fell from his shoulder and to the ground, what caused this was the sudden closing of Barney's eyes. Up to this point from when Ted had woken him up his baby blues remained opened, maybe not focused but they were open. However now he had closed them.
"Hey, hey, Barney c'mon, man." He didn't get a reaction. "Hey, man, bros don't die on each other. Isn't that somewhere in the Bro Code? It should be because dammit it should be the most important one." Now a tear had finally crept from his eye. "Come on, man…" He said in a broken voice.
At this point he finally heard the ambulance sirens around the corner. "Hear that?" He asked franticly. "Help's coming, you're gonna be okay, you're gonna be okay." He wasn't sure if he was saying that for Barney or for himself.
Still he received no reaction from his bro. "Come on," he wanted to run out to the street and wave the ambulance over because no doubt they were looking in all the alley ways to find them but he didn't want to let go of Barney.
After a minute the red lights flashed in the alley and several paramedics came rushing in. Asking Ted questions or pushing him out of the way stabilizing Barney as best they could before getting him on the stretcher to take him to the hospital. All the while Ted made sure he never took his eyes off him as he dolefully answered the police officers questions. He didn't know much about what happened and he was sure Taylor would be asked a few questions. He told them she just left about ten minutes ago and she was the only one working MacLaren's that night since Wendy and the other waiter left at around eleven.
When Ted saw that they were loading Barney into the ambulance he broke away from the police officers. "Sorry," he sputtered to them. "I have to go… hey!"
"Will you be riding with him, Sir?" One of the paramedics asked.
"Yeah," he said as the paramedic allowed him to get in the ambulance before they sped off down the road to the hospital.
"Is he gonna be okay?" Ted asked the paramedic as he worked.
The paramedic paused momentarily in his work and gave him a look which Ted had trouble deciphering. "He'll be okay." He said after a moment, the man was not a very good liar.
That was when the conversation ended between the two men. The ambulance ride to the hospital was short, Ted didn't know how fast they were going but they got there fast. When they arrived Barney was rushed from the ambulance and to the emergency room to take care of the compound fracture which was disrupting his breathing and get him into surgery as soon as possible after the appropriate x-rays and tests. Ted was left standing in the waiting room at 2:47 in the morning.
He collapsed on one of the waiting room chairs in thought. When he moved his hand along his pajama pants he noticed there was a lump in his pocket, reaching in he pulled out Barney's cell phone. He flipped it open, seven missed calls, three new messages. He should have realized something was wrong sooner.
Ignoring the messages he dialed the number he knew by heart and waited. It was late and he wasn't expecting anyone to answer the first time so he dialed again and waited. This time Marshall picked up on the fourth ring.
"Barney, what the hell are you calling for at… three in the morning?" He angrily asked with a hoarse and tired voice.
"Hey, Marshall, it's Ted." He said his voice cracking as he spoke.
"Ted?" Marshall asked, he could hear the bed squeaking as he sat up and Lily murmuring questioningly. "What are you doing with Barney's phone? You are calling from his phone right? I'm not like, going blind 'cause you're calling at such a ridiculous hour!" He stressed. "Wait… why are you calling at a ridiculous hour? What's going on?"
"Something happened outside MacLaren's… after you guys left."
"What? What happened are you guys alright?" He asked and Ted heard Lily asking more questions in the background in a worried tone.
"I am, but something happened, I dunno what, Barney's in the hospital. He's pretty beat up."
"Yeah, yeah man we'll be right there." Marshall said. "Just hold tight." With those last words he hung up and ted began to dial emotionlessly to Robin.
Since he knew she kept her phone on her nightstand she was easily awoken by the ringing and picked up on the fifth ring. "Barney, what the hell?"
"It's Ted," he clarified again.
"Ted? What happened?"
Once again he went though his quick explanation of what happened best he could. When he finished she was silent for several seconds and Ted wondered if she was still there. "Robin?" He asked.
"Yeah, yeah, Ted I'm here. God, okay I'll be there in ten minutes."
"Hang tight." She said before hanging up and Ted was once again left alone in the waiting room holding the phone in his hand absently flipping it open and closed as time ticked on. There weren't many people here, it was fairly quiet and eerie. Sort of reminded him of the time Barney got hit by that bus, he was finding himself in the hospital a lot lately.
After some time had passed out of the corner of his eye he saw a very tall man walk in with a petite woman at his side. He looked up and ceased flipping the phone standing to meet them halfway.
"Oh my God," Lily began shuffling over to him in her stylish shoes. "How is he?"
"He's in surgery." Ted said quietly. "They told me one of his ribs was broken and it was a c – compound fracture." He stuttered having a flashback to the gruesome memory.
"Oh…" Lily said reaching forward and pulling Ted in a hug. "Honey its okay, it'll be okay." She said through tears.
Ted looked over Lily's head to Marshall who was standing with his hands on Lily's shoulders silently as she cried into Ted's chest. When Barney got hit by the bus they were told he was okay, everything was fine. They found this was a completely different matter, he was in surgery his fate was still a question mark. Not to mention the fact Ted didn't see Barney right after he got hit, this time he did.
She pulled back from ted and rubbed her watery eyes. "I'm good," she breathed while fanning her face with both hands. "I'm okay, I'm sorry."
While Lily apologized Robin came rushing into the room, her hair still tussled from sleeping. "I'm here, I'm here, what's going on?"
Ted moved away from the group and sat down in one of the chairs with the rest of the group sitting around him as well. "I left the bar around one thirty…" He began exactly the way he told the police. "Barney stayed behind to pick up a girl at the bar… I dunno what happened after that, he sent me a text saying 'bar help' I thought he meant he needed me to help him pick up a couple girls I didn't think he meant he was in trouble at the bar…" He trailed off rubbing his face with his hands.
"Ted, this isn't your fault." Robin assured kneeling down in front of him.
"How do you figure?" Ted asked. "He asked me for help but I ignored it, I could have gotten down quick enough and maybe he would have been alright. I waited too long, by the time I got down there MacLaren's was closed and I found him in the alley… God he was covered in blood."
The group sat in pure silence for seemingly hours until a doctor came in. "Ted Mosby?" He asked looking at the sheet of paper, when he asked the nurse at the desk who came in with him he said he didn't know the name but he was Mr. Stinson's emergency contact.
"Yeah?" Ted asked standing up running his hands along his pants nervously. "How's Barney?"
"He's stable, he has several broken ribs, a broken nose and a sprained wrist." He explained to Ted and the rest of the group as they got up and walked over. "We were able to set all the bones, our biggest concern was the compound fracture but it wasn't as bad as it could have been, your friend was a lucky man, this could have been a lot worse. If you didn't find him when you did Mr. Mosby I can promise you, our conversation would have been a lot different." He said gravely. "But he will be okay, and he should make a full recovery."
"When can we see him?" Ted asked.
"He just got out of surgery right now so he's resting, one of you can go in and sit with him until he wakes up, just don't disturb him. He's in room 316." He said before turning around and walking down the hallway.
Ted turned around to see the rest of his friends.
"Ted," Marshall said with a light scoff. "How can you even look at me like that, go, go in. Stay with Barney, I'll get in touch with his brother, tell him what happened."
His eyes then shifted to the two girls, Lily sniffed before she spoke. "Bros before ho's, Ted." She said. "Isn't that one of the codes he's always going on about?"
"It's number one." Marshall said who had read the book cover to cover when looking for a loophole.
"There you go," Robin said brushing off the fact she was shamelessly considered a bro. "So you go first, stay, make sure he's okay we'll be back first thing in the morning."
"You sure?" Ted asked but before he could get past the first word this three friends ushered him away to the room.
"Go!" They all shouted at once.
Ted rounded the corner, his hands shoved in the pockets of his pajama pants once again fiddling with the expensive phone in his pocket. When he reached the door he was hesitant to step in, he honestly didn't want to see his bro like that but he had seen him at the scene, how much worse could it be.
Slowly turning the knob he opened the door and tentatively stepped in. There was a nurse by his side injecting something in the IV, she looked up and smiled. "Mr. Mosby?" She asked quietly.
"Ted." He corrected not able to take his eyes off Barney, he was as pale as the sheets around him, making the bruises that were forming stand out. There was a bandage on his head and nose as well as a light splint on his wrist. Somehow he looked worse here then he did in the alley.
"Right, Ted, I assume you're staying for the rest of the night?" She asked and he gave a slightly hesitant nod. "I realize you're not family but you are his emergency contact so I suppose we can make an exception, if someone important asks though you're a brother." She grinned, and Ted returned it, no problem there, he and Barney were bros. "Since this is a private room I can't set up a second bed for you, but I can set up a blowup mattress."
"Thank you," Ted said still not taking his eyes off Barney.
The woman must have noticed his anxiety. "Don't worry, he'll be okay." She smiled, patting his shoulder before leaving the room to go a get the mattress. She seemed familiar, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it.
Too many people tonight have said he'll be okay and Ted wasn't too sure if was ready to believe it just yet. In order for Barney to be okay he needed him to be awake and telling him to 'suit up' or telling him how awesome he was for doing something outrageous, or just awesome for being Barney Stinson.
His eyes drifted over to the small cheep clock on the nightstand and he gasped, it was past five, the sun would be rising soon and all of a sudden the exhaustion of the night was settling in. He sat down in one of the chairs and laid his head down on the bed atop his arms to wait for the nurse to come back with the bed. Though when she did come back it was too late, he was already fast asleep in the horribly uncomfortable position.
She bit her bottom lip to suppress an 'aw' from escaping her lips and placed the folded plastic mattress on a chair along with the blankets she bought with it. She knew the young man would have a sore back in the morning but she didn't have the heart to wake him. Shutting off the light she stepped out of the room, leaving the smaller light on for the various nurses who would have to check in over the next few hours.
The beeping was what woke him, he thought. The smell too, it was familiar, he struggled to open his eyes but found only the right one would comply. Even with that it didn't take long for him to realize where he was, the hospital, again. It felt like he had just gotten over physical therapy and now what if he had to go back to it. Wait a minute, why was he in here again and who was on the bed holding his hand?
He tried to move his head only to result in a streak of pain to shoot through his head and down his chest into his arms. He was confused, utterly confused and Barney Stinson did not like to be confused especially when he was in the hospital with a mystery person holding his hand and it didn't feel like a chick unless this chick had severe man hands.
Trying to move again he succeeded in turning his head to the right peeking with his right eye he saw the unmistakable hair of one Ted Mosby. Ted was holding his hand? Dude, that was so not cool.
He opened his mouth to try and speak but found it just wasn't working. He swallowed a few times and tried again, this time with minimal success, he could really go for some water right now. "Ted?" He breathed hoarsely and when he got no response he tried again, this time a little louder. "Ted."
This time the dark haired architect stirred, he lifted his head and blinked a few times looking around to remind himself of where he was. When he spotted Barney though his face brightened and he shifted. "Barney, man, how you feeling?"
Barney stared at him through his one good eye for a moment. "Dude," he whispered taking a quick glance to his hand which Ted was still holding onto.
"Oh! Sorry." He said and let go rather quickly. "Do you need anything?" He asked like he was reading his mind. "Water?"
Barney gave a pathetic nod and lifted his right hand to take the water being offered to him. After a minute of him slowly getting a drink he handed Ted back the cheep mauve plastic glass and swallowed again. "What happened?"
Ted looked worried. "You don't remember?"
"If I did I wouldn't ask, Ted, c'mon." His voice was still weak.
"Remember, I left MacLaren's last night, you stayed for obvious reasons." Barney nodded in remembrance. "Something happened, no one knows but you I guess and the one who did this. You texted me and then… I didn't come down for like fifteen minutes…" He looked down to his hands.
There was a pause between the two men. "Yeah… I remember." Barney said as the flashback came to him full force.
"Look, man, I'm sorry. I didn't know if I did I would have been down there in a flash I swear, you know I would have. I just, I didn't know…"
"Ted," Barney interrupted in the rare moment where he was dead serious. "Don't be stupid." Were the three simple words he had said but they spoke volumes. After making sure his words got through Barney lifted his hand and make a fist, signaling to Ted they fist bumped. "Besides, no one to blame 'cept for the jerks who decided to mess with the Barnacle, they were no doubt jealous of my sheer awesomeness.
Ted snorted in laughter. "Ya now, you've been scaring the hell outta me a lot lately, you keep doing this I'm afraid I'm going to have to wrap you in some sort of bubble wrap whenever I leave you alone. It seems you just can't function without me."
Barney gave the best smile he could without agitating the split lip. "Bros don't wrap other bros in plastic."
"Is that a code?"
"No, that's just common sense." He scoffed.
Ted nodded. "The others came last night, they only let one person stay in the room with you. They called James, they said they'd be back today."
"Déjà vu, huh?" Barney asked trying to sit up.
"You need help?" Ted asked.
Ted reached forward anyway and helped Barney prop up the pillows. "It's almost eleven now, I think that's why visiting hours start, I think, we can expect a wave of friends and family to come barging in the room soon."
"You up to a lot of visitors?"
"Dude, I'm up to anything right now. Hospital low five." He said holding his hand out, not having the strength to hold it up too long.
Ted gently gave him the five worried what would happen if he high fived him to hard. Her heard Barney mumble something about it being a pansy five.
"Ted?" Barney asked quietly in a fragile voice.
"What happened to my suit?"
Ted sighed and acted like he was preparing to tell Barney of the death of a family member. "I'm sorry, it didn't make it, but it was a good suit, it's in a better place now."
Barney nodded. "Yeah."
There was a knock at the door and the two looked up to see a nurse enter, the same one from last night, she looked tired, her shift was probably coming to an end. "Mr. Stinson, how do you feel?"
He smiled at her. "Better then ever."
"Somehow I find that hard to believe." She smirked checking the various machines he was hooked up to. "You have some tests scheduled for later today, just standard exams to make sure you're alright."
"Okay." Barney whispered and Ted was slightly surprised he wasn't hitting on her, but after taking a second look at the women he noticed how worn she looked, Barney must have noticed this too, that was probably why he was acting civil for a change.
"There are some people here to see you, are you up for visitors?" She asked.
Barney did his best to shrug but found only one shoulder would obey, and it obeyed painfully. "Sure," he said halfheartedly.
She gave him a gentle smile as she stood at the foot of the bed. "You boys are my last stop, then a day nurse will come in and see you, probably Nurse Mathews, he's usually in this area. I'll see you again once night rolls around, okay?"
"How long will I be stuck here?" Barney asked not too keen on spending too much time in the hospital… again.
"Tomorrow you can be discharged if you luck holds, and they'll probably want you leaving with someone." Her eyes flickered to Ted. "That eye of your won't be good for a while and your other isn't exactly in top shape. You have some deep bruising all over your body and walking will probably be a challenge for another few days. Don't expect to be up and around too fast."
"I know the drill."
"However this time you won't need the physical therapy." She smiled before leaving the room. "And I should probably remind you, the police will be by later to get a statement from you, Mr. Stinson."
He gave her a thumbs up with his good hand before she turned out of the room.
Ted waited until the door was shut before turning back to Barney. "Is she familiar to you too?"
"Nurse Kim Rorik." Barney smirked, Ted wasn't sure if he winked or if he was just blinking. "She was the night nurse last time too."
Ted's face shifted to one of realization as he looked back at the door, as though expecting her to be there. "That's who she is, I remember her on the days I came real early she was just leaving. And Nurse Mathews, we called him Steve, I remember him."
"I'm getting quite a few friends around here."
They refrained from speaking about the elephant in the room. Barney would have to stay with someone for a few days, he should go with his brother but James wasn't exactly close by and he had Tom and the baby, it wouldn't work. They both knew what was going to happen, but asking or offering was an awkward matter.
So instead of talking it out they stared at each other for several seconds and in that several seconds silently agreed on what would ultimately happen. It wouldn't be the first time Barney had stayed at Ted's.
Outside Lily was peeking in through the bottom corner of the window, she had a clear view of Barney but could only see the back of Ted's head. Nurse Rorik had told them about the predicament before she left, they conjugated at the door but sent Lily to the window to check and see what they were doing, if they were talking. She reported talking at first and then reported them sitting in silence, when Barney's face broke into a smug smile that was when she stood up and cleared them to enter.
Inside the room they heard a knock at the door, Ted stood up with a knowing look and opened the door. When the door opened four people came plowing in, their friends including James who immediately sat across from Ted who resumed his previous seat.
"Barney…" He moaned and since he was sitting on the side where his eye was swollen shut he had to move his head over in order to see him. "Oh, man, what did you do?"
"People have been asking me that a lot lately." Barney pointed out.
"You," James said pointing across the bed to Ted. "I can't stick around forever, look after my baby bro, alright?"
"I'm not a baby." Barney mumbled stubbornly pouting slightly.
"Not a problem, James," Ted said and bumped fists with James over the bed, the two exchanging a look as they did it.
"Aw!" Lily exclaimed, the men looked over to see Lily with a silly grin on her face with Robin watching her with an amused gaze. "Come on," she cried when she noticed how everyone was looking at her. "This is sweet you got to admit it."
"She's right." Robin agreed only much more casual then Lily. "You big bad men are acting sweet." She emphasized for effect.
"It's a very emotional time!" Marshall cried.
That was when Barney noticed the obnoxiously tall man standing at the foot of the bed and he gasped in amazement. "Oh dude, we're in a bro circle! Hospital fives everyone c'mon!" His voice was still raw and weak but he was as energetic, and let's face it, awesome as ever.