Warnings I guess character death - pre story
Spoilers Three Days Of Snow
Disclaimer All publicly recognizable characters, settings, plot, etc. are the property of the creators of the TV show How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM). Any original characters, settings and plots are the property of devylish. devylish is in no way associated with the TV show HIMYM and no copyright infringement is intended. This work is an amateur fan effort and no profit is being made.
AN unbeta'd AN2 Can be read as a standalone, or as part four of my marshallsdeadverse. If you want to read the other fics in the verse, Not Breathing, Barely Afloat, and Breathing You are all on . reading 'em in that order is most recommended..
We don't talk about it at all.
We don't talk about the nights that he crawls into my bed and holds me close. Safe. We don't talk about the nights that he pulls me close and touches me. Touches all of me.
If we did talk about those nights, the words would come in moans, and whispers, and muted pleasure. They would describe how he spends hours caressing me; tracing his fingers along my skin… simply, silently, appreciating me.
But we don't talk about those nights. We don't talk about how I welcome him to my bed, to my arms, to all that is me. It isn't much, the 'me' that I offer up to him. But he takes it, and savours it; holds me like I'm a treasure. A dark treasure.
He knows I'm broken. Tortured by thoughts of what might have been; what will never be. But he comes, still, to heal me.
There have been times… a few rare times, when I've wondered if maybe I might be healing something broken in him. I've wondered if he was, maybe, as broken as I am and if maybe I'm the salve, the glue that's holding him together. Those are the times when I've thought that he was receiving something from me. Something from my skin, from my touch, from my lips at his neck, or my voice in his ear.
But then I remember that he's Barney Stinson. And I remember that I'm just one of the women he's had; one of the women that he will have. And I remember that I'm his friend. And then I remember Marshall.
I think of Marshall at the oddest times these days. I don't' think of him all the time like I use to, but he comes to me at the most unexpected, twisted times. Like two… no three weeks ago. I was watching Seinfeld; it was the episode with O'Brien.
George was picking up Jerry from the airport and they saw the chauffer holding up the sign looking for 'O'Brien'. And I remembered the stupid, stupid tradition Marshall and I had regarding airports. I'd bring him beer from wherever I'd traveled to, and he'd be standing there, waiting for me in the disembarkment area with a sign in his hands, and stupid chauffer hat on his head. Waiting for me.
It was our tradition.
It was stupid.
…but George and Jerry and O'Brien…..
And it was an hour later that Barney walked into my place, and found my face covered in tears. All over a dumb TV show…, and an even dumber tradition.
As he pulled me into his arms, all I could do was mumble that it was too much. The apartment, the music I listened to… all of it was fingerprinted by Marshall. It was too much.
He held me until his shirt was soaked, and his jacket was ruined… and then he held me closer… until I melted against him.
I look in the top left-hand drawer of my dresser, and there are ties. Not cotton or rayon ties – the Marshall kind – but silk and satin ties… the Barney kind.
I open the next drawer, my camisoles. The next drawer, my sweatpants and t-shirts. I open the bottom drawer, and there, neatly folded are boxers and boxer briefs. Again, not Marshall's – those were packed away long ago; no, these belong to Barney. The tips of my fingers touch the blue silk ones as I push the drawer closed.
I move, half aware of what I'm doing, to the closet. I lift the sleeve of one of the grey-blue shirts I find hanging there, rubbing the cloth between my fingers before bringing it to my face. Does it have his scent on it? I've barely breathed in the clean linen scent of the cloth when I release it, letting it drop back into place.
As I close the doors to the closet I look at the bed, covered with his silk sheets. And beside the bed, on the night table, his watch. A smile plays at my lips, 'He must have been… distracted this morning before he left for work.'
I pick up my paint brush and head into the spare bedroom; my fingers tingling with a desire to create something new.
A day later and my mood has changed. And I'm angry at everyone… all of them. I'm angry at their happy, smiling faces; their cheerful, laughing voices.
… and, I think I'm angriest at Barney. Not that he smiles too much or laughs too much around me, but he… he's everywhere. He's seeped in to my life, and I can feel him clinging to my skin; running through my veins. Even with my eyes closed, I can feel him watching me as we lay in bed.
I wonder why he won't just let me go.
I wonder why I can't just let him go.